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The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: a Handbook

Hand specimen picture panel
Thin section picture panel

References

Appendix 1: Keywords and Definitions
Appendix 2: Physical Layout of Sherds Housed in the NRFRC

 

Cooling Black-burnished ware 2 (COO BB 2)

Four samples

A variety of ware types have been associated with production at Cooling, but only the BB2 is included here.

General appearance

The classic fabric produced at Cooling has a medium grey (5/0–4/0) core, frequently with margins in both a lighter or darker shade of grey. The surfaces are a deep, even black with a slightly lustrous and, in some cases, metallic burnish. A small proportion of the Cooling products were slipped, while approximately one-third were not burnished (Monaghan 1987, 189). The fabric is hard with an irregular fracture and a smooth feel. Williams (1977, 197) suggests that forms are restricted to the later cooking pots (Gillam 143) and bowls (Gillam 225, 313, 319, G/M 19) and that they are thicker and less well made than products from other centres.

Hand specimen

Overall the fabric comprises ill-sorted inclusions, up to 0.8 or 0.9mm, set in a sparsely micaceous clay with fine silver mica. Abundant quartz, normally 0.3–0.4mm, dominates, while red and black iron-rich grains (c 0.3mm) are routinely present but sparse.

Thin section

A well-sorted groundmass of abundant silt-sized quartz set in a clay with common muscovite and rare biotite mica is visible in thin section. Larger inclusions, unevenly distributed throughout the fabric, normally c 0.2–0.3mm but up to 0.7mm in size, are angular to rounded. In the larger size range, flint, quartz-rich clay pellets and opaques are common; polycrystalline quartz, quartzite and feldspar sparse to rare. Distinctive glauconitic pellets occur in all sizes, but are only common in the larger range.

Source

Production of BB2 has been associated with a kiln at Cooling, with additional evidence from extensive production debris in the area (Monaghan 1987, 34).

Donor

Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery

Museum

Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery

References

Gillam, J P, 1970 Types of Roman coarse pottery vessels in northern Britain (3rd ed)

Miles, A, 1975 Salt panning in Romano-British Kent, in Salt. The study of an ancient industry (ed K W deBrisay), 29–39

Monaghan, J, 1987 Upchurch and Thameside Roman pottery. A ceramic typology for northern Kent, first to third centuries AD, BAR 173

Pollard, R J, 1988 The Roman pottery of Kent

Thornhill, P, & Payne, P, 1980 Some sites in north Kent, Archaeol Cant 96, 378–82

Williams, D F, 1977 The Romano-British black-burnished industry: an essay on characterization by heavy mineral analysis, in Pottery and early commerce. Characterization and trade in Roman and later Ceramics (ed D P S Peacock), 163–220

Plate 137: Fresh sherd break of COO BB 2 (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 137: Fresh sherd break of COO BB 2 (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 137.1: Photomicrograph of COO BB 2 (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 137.1: Photomicrograph of COO BB 2 (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)

Plate 137.2: Photomicrograph of COO BB 2 (PPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 137.2: Photomicrograph of COO BB 2 (PPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)


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