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The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: a Handbook

Hand specimen picture panel
Thin section picture panel


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


Gallia-Belgica Terra Rubra 1C (GAB TR 1C)

Three samples

General appearance

The fabric is typically red, red-orange or pale orange (10R 6/8–4/8, 2.5YR 6/8–5/8) with surfaces covered in polished slip of the same range, but usually darker than the matrix. Both cups and platters, frequently stamped, were produced in GAB TR 1C. A hard fabric, it has an irregular to smooth fracture with smooth surfaces where slipped, or rough where unslipped.

Hand specimen

Like other GAB TR fabrics, a wide variety is seen in the texture. It is however characterised by common well-sorted quartz, usually <0.2mm, rarely to 0.4mm, with differing amounts of silt-sized grains set in a fairly dense clay matrix. Other visible inclusions comprise sparse red iron-rich fragments to 1.3mm; in one sample white quartz-rich clay pellets to 4.5mm can be seen.

Thin section

Two samples were examined, and they are similar in texture to GAB TR 1B, containing common to abundant well-sorted quartz. The quartz, sometimes angular and normally measuring 0.1–0.2mm (average 0.1mm in one sample), is set in a clean matrix with rare silt-grade quartz and opaques. Other inclusions in this size range are sparse to rare, but include chert, opaques, clay pellets, polycrystalline quartz and feldspar; rare larger clay pellets and opaques (sometimes quartz rich) occur up to c 1.0mm. Rare muscovite mica is visible in one sample.


The Marne-Vesle Valley is a major source, although a heavily grogged version (not represented amongst our samples) was made in or near Trier in the Mosel Valley (Rigby 1989a, 126).


Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury (Tiberio-Claudian forms and fabrics); Chichester District Museum (Tiberio-Claudian forms and fabrics); Colchester Museums; Ipswich Museum; Department of Prehistoric & Romano-British Antiquities, The British Museum


Holwerda, J H, 1941 De Belgische Waar in Nijmegen, Beschrijuing van de verzameling van het Museum G M Kam te Nijmegen 2, Nijmegen (Tiberio-Claudian forms and fabrics)

Rigby, V, 1989a Pottery from the Iron Age cemetery, in Verulamium. The King Harry Lane site (I M Stead & V Rigby), Engl Heritage Archaeol Rep 12, 112–210 (Tiberio-Claudian forms and fabrics)

See the related record on the Atlas of Roman Pottery on the Potsherd website

Plate 9: Fresh sherd break of GAB TR 1C (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 9: Fresh sherd break of GAB TR 1C (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 9.1: Photomicrograph of GAB TR 1C (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 9.1: Photomicrograph of GAB TR 1C (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)