Highgate C is a consistent and distinctive medium grey (4/0) colour, sometimes with paler (5/0) surfaces. It is hard with an irregular fracture and rough surface, except where burnished when it is sometimes glossy. Occasionally vessels, particularly beakers and jars, are covered in part with a white slip which appears silver. A full range of coarse ware vessel types was produced in the ware.
The fabric is characterised by abundant densely-packed extremely well-sorted quartz, normally <0.2mm, with occasional larger grains to c 0.7mm in some samples. Other inclusions – all sparse and within the same size range as the quartz – include fine silver mica, limestone and black iron-rich inclusions. Black or matrix-coloured clay pellets, up to 1.0mm, can sometimes be seen.
Abundant well-sorted and densely packed quartz, normally measuring 0.05–0.1mm, is set in a matrix containing muscovite mica. Opaques, in a similar size range, are common; in the same size range but uncommon are feldspar and flint, while rare glauconitic and clay pellets measure to c 0.6–1.0mm. No limestone is visible in this thin section.
Production is known from a group of ten kilns excavated at Highgate, north London (Brown & Sheldon 1974).
Museum of London
Museum of London
Brown, A E, & Sheldon, H L, 1969a Early Roman pottery factory in north London, London Archaeol 1(2), 38–44
Brown, A E, & Sheldon, H L, 1969b Post-excavation work on the pottery from Highgate, London Archaeol 1(3), 60–5
Brown, A E, & Sheldon, H L, 1970 Highgate 1969, London Archaeol 1(7), 150–4
Brown, A E, & Sheldon, H L, 1971 Highgate Wood 1970–1, London Archaeol 1(13), 300–3
Brown, A E, & Sheldon, H L, 1974 Highgate Wood: the pottery and its production, London Archaeol 2(9), 223–31
Davies, B J, 1984 Highgate C fabrics from London. Their chronology and typology, Early Roman pottery from the City of London 3, MoL Archive Rep
Davies, B J, Richardson, B, & Tomber, R S, 1994 The archaeology of Roman London 5. A dated corpus of early Roman pottery from the City of London, CBA Res Rep 98
Tyers, P A, 1977 The Highgate Wood Roman pottery industry and its origins, Unpublished BSc thesis, University College Cardiff