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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

 

London Fine Reduced ware (LON FR)

Four samples

General appearance

A pale to dark grey (5/0–4/0) or brown-red (2.5YR 4/4) fabric, with grey to black (4/0–3/0) surfaces. Both surfaces on open vessels, and external ones on closed vessels, are normally black with a glossy burnished slip, sometimes showing facet marks, and/or compass-inscribed decoration. Vessel forms imitating samian are particularly common. There is a tendency for the grey fabrics to be harder fired with a smooth fracture, while red-brown sherds are lower fired (although still hard) and have a laminated fracture.

Hand specimen

This is a fine fabric with well-sorted inclusions, normally <0.1mm, rarely to 0.4mm. Differences in firing appear to be reflected in the identifiable inclusions. In red-brown samples fine quartz is common, while in the grey sherds it is less visible. Apart from quartz, the distinguishing inclusion in all samples is sparse to common silver or gold mica, particularly visible in the fresh fracture of the red-brown sherds and on the surfaces of both variants. Black iron-rich inclusions and, in some samples, elongated ?organics, limestone and matrix coloured-clay pellets are also present. It is possible that two separate fabrics are represented here.

Thin section

This sample comprises a fine clay with common mica, primarily muscovite with less biotite, and sparse silt-sized (occasionally to 0.1mm) inclusions, mostly quartz with a sprinkling of opaques. Rare larger inclusions of quartz, clay pellets and opaques measure 0.3–1.0mm.

Source

Pottery wasters of this type were found at Copthall Close, London (Marsh & Tyers 1976, 232).

Donors

Department of Prehistoric & Romano-British Antiquities, The British Museum; Museum of London

Museums

Department of Prehistoric & Romano-British Antiquities, The British Museum; Museum of London

References

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

Marsh, G D, 1978 Early second century fine wares in the London Area, in Early fine wares in Roman Britain (eds P Arthur & G D Marsh), BAR 57, 119–223

Marsh, G D, & Tyers, P A, 1976 Roman pottery from the City of London, Trans London Middlesex Archaeol Soc 27, 228–44

Tyers, P A, & Marsh, G D, 1978 The Roman pottery from Southwark, in Southwark excavations 1972–1974 (eds J Bird, A H Graham, H Sheldon & P Townend), Joint Publ London Middlesex Archaeol Soc/Surrey Archaeol Soc 1, 533–607

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

Plate 111: Fresh sherd break of LON FR (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 111: Fresh sherd break of LON FR (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 111.1: Photomicrograph of LON FR (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 111.1: Photomicrograph of LON FR (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)


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