This is generally a cream-coloured fabric, frequently fired to brown-orange on parts of the surface near the spout (K Hartley, pers comm). Our sherd is cream-white (10YR 8/2) with patchy dull red (2.5YR 6/6) surfaces. It is hard with an irregular fracture and a rough/powdery surface with visible wiping marks. Mortaria with a hooked flange are known in this fabric.
Our sample is quite coarse, with others outside the collection ranging from granular to fine textured. It is composed of common slightly ill-sorted quartz (0.3–0.5mm) and red and black iron-rich grains (c 0.1–0.5mm) set in a slightly silty groundmass with sparse fine gold and silver mica. Sparse white clay pellets, measuring 0.5–1.0mm, can also be identified. Trituration grits are common and ill sorted, measuring between 1.0–6.5mm. They comprise rounded quartz – some polycrystalline – and a variety of red and red-brown rock fragments, normally >2.5mm. A few flint inclusions are also visible.
In thin section this fabric has an isotropic silt-rich matrix with common larger inclusions, frequently rounded and measuring c 0.2–0.5mm. Also present in the larger size range are sparse to rare polycrystalline quartz, quartzite, feldspar and siltstone. Quartz-rich clay pellets, sometimes nearly opaque (<2.5mm) can be seen, as can smaller opaques. Some muscovite and less biotite mica are also present. Trituration grits are characterised by fine-grained sandstone (sometimes micaceous or ferruginous) and opaques, with less monocrystalline – and occasionally polycrystalline – quartz, and rare feldspar. Single grains of flint and granitic rock are also visible. Calcareous inclusions are visible and most appear to be redeposited. Trituration grits measure up to c 4.0mm, but normally fall between 1.5–2.5mm.
Mortarium vessels are associated with kiln debris, thought to derive from a nearby kiln (Baker 1936).
Lincoln City and County Museum
Lincoln City and County Museum; Scunthorpe Museum and Art Gallery
Baker, F T, 1936 Roman pottery kiln at Lincoln, Lincolnshire Mag 3(7), 187–90
Darling, M J, 1977a Excursus on the Swanpool/Rookery Lane kiln complex at Lincoln, in A group of late Roman pottery from Lincoln, CBA for Lincoln Archaeol Trust Monogr Ser XVI–1, 32–7
Hartley, K F, 1976 Mortaria, in Excavations at Winterton Roman villa and other Roman sites in north Lincolnshire, 1958–1967 (I Stead), 116–127
Hartley, K F, & Richards, E E, 1965 Spectrographic analysis of some Romano-British mortaria, Bull Institute Archaeol 5, 25–43