This fabric equates to Soft Pink Grogged wares, first defined by Woodfield (Brown 1982, 24, Woodfield 1983, 78–9) and present in large quantities at Milton Keynes where it is discussed in full by Marney (1989, 64–7, 174–5).
The fabric typically has dull pink (10R 6/6–5/6) to pale orange (7/5YR 7/4–7/6) surfaces with a heavy grey (4/0) core. Booth and Green (1989, 77) describe the fabric as ‘often soft, but well-fired, hard examples are not uncommon . . . A smooth burnished outer surface, often lumpy in appearance and texture owing to the large inclusions, is common. This is generally confined to the top of the rim, the shoulder and lower body and base of large jars; smaller vessels may be burnished overall.’ The fabric may be hand or wheelmade (or finished) and the squat storage jar, typically with wavy burnishing on the shoulder, is the form most readily identified and therefore with the widest identified distribution.
Inclusions are ill sorted, set in a clean, compact and micaceous (silver) clay matrix. Abundant angular grains of light orange or light grey grog dominate, while limestone, quartz, and dark red-brown or black iron-rich grains are normally present, together with occasional fragments of flint. Booth and Green (1989, 77) note that proportions and inclusion size vary according to vessel type and size. In our samples grog ranges from 0.5–4.0mm, iron-rich grains and quartz from 0.2–1.0mm and limestone to c 0.5mm.
This is a fine micaceous clay, containing muscovite and biotite mica and sparse silt-grade quartz. Common larger ill-sorted quartz measure to c 0.6mm although they are normally <0.3mm. The fabric is dominated by abundant ill-sorted inclusions of grog and clay pellets, with less frequent and smaller opaques, normally <1.0mm but up to 3.0mm. Occasional flint and larger limestone inclusions measure to 2.5mm, while in the smaller size range polycrystalline quartz, flint, limestone and micaceous siltstone are also present. Much of the carbonate is the result of redeposition.
The Towcester/Milton Keynes area is considered the most likely source area on distributional grounds, though no kilns are known as yet (Booth & Green 1989, 82; Woodfield 1983, 78).
Oxford Archaeological Unit; Warwickshire Museum, Warwick
Buckinghamshire County Museum Service, Aylesbury; Central Museum and Art Gallery, Northampton; Warwickshire Museum, Warwick
Booth, P, & Green, S, 1989 The nature and distribution of certain pink, grog tempered vessels, J Roman Pottery Stud 2, 77–84
Brown, A E, & Alexander, J A, 1982 Excavations at Towcester 1954: the Grammar School site, Northants Archaeol 17, 24–59
Ford, B, 1991 Two vessels in pink grog tempered ware from the Roman Fort at Cramond, Scotland, J Roman Pottery Stud 4, 55–6
Marney, P T, 1989 Roman & Belgic pottery from excavations in Milton Keynes 1972–82, Buckinghamshire Archaeol Soc Monogr Ser 2
Tomber, R S, 1989 Soft pink grogged ware thin-section analysis, in Roman & Belgic pottery from excavations in Milton Keynes 1972–82 (P T Marney), Buckinghamshire Archaeol Soc Monogr Ser 2
Woodfield, C, 1983 The remainder of the Roman pottery, in Excavations at Towcester, Northants: the Alcester Road suburb (A E Brown, C Woodfield & D C Mynard), Northants Archaeol 18, 74–100