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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


Peacock & Williams Class 47 amphorae (P&W AM 47)

Two samples

The type is commonly known as the ‘hollowfoot’ amphora or Käpitan II.

General appearance

This fabric is typically red- or orange-brown (2.5YR 5/6-5/8, 2.5YR 6/8), occasionally with slightly darker (to 2.5YR 4/4) surfaces and thick grey (6/0–5/0) margins or core. It is a very hard fabric, harsh to rough to the touch with an irregular fracture. The form is distinctive and easily identifiable, with the arched handles particularly heavy in weight.

Hand specimen

While there is some variation in the size, sorting and proportion of different inclusions in this fabric, it is united by the presence of ill-sorted sparse to common red-brown rock inclusions, measuring between 0.3–2.0mm. Quartz, normally well-sorted, may range from sparse to abundant in quantity and measure from <0.1-0.7mm (normally not 0.3mm>) in size. Other inclusions are sparse, but comprise matrixcoloured clay pellets (to 3.5mm), fine red-brown iron-rich inclusions and occasionally fine silver mica.

Thin section

In thin section abundant well-sorted small quartz and sparse but consistent feldspar and opaques (0.05–0.1mm) with less frequent larger inclusions, measuring c 0.2-0.3mm or occasionally larger, occur. Also sparse, but consistently occurring, are inclusions of polycrystalline quartz, chert, quartzite and colourless ferromagnesian accessory minerals. Sparse grains of both siltstone and sandstone are present, rarely with ferruginous cement. These inclusions therefore account for some of the red rocks identified in the hand specimen, but others are likely to correspond to the quartz-rich clay pellets, sometimes iron-rich and opaque, measuring 0.2–0.7mm, which are seen in thin section. Only a single thread of muscovite mica is visible.


While kiln evidence is lacking, distribution of the type suggests an Aegean source (Riley 1979, 189–93).


Museum of London


Colchester Museums; Museum of London


Kapitän, G, 1972 Le anfore del relitto romano di Capo Ognina (Siracus), in Recherches sur les amphores romaines, Collection de l’Ecole Française de Rome 10, 243–52, Rome

Peacock, D P S, 1977d Late Roman amphorae from Chalk near Gravesend, Kent, in Roman pottery studies in Britain and beyond. Papers presented to John Gillam, July 1977 (eds J Dore & K Greene), BAR Suppl Ser 30, 295–300

Riley, J A, 1979 The coarse pottery from Benghazi, in Sidi Khrebish Excavations, Benghazi (Berenice) 2 (ed J A Lloyd), 91–497, Tripoli

Symonds, R P, & Wade, S, 1999 Roman pottery from excavations in Colchester, Colchester Archaeol Rep 10

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

Plate 84: Fresh sherd break of P&W AM 47 (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 84: Fresh sherd break of P&W AM 47 (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 84.1: Photomicrograph of P&W AM 47 (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 84.1: Photomicrograph of P&W AM 47 (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)

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