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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 50 amphorae (P&W AM 50)

Single sample

The type is frequently known as the ‘Chalk’ amphora.

General appearance

Our sample is a very hard brown-red (5YR 6/6) fabric with tan (7.5YR 7/4-6/4) surfaces, a rough feel and hackly fracture. Typically sherds may have a cream outer surface (Peacock & Williams 1986, 201).

Hand specimen

This fabric is composed of a slightly golden micaceous clay containing ill-sorted inclusions. Small quartz (0.1–0.2mm) is common, while larger inclusions comprise common quartz, and sparse feldspar (normally 0.1–1.0mm), red-brown and black rock fragments and limestone (both 0.5–3.0mm).

Thin section

A calcareous clay with sparse quartz silt, which contains common coarse to very coarse subangular sand-grade material, composed mainly of quartz, together with sparse grains of untwinned feldspar, chert, limestone and other rock fragments. Occasional subrounded grains of altered lava, and a single grain of pyroxene (c 1.0mm) are also present. Subangular grains of amphibole up to 0.3mm, plagioclase feldspar, biotite and zircon occur rarely.


No source can be suggested for this amphora type.


Castle Museum, Norwich


Colchester Museums; Castle Museum, Norwich


Darling, M J, 1993 The Roman pottery, in Caister-on-Sea: excavations by Charles Green 1951–1955 (M Darling with D Gurney) East Anglian Archaeol 60, 153–218

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

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 85: Fresh sherd break of P&W AM 50 (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 85: Fresh sherd break of P&W AM 50 (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 85.1: Photomicrograph of P&W AM 50 (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 85.1: Photomicrograph of P&W AM 50 (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)

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