In this fabric the break is usually composed of sandwiched layers or margins of darker and lighter grey (6/0–4/0) or grey and orange (2.5YR 5/4). Some examples however have a well-defined black core which look very similar to Lincoln Market Rasen Fine Reduced ware. Surfaces are usually dark grey (5/0–4/0) or black and may be burnished or slipped, and decorated with rows of barbotine dots. When burnished, the surface is usually smooth, even and semi-lustrous. The fabric is hard and the fracture smooth. A wide variety of vessel forms was made.
Inclusions are generally well sorted and measure <0.2mm in a sparsely micaceous (silver) clay. Only quartz is common, with red and black iron-rich grains (0.1–0.8mm) and pale-coloured clay pellets (0.2–2.0mm) routinely present but sparse. Our samples belong to Monaghan’s (1987, 252) fabric N1; a finer version of the ware (N2) comprises only silt-grade inclusions.
Sparse well-sorted quartz, normally silt sized but occasionally <0.1mm, set in a slightly micaceous clay containing muscovite and less biotite mica is present. The fabric is distinguished by common large ill-sorted clay pellets and poorly mixed clay, sometimes opaque in part, up to 1.5mm. Silt-sized opaques and flint can also be identified.
A number of kilns on the Upchurch Marshes are known to have produced these fine reduced wares (Monaghan 1987, 22–8).
Guildhall Museum, Rochester
Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury; Department of Prehistoric & Romano-British Antiquities, The British Museum; Maidstone Museum; Guildhall Museum, Rochester
Monaghan, J, 1983 An investigation of the Romano-British pottery industry of the Upchurch marshes, Archaeol Cant 98, 27–49
Monaghan, J, 1987 Upchurch and Thameside Roman pottery. A ceramic typology for northern Kent, first to third centuries AD, BAR 173
Pollard, R J, 1988 The Roman pottery of Kent
Pollard, R J, 1995a The mid to late Roman pottery, in Excavations in the Marlowe Car Park and surrounding areas. Part 2: the finds (K Blockley, M Blockley, P Blockley, S S Frere & S Stow), The Archaeology of Canterbury 5, 690–736