Two fabrics from the Mancetter-Hartshill industry are represented here: both the commonly known white ware fabric (White ware), sometimes with red painted decoration (Parchment ware), and an oxidised one, usually with white slip on the mortaria (White-slipped ware). The main production in white ware was mortaria, segmental bowls and flagons, though a very limited number of other vessel types was occasionally produced. Bowls, beakers and jars are amongst the forms produced in an oxidised fabric, but a small number of mortaria were made in it, usually with white slip.
In the period before c AD 140/50 trituration grit consisted of ill-sorted angular and subrounded fragments (0.5–5.0mm) of quartz, sandstone, red sandstone and some dark grains. The quartz may form up to 30% of the suite, though, on occasion, the trituration grit is entirely quartz. After the mid-2nd century, the trituration comprised almost exclusively fine-grained black and dark red argillaceous inclusions.
The industry is known from numerous kilns in the vicinity of Mancetter-Hartshill, where both fabric types are represented.
Jewry Wall Museum of Archaeology, Leicester; Warwickshire Museum, Warwick
Bird, J, & Young, C, 1981 Migrant potters – the Oxford connection, in Roman pottery research in Britain and north-west Europe. Papers presented to Graham Webster (eds A C Anderson & A S Anderson), BAR Int Ser 123(ii), 295–312
Booth, P, 1986 Roman pottery in Warwickshire – production and demand, J Roman Pottery Stud 1, 22–41
Hartley, K F, 1973c The kilns at Mancetter and Hartshill, Warwickshire, in Current research in Romano-British coarse pottery (ed A P Detsicas), CBA Res Rep 10, 143–47
Hartley, K F, 1991b The mortaria, in Bewcastle and Old Penrith. A Roman outpost fort and a frontier vicus. Excavations, 1977–78 (P A Austin), Cumberland & Westmorland Antiq Archaeol Soc Res Ser 6, 30–2 and 156–73
Hartley, K F, 1993d The mortaria, in Excavations at Segontium (Caernarfon) Roman fort, 1975–1979 (P J Casey & K Davies with J Evans), CBA Res Rep 90, 309–16
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This sample is burnt or discoloured with a grey core and yellowed surface. Pale red-brown (10R 5/3) paint is visible on the rim. In other respects it is similar to the White ware described below.
MAH PA is a decorated variant of the fabric described for White ware, with this particular sherd containing sparse iron-rich inclusions, discoloured to black, and measuring up to 1.0mm in size.
Because of its similarity to the White ware, no sample was thin sectioned.
Essentially the same clay body served for the entire currency of this fabric. It is cream, sometimes merging to pink-cream (10YR 8/2–8/3), as seen on Plate 157a. Often it has a self-coloured slip, which may be slightly darker (10YR 8/4, 2.5Y 8/2), although it is never as yellow or brown as on Lincoln and Lower Nene Valley mortaria. Generally the fabric has an irregular fracture and a smooth feel. Examples dating to the first half of the 2nd century may be soft, while later products were often fired to a harder, smoother texture.
The clay matrix is generally dense and well fired, usually with sparse inclusions (Plate 157a). However, early examples (before c AD 140) have slightly more quartz (sometimes to common) which gives them a sandier feel (Plate 157b). Except as noted, all inclusions are normally sparse and well-sorted subrounded and rounded quartz (0.3–0.4mm but rarely to 0.5mm, occasionally polycrystalline), red and black iron-rich grains (0.1–1.2mm) and pale-coloured clay pellets (up to 1.0mm) occur in decreasing order of importance. Two of our samples (Plate 157d) contain sparse mixed trituration grit (to c 4.0mm) belonging to the general category outlined in the introduction to Mancetter-Hartshill and described in thin section with MAH WS. The remaining samples have trituration grits of abundant, angular, densely packed and ill-sorted (to c 5.0mm) red argillaceous fragments or, rarely, black ones (Plate 157c). Typically, although not represented here, black trituration grits will be more common.
This sample has a groundmass containing abundant well-sorted quartz measuring <0.05mm. Other inclusions are sparse, comprising primarily monocrystalline quartz, but frequently polycrystalline, with less rounded to subangular fine-grained sandstone, flint, opaques and iron-rich clay pellets measuring between 0.25–0.5mm, occasionally to 1.5mm. A single fragment of limestone measures 2.0mm. The trituration grits, belonging to the type current after c AD 140/50, consist of angular fragments of a brown argillaceous material to 2.0mm.
This fabric is very much less common than the White ware, but is included here in order to illustrate the variety found within the industry. It was probably not made after the mid-2nd century.
Our sample is red-brown (10R 6/8), with cream (2.5Y 8/2) slipped surfaces and a thick grey (7.5YR 5/1) core. It is hard with a hackly fracture and rough feel.
This sherd is distinguished by a slightly silty and calcareous matrix, with generally well-sorted inclusions (0.3–0.5mm). Quartz is common and may occur between 0.1–0.7mm, while dark coloured iron-rich grains, in our average size range, are sparse. Trituration grits are as in the White ware before c AD 140 (cf Plate 157d), although after thin sectioning the ones on our sample are no longer extant and were not photographed.
An isotropic, probably calcareous, clay with sparse silt-grade quartz inclusions occurs. Subrounded to subangular quartz (frequently polycrystalline) measuring <0.5mm is common, with less flint present in the same size range. Less frequent are opaques and siltstone (occasionally felspathic), the latter measuring up to c 1.5mm. Trituration grits consist of angular grains of perthitic alkali feldspar, up to c 3.0mm. Rare mica may occur in part of the section, but is not considered diagnostic.