Roman pottery specialists gathered at the King’s Centre in Oxford in June for the annual conference of the Study Group for Roman pottery.
The theme of the meeting was late Roman pottery, though talks were not confined to that topic. Paul Booth from Oxford Archaeology began proceedings with an introduction to late Roman Oxfordshire. Edward Biddulph, also of Oxford Archaeology, was next with a talk on the later Roman pottery from the roadside settlement at Berryfields in Aylesbury. Malcolm Lyne rounded the morning session off with a talk on a late Roman kiln from Canterbury. After coffee break, delegates heard about pottery from Southwark, courtesy of PCA’s Enikő Hudák, and Jane Timby then talked about pottery from rural Gloucestershire. Isobel Thompson followed with a talk on aspects of regionality in the types and distribution of grog-tempered ware in south-eastern Britain.
After lunch, there was an opportunity to view pottery assemblages brought by some of the group’s members. Attendees were treated to groups of colour-coated wares and white ware mortaria from Oxford-region kiln sites (the original excavator and Oxford industry expert Christopher Young was on hand to answer questions), as well as pottery from west Oxfordshire, the New Forest and elsewhere.
The group’s annual general meeting, held as part of the conference, was a chance to present Christopher Young, the group’s outgoing president, with a replica face-pot in gratitude for his hard work in the post.
The day closed with a talk by Christopher on how to put the Oxford industry back on the map and make it relevant to schools and the local community. The following day, Christopher led a smaller group of Study Group members on a tour of North Leigh Roman villa and the pottery collections at the county museum in Woodstock.
All in all, a successful weekend. We would like to thank the King’s Centre for hosting the Study Group and providing a superb lunch, and Archaeopress and BAR Publishing for their book stalls.
Oxford pottery industry luminaries Christopher Young (front) and Paul Booth (middle) at North Leigh villa (Photo: Jane Timby)
Study Group for Roman Pottery Annual Conference
Saturday 16th June – Sunday 17th June 2018
Venue: The King’s Centre, Osney Mead, Oxford
Theme: Late Roman Pottery and other ceramic matters
This year the SGRP conference will be a one-day conference with an optional second day and is being held at the Kings Centre, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0ES. This is easily accessible by car and train and is located close to Oxford Archaeology. On Saturday we will combining lectures with pottery handling and a ‘pottery ‘road-show’ where you can bring along your query colour-coats and we can disagree as to what they are. On the Sunday we will arrange a guided tour of North Leigh Roman villa from where we will go to Woodstock where there are plenty of eating places to suit all pockets followed by the opportunity to visit the Oxfordshire Museum at Woodstock before returning to Oxford.
Click the link below to download the timetable, venue and accommondation details and the registration form:
SGRP Conference Oxford 2018: Timetable and registration (pdf)
The annual conference of the Study Group for Roman Pottery was held this year at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle. During a weekend in July, delegates heard talks on Roman pottery from Carlisle, other sites in north-west England, and the results of work on larger projects, both in Britain and abroad.
There was also a visit to the Roman fort of Vindolanda, where delegates were treated to a guided tour by Andrew Birley, CEO of The Vindolanda Trust, and the firing of a replica Roman kiln, built by experimental archaeologist and potter, Graham Taylor. There was just about time, too, for a walk along the wall from Gilsland to Birdoswald on Hadrian’s Wall.
Every year at the conference, the John Gillam Prize is awarded to a piece of recent work that has made an important contribution to Roman pottery studies. This year’s prize was awarded to Edward Biddulph, Joyce Compton and Scott Martin for their work on the late Iron Age and Roman assemblage from Elms Farm, Heybridge.
By all accounts, the conference was a great success. Thanks are owed to the staff of the Tullie House Museum for hosting the conference, and to Stephen Wadeson, supported by the SGRP Committee, for organising the weekend.
Conference gallery (photos by David Bird, Diana Briscoe, Joyce Compton, and Stephen Wadeson)
The tour of Vindolanda
On a tour of Vindolanda (Photo: Joyce Compton)
The Kiln firing
The SGRP 2017 conference will be held at Tullie House in Carlisle from Friday 14th July to Sunday 16th July. Over the weekend we hope to address several themes, including Roman pottery from North-West Britain and pottery from other larger projects. There will also be a visit to the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site.
The Committee would like to invite 20 minute papers on recent or current pottery research. While we hope for a particular emphasis on material from the North of Britain, all contributions will be considered. Anyone wishing to give a paper is asked to provide a title and submit a short abstract of c 100-200 words to the Secretary by 31st January 2017.
Further details about the conference will be posted in due course.