Pottery specialists assemble for SGRP’s annual conference

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 viewing was filmed and a video will be uploaded to the website in due course.)

The day closed with a talk by Christopher Young 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)

The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: A Handbook is relaunched on the SGRP website

The online version of the National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: A Handbook, is now live on the Study Group for Roman Pottery website.

The handbook, which was originally published in 1998, is an essential resource for researchers and anyone interested in Roman pottery wishing to identify and describe major regional and traded wares, including amphorae, samian and Romano-British finewares. The online resource contains detailed fabric descriptions, enhanced digital images of the original fresh-break photos, and a photomicrograph for each fabric.

Roberta Tomber, who along with John Dore wrote the original handbook, said:

“It is a great pleasure to announce that the National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: A Handbook is now live on the SGRP website. Hopefully it will be a valuable resource for a wide range of users. Numerous organisations and individuals were instrumental in finalising the resource and are thanked in the introduction to the site. Here I would like to mention the Roman Research Trust, who funded this resource, and Museum of London Archaeology, Historic England and the British Museum, all of whom have had a longstanding input into the NRFRC. Above all, I am grateful to Paul Tyers, whose tireless efforts are responsible for the completion of this project.”

Click here to visit the resource pages or click on the link in the side menu.