of Gallo-Belgic potter ATTISSVS.
imported Gallo-Belgic wares from King Harry Lane,
Verulamium and Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
Photo Ó Catherine Johns
provisional distribution of terra nigra.
POTTERY IN BRITAIN
The Institute of Archaeology, Oxford University is hosting
a project on Gallo-Belgic pottery funded through the
Leverhulme Trust. Jane Timby and Val Rigby are carrying
out the work on a part time basis over the next three
aim of the research is to look at the nature and degree
of social, political and economic change in Britain
in the Late Pre-Roman Iron Age (LPRIA) and early Roman
periods using a distinctive artefact type, whilst at
the same time producing a definitive account of the
Gallo-Belgic industry and the distribution of its products
to Britain. Part of the work will include a catalogue
of all known potters' stamps.
LPRIA was a period of considerable change in Britain
reflected in all aspects of the archaeological record,
settlement, domestic architecture, material culture,
tribal territories, burial customs, the emergence of
a wealthy elite and the emergence of political figures.
Some of these changes are seen in the appearance of
traded goods demonstrating wide ranging contact with
Gaul and the Mediterranean both for visible goods such
as pottery and metalwork and for perishable items such
as foodstuffs and wine.
pottery was one such import to appear in Britain from
the last two decades of the 1st century BC and 1st century
AD. Made in workshops spread across northern Gaul it
represents the first mass-produced fine ware to be made
in Northern Europe. The products are mainly tablewares:
cups beakers and platters, often bearing the potters
name stamp, usually in a black ware (terra nigra) or
a red ware (terra rubra). These vessels represent a
completely new repertoire of forms and a technology
not previously known in Britain. The new forms became
widely copied by the indigenous potters even illiterate
copies of the name stamps. The appearance of such imports
into Britain thus had great significance for economic,
social, cultural, technological and symbolic reasons.
They show a great increase in cross-channel trade; their
presence serves as a useful chronological indicator;
they reflect social stratification and communicate changes
in eating and drinking habits, not only in content but
detailed data will be available in electronic format
accompanied by a book. In order that the data remains
a viable academic resource a copy will be lodged with
the Archaeological Data Service for long term curation
and for active updating in the future.
authors would be keen to hear of any recent discoveries
of imported Gallo-Belgic pottery from sites in Britain,
particularly that which may be currently unpublished
or relegated to grey literature. They can be cotacted
Institute of Archaeology
36, Beaumont St
Oxford OX1 2PG