rchaeological fieldwork carried out in advance of mineral extraction unearthed a group of pottery kilns dating from the late Roman period. This is one of several discoveries revealed by Thames Valley Archaeological Services (TVAS) during the course of quarrying in the area and includes an important Late Palaeolithic site just to the south at Somerley.
The New Forest has long been recognized as an important centre of pottery production in Roman Britain, its products being widely traded throughout the province. It is, however, a somewhat surprising location for site director Andy Taylor and his team to find such an industry. The main drawback being the lack of locally available clay suitable for potting. It appears that the supply of timber for fuel was more important than the lack of clay.
The pottery produced here is distinctive for its shiny appearance, which seems to have been intended to imitate metallic vessels (silver or pewter); and even the shapes also seem to copy metal vessel shapes, such as the very typical indented beaker (see photograph).
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