Study Group for Roman Pottery

National Research Framework: North of Britain

Other Research Themes

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RESEARCH FRAMEWORK FOR THE STUDY OF ROMAN POTTERY IN THE NORTH OF BRITAIN

Edited by Jeremy Evans & Steven Willis on behalf of the SGRP, Northern Regional Group. October 1997; selectively revised 2002

14. OTHER RESEARCH THEMES

Other domains in which pottery study can play an informative role include:

14.1 Structured deposition

Recent work on Iron Age material in Britain has identified evidence of special deposits, including pottery, indicating structured depositional regimes; these have been interpreted as arising from ritual activity (Hill 1995). Whilst such practices in the Roman era have yet to be commonly demonstrated amongst the ceramic evidence it is important that their potential existence is recognized and that pottery deposits are monitored for unusual or systematic features perhaps suggesting ritual actions (cf. Willis 1997a, 46-7; Clarke 1997).

14.2 Differences in the distribution of imported pottery in civilian & military areas

How far do these relate to chronological factors? How much to military demand for specific fine ware types and military purchasing? What do they say about the organization of military and civilian supply respectively? How far does the evidence support the Middleton (1979) hypothesis (cf. 3.8 above)?

14.3 The role of cultural factors in determining pottery distribution

Evans' work (1988; 1995b) has shown that cultural factors significantly shaped pottery distributions in at least some instances. This significant area of work needs to be taken further to establish: whether this was a widespread phenomenon; if such cultural restrictions operated differentially through time; how they relate to the distributions of other finds classes, as well as what these phenomena suggest about 'Romanization'.

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