Study Group for Roman Pottery

National Research Framework: West of Britain

Functional Trends

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

Edited by Paul Booth & Steven Willis on behalf of The Study Group for Roman Pottery, Western Regional Group October 1997; selectively revised 2002

9. MAJOR RESEARCH ISSUES: FUNCTIONAL TRENDS

9.1 Functional Trends in Pottery: Questions & Research Potential

Evidence for such trends in the region is still insufficient. In general the region probably conforms to a standard southern British pattern in which proportions of jars decline steadily from a very high point in the 1st century AD. This, however, remains to be demonstrated across the region. Regional variations from this 'standard' may be expected, and one aspect in which this region is unusual is in the widespread occurrence of the tankard. The effect which this form has on group functional composition has yet to be demonstrated from quantified data, but if it proves to be a particularly marked characteristic it may require special attention.

Work is also required to consider the question of whether there is a status-related aspect to functional variation: for instance, do high status sites, by definition, have a wider range of vessel types than low status sites?

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