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
5. MAJOR RESEARCH ISSUES: MILITARY POTTERY
5.1 Broad Research Questions
Pottery from military (particularly legionary) sites remains of value for a number of aspects, including its national and international connections, its potential for being closely datable in some cases, and for the way in which micro distribution patterns can be used to shed light on functional aspects of pottery. Significant assemblages are now (or soon to be) published from most major early sites in the region, so this aspect may be considered less important here than elsewhere in Britain. However, it is considered particularly important that the assemblage from Lake Farm (Dorset) is published.
More systematic research, building on the important contribution of Darling (1977), needs to be conducted to clarify how 'self-contained' early military ceramics were and to what extent the major regional industries, with the possible exception of Savernake, developed independent of the influence of the army.
5.2 Military Pottery and 'Romanization'
The study of military assemblages may also have relevance for much wider questions relating to the nature and processes of Romanization (see below). Specific studies, for example of the distribution of Caerleon Ware, would be of direct relevance here.
During 1997 the University of Wales/Board of Celtic Studies are financing a project to re-examine the dating of early military sites in Wales (last reviewed by Dr Grace Simpson in the early 1960s). This should lay the basis for a general review of the pottery of Roman Wales, particularly if combined with specific studies such as the Caerleon review suggested in 3.9 above. Such a general survey is considered a high priority.
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