Study Group for Roman Pottery

Amsterdam Conference 2011

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Conference - Amsterdam Fri 24th to Sun 26th June 2011

Organised by the VU University Amsterdam & the University of Amsterdam

The theme and programme

As the SGRP-conference 2011 will take place in Amsterdam we will follow a programme around a theme broad enough to interest all delegates, whether they are working in the UK, the German Rhineland, the Low Countries or in France. This theme will be: ‘pottery production transported by the North Sea and the river Rhine’. Lectures will mainly be focussed on the production of pottery and the trading routes/mechanisms of these productions. A workshop will be organised where pottery (production material) will be displayed so delegates will have an opportunity to handle a range of fabrics that they might encounter on their excavations.

The conference organisers and the Study Group for Roman Pottery Committee have made considerable efforts to keep costs down by sourcing grants and help across the board. We particularly wish to thank the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the VU University Amsterdam, ACVU-HBS (Archeologisch Centrum Vrije Universiteit-Hendrik Brunsting Stichting), CLUE and the University of Kent for their contribution.

Programme (for summaries of lectures)
(amended 20-06-2011)

Friday 24th of June
10.30 - 12.20 Welcome and AGM for SGRP members only registration (Allard Pierson Museum) with coffee/tea and a sandwich (A on map)
10.30 - 12.20 Registration for non-members in the Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, room F001 (B on Map). Lectures will also take place at this location.
12.30 Start of conference
12.30 - 12.35 Welcome (Julie Van Kerckhove and Mark Driessen)

Session 1: Production sites on both sides of the Channel and the distribution of their wares
Chair: Steven Willis
12.35 - 13.05 The city of Forum Hadriani: a supply base for the military on the Dutch coast
(Julie Van Kerckhove and Mark Driessen)
13.05 - 13.35 The North-Menapian coastal pottery tradition in the Roman period: a military-native interaction‌
(Wim De Clercq & Sofie Vanhoutte)
13.35 - 14.05 The distribution of Northern French pottery to Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands: a distinct
choice of forms and categories (Sonja Willems/Stéphane Dubois/Cyrille Chaidron)
14.05 - 14.30 The Lower Nene Valley Ware: a major local and regional production centre (Rob Perrin)
14.30 - 15.00 tea and coffee

Session 2: Production and distribution of samian ware
Chair: Louise Rayner
15.00 - 15.30 A third century samian shop group from Nantes (Loire-Atlantique, France)
(R. Delage, G. Monteil, N. Rouzeau & J. Pascal)
15.30 - 15.45 A late samian dish from Surrey (Joanna Bird)
15.45 - 16.15 Getting Samian Ware to Britain: routes and transport possibilities (Allard Mees and Geoff Dannell)
16.15 - 16.45 Distribution of terra sigillata from La Graufesenque to the Northern Provinces
(Allard Mees and Rien Polak)
16.45-18.45: time to check in at hotel before meeting at 18.45 at the entrance of Allard Pierson Museum to walk to venue for dinner at 19.00
19.00 dinner at Haesje Claes (D on map)

Saturday 25th of June
Lectures will take place in de Oudemanhuispoort 4 (B on map)
Session 3: The major wares in the Rhineland and Eifel region
Chair: Michael Gechter
9.00 - 9.30 Cologne products (Constanze Höpken)
9.30 - 10.00 The pottery of Donnius Maximus at Bonn (Jennifer Morscheiser) (amended 20-06-2011)
10.00 - 10.30 The latest Roman pottery production at Mayen/Eifel (Germany). Archaeological findings and
scientific analysis results (Lutz Grunwald)
10.30 - 11.00 tea and coffee

Session 4:
Pottery production in the Batavian and Tungrian civitates and
pottery consumption in the Dutch river area

Chair: Marleen Martens
11.00 - 11.45 Fluctuations in Roman pottery production in Nijmegen
(Harry van Enckevort, Elly N.A. Heirbaut, Joep Hendriks)
11.45 - 12.15 Early Roman pottery production in the civitas Tungrorum: towards an integrated approach
(Barbara Borgers)
12.15 - 12.45 A chronology of late-Roman ceramics imported to the Dutch River Area.
The case of Wijk bij Duurstede-De Geer (Stijn Heeren)
12.45 - 13.45 lunch

Session 5: Pottery consumption in Britain and methodology in pottery studies
Chair: Gwladys Monteil
13.50 - 14.20 Trends in the presence of amphorae at sites in Roman Britain (Steven Willis)
14.20 - 14.50 Sub-Roman pottery production in South-eastern Britain (Malcolm Lyne)
14.50 - 15.20 Methodologies shedding light on the deposition of Roman pottery: Case Studies from
the Lincolnshire Wolds (Emma Jackson)
15.20 - 15.50 Roman pottery studies in Britain: current practice and future strategies (Jane Evans)
15.50 - 16.35 Tea and coffee
16.35 - 17.45 workshop/studying pottery production.
The following delegates have agreed to bring pottery from production sites: Sofie Vanhoutte/Wim De Clercq (North-Menapian ware), Sonja Willems/Stéphane Dubois/Cyrille Chaidron (Northern-France), Sibylle Friedrich (Urmitz), Lutz Grünwald (Mayen), Barbara Borgers (Tienen, Vervoz, Grobbendonk, Kontich), Annick Lepot/Else Hartoch/Fabienne Vilvorder (Tongeren), Harry van Enckevort/Joep Hendriks/Elly Heirbaut/Ryan Niemeyer (Nijmegen). The following delegates have agreed to bring pottery from consumption sites: Julie Van Kerckhove (Forum Hadriani), Stijn Heeren (Wijk bij Duurstede-De Geer).
17.45 - 18.45 Time to return to hotel before meeting at 18.45 at the entrance of Allard Pierson Museum to walk
to venue for dinner at 19.00
19.00 gin tasting and dinner at De Admiraal (E on map)

Sunday 26th of June
08.15 All gather at entrance Allard Pierson Museum and receive a packed lunch (museum closed on Sunday)
08.30 Departure for Woerden 08.30
09.00 Arrival Woerden: introduction by archaeologist Tom Hazenberg. Tom will explain about the excavation of Roman castellum at Woerden and a Roman river freighter found during the research in Woerden. Woerden is situated on the river Oude Rijn, near the confluence with the former Linschoten stream. Near this confluence was a natural levee a castellum was built. The first phase was built in the AD 40s, it was rebuilt around AD 70. During construction work on a new underground parking facility the remains of numerous old Roman buildings and a Roman river cargo ship were found.
09.45 The participants will be divided in two sub-groups. Group A (28 pers.) will depart for the harbour. Group B (28 pers.) leaves by bus for the Grecht.
10.00 Group A will embark for a ‘river cruise’ aboard the copy of the Roman riverfreighter De Meern 1. Group B goes by bus to guest farm De Boerinn for coffee and Dutch farm cake in the Grecht area. Here they get an impression about the Dutch wetland area.

In 1997 a Roman ship was discovered at a large building project at De Meern near the city of Utrecht. And not just a ship, but a real wreck in mint condition. It was the 15th Roman river ship found in The Netherlands, and the best one yet. The six ships of Zwammerdam (three kanoos and three big freighters) all had been dismantled by the Romans, but De Meern 1 was still intact. More intact, even, than the ships recently found in Pisa, or the 5 transporters found in Mainz. The ship was once 24.6 metres long and 2.7 metres wide. It had a hole for a mast on the bow and a cabin for the captain on the stern, in which cooking took place. The woodwork was very luxurious (little doors, cupboards, adorned walls and bedding). This is a very surprising find, for until now it was assumed that all ships were built in Germany, floated downriver and were scrapped there. De Meern 1 seems to point to a more continuous use. The river Rhine was 30 metres wide and 2 metres deep at the point where the ship sank, which would make manoeuvring tricky. No local shipping, then‌ But during research in the months after its salvage, the conclusion was that this was a local ship after all, built of local trees, and probably scrapped after the end of its natural life. The ship itself was made of large planks of oak, which were nailed together with iron nails. The bottom was flat for docking on the riverbank. The base of the ship was originally constructed out of three locally grown oak trees of at least 40 metres long, which had been cut down between AD 142 and 154. Aboard in the small kitchen several finds – pottery and shoes and sandals – pointed to a more continuous use between AD 180 and 200. After the discovery of this ship in 1997 the decision was made to cover it up again to raise funds so an excavation could be carried out properly. By the year 2000 it turned out that the ancient riverbed still carried water – water with too much oxygen. Due to this the ship would decay quicker than assumed. In 2003 the ship was excavated and lifted completely to the Dutch Institute of Marine Archaeology (NISA) in Lelystad. Here it was soaked for years in a bath of ethyleneglycol so it will be conserved for future generations and is one of the most extraordinary examples of our marine heritage.

11.00 Change of groups. Group A arrives at guest farm De Boerinn for coffee and Dutch farm cake.
Group B embarks at the copy of De Meern 1.
11.45 Group A drives back by bus to Woerden
12.00 Both groups gather in Woerden
12.15 Embarking bus for return to Amsterdam
13.00 Arrival in Amsterdam at entrance of Allard Pierson Museum and Conference closes


The conference organizers wish to thank the following institutions for their help and contributions:
Universiteit van Amsterdam
University of Kent
VU University Amsterdam
Study Group for Roman Pottery
ACVU-HBS (Archeologisch Centrum Vrije Universiteit - Hendrik Brunsting Stichting)

Transport (airport)

The nearest airport is Schiphol (Amsterdam), where you can take the train to Amsterdam-Centraal (F on Map). Then you can walk (15 minutes) to the Ibis-hotel: Hotel Ibis Amsterdam City Stopera, Valkenburgerstraat 68, 1011 LZ Amsterdam or you can take the subway (Waterlooplein, line 51, 53, 54).

The conference

The conference will take place in the Oudemanhuispoort 4-6 (see B on map). The lecture hall in the Oudemanhuispoorrt are within walking distance of the hotel.

Dinners and gin tasting in distillery De Admiraal

The first evening (Friday, the 24th) we will dine in Haasje Claes( see D on map). "Haesje Claes" is a restaurant situated in the historical centre of Amsterdam, between the Spui and the Dam square, across from the Amsterdam Historical Museum. The restaurant occupies six epic buildings, in which the original architectural features such as little steps, corridors and hallways all have been preserved. Likewise, the exterior of the building is a beautiful example of traditional Dutch architecture.

The second evening (Saturday, the 25th) we will taste several gins in the authentic distillery De Admiraal (see E on map). Afterwards there will be a buffet at the same location.


On Sunday morning we will depart from the entrance of the Allard Pierson Museum for the excursion, which is a boat trip along the river Rhine on a replica of the Roman shipwreck De Meern 1 that was found in Woerden. We will also visit the military sites of Woerden and Leidsche Rijn.

Map of Amsterdam: location of: A=Allard Pierson Museum B=Oudemanhuispoort 4-6;
C=Hotel; D=Restaurant Haesje Claes; E=Distillery De Admiraal; F=Central Station

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