The FRAG talk in February was about Roman pottery in the Peterborough area – but it was much more than this.

Dr Stephen Upex came armed with a large collection of pottery – grouped into 18 different categories according to style, decoration and date. It was the task of the audience to work out what they were. Just to add to the challenge, a couple of the samples were from well outside the Roman period, illustrating the need for care when interpreting samples found during excavations or field-walking.

roman pottery workshop

This was a unique opportunity to handle such a wide range of Roman pottery. We saw the finger marks of the potter left as he was coating a pot. We could start to feel more confident in distinguishing colour coated and greyware. We learned how to distinguish rouletting, barbotine and appliqué decoration.

There’s more information about Pottery Identification in the archaeology skills and techniques section of the website.