Archived project

Prehistoric pottery from south central and southeast England

Goal: I (MST) invented this 'project' as a way of gathering together in an easily accessible way the many reports written by me and my colleagues on the prehistoric pottery of south central and southeast England and posted on Researchgate.
My personal involvement with this material has been as a freelance archaeologist/ finds specialist and independent researcher, working to improve his knowledge, analyses and reporting. In 20-odd years of work, I estimate that have looked at over 200 prehistoric pottery assemblages, and reported on 150, most of these newly excavated or reported on at an early stage in the study of British prehistoric pottery.
Through this I have developed new ways of discussion and presentation, and, hopefully, made a significant contribution to our knowledge of the material. Owing to changes in the organization of developer-funded archaeology, which, more and more, is taking finds analysis and reporting 'in house', this work has now come to an end.

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Project log

Sue Hamilton
added a research item
Sue Hamilton
added 22 research items
Report on the earlier first millennium BC pottery from excavations at Harting Beacon, West Sussex, UK, conducted by Owen Bedwin in 1977.
The report describes and contextualises a small collection of later Iron Age pottery from Goffs Park Crawley
A limited number of later Bronze Age and pre-Roman Iron Age sherds was recovered from Testers. Two well contexted groups of material could be isolated. One group is dated to the earliest first millennium B.C. The other group is is dated to around the time of the Claudian conquest. Although the number of sherds is quite small, the isolation of two 'closed' groups of material is of value since a good data base of closed groups is still lacking in Sussex for the periods under discussion. The pottery comprising both of these groups is described and contextualised.
Mike Seager Thomas
added 11 research items
Mike Seager Thomas
added a research item
Shopwyke Park and Merston Manor Farm (outside Chichester in West Sussex, UK) were excavated as part of the River Lavant flood relief scheme. The results were never published, possibly as a result of the repeated shifting of the project from one commercial field unit to another. Shopwyke yielded assemblages of Middle Iron Age (saucepan pot), Late Iron Age (Aylesford-Swarling and Southern Atrebatic) and Roman pottery. Typologically these formed distinct and interpretively useful groups, but as always in the region, the recurrent use of similar tempers — notably flint — blurred these somewhat, particularly in those cases where pottery belonging to different periods occurred in the same feature. Merston yielded Late Bronze Age pottery. The present report is the second of two assessment reports on the prehistoric pottery from the sites commissioned from the authors by MoLAS. We are not aware of any final report, and it seems unlikely that there was one, as the pottery reported on here was abandoned with the first author (MST). A unpublished report on the site (by E. Howe) is referred to on ADS and in the British and Irish Bibliography but is not currently available on line. This is an original assessment report, the text unmodified since 2001. It should be noted that the drawings, which were produced for my (MST's) own use, have slightly more detailed fabric codes than the submitted report. These suggest, for certain pot types at Shopwyke, a real difference between Middle and Late Iron Age flint-tempered fabrics, which, if studied properly, would have informed both our understanding of the site and the region's Middle and Late Bronze Age pottery generally.
Mike Seager Thomas
added an update
As of July 19th, 2019, Mike Seager Thomas is no longer accepting pottery assembagles for analysis.
 
Mike Seager Thomas
added a research item
The results of fieldwalking survey at Abinger, Surrey, UK, with a pottery report suggesting the former presence of a midden or destroyed building of Late Bronze Age date.
Mike Seager Thomas
added a research item
Recent archaeological work on the Selsey peninsular has identified a previously unidentified settlement of Late Bronze Age date. Two feature concentrations, including pits and post-holes, are being studied. The finds made so far include important assemblages of pottery, stone and charred material. In the present paper, these are examined in context, and their implications for our understanding of local site organization and the economy of the south-east during the Late Brtonze Age discussed
Mike Seager Thomas
added a project goal
I (MST) invented this 'project' as a way of gathering together in an easily accessible way the many reports written by me and my colleagues on the prehistoric pottery of south central and southeast England and posted on Researchgate.
My personal involvement with this material has been as a freelance archaeologist/ finds specialist and independent researcher, working to improve his knowledge, analyses and reporting. In 20-odd years of work, I estimate that have looked at over 200 prehistoric pottery assemblages, and reported on 150, most of these newly excavated or reported on at an early stage in the study of British prehistoric pottery.
Through this I have developed new ways of discussion and presentation, and, hopefully, made a significant contribution to our knowledge of the material. Owing to changes in the organization of developer-funded archaeology, which, more and more, is taking finds analysis and reporting 'in house', this work has now come to an end.
 
Mike Seager Thomas
added 36 research items
Excavations by the Society at Norton in the Bishopstone Valley, East Sussex, revealed a pit complex, a working hollow, a grave, a stove filled with burnt stones, a midden and a horizontal terrace of Middle Iron Age (MIA) date. The evidence suggests, in addition, that a non post-built house may have been located within the area of the excavation. Traces of Late Iron Age (LIA) activity were also found. Among the finds made were two chronologically sequential groups of saucepan pottery, a potin coin (from a MIA context), a sherd of Campanian amphora, and an assemblage of non-local stone. By adding to our knowledge of the form and chronology of the Sussex Iron Age, the understanding of Iron Age Norton that these discoveries make possible clarifies the county’s relationship to the period outside Sussex — and to other periods within it — and in so doing develops our knowledge of the period as a whole.
The excavation at Glynde yielded approximately 5 and a half kilograms of prehistoric pottery. Three traditions and three periods are represented, Peterborough Ware, which dates to the Middle Neolithic, Deverel-Rimbury, which dates to the Middle Bronze Age, and early post Deverel-Rimbury, which dates to the Late Bronze Age, and dominates the assemblage. The bulk of the material (and probably the bulk of the features as well) are Late Bronze Age (487 sherds weighing c. 4.3 kilograms), with the Peterborough Ware tradition represented by sherds from three and — possibly — four features only (c. 1.1 kilogram), and Deverel-Rimbury by sherds from one only (18 sherds weighing 125 grams). In addition a handful of contexts yielded hard sandy Roman-British and East Sussex wares. Comprising small undiagnostic sherds, present in ones and twos only, these latter are not discussed here.
Excavation by Development Archaeology Services at Westbourne, West Sussex, has uncovered a small pit containing an unusually fine assemblage of Neolithic Peterborough ware pottery, including one of only two complete Peterborough ware profiles found in the county to date. This paper discusses their internal and external relationships. Features and pottery of these sorts are widely seen as ritual or symbolic rather than functional (e.g. Drewett 2003; Thomas 1999). The evidence from Westbourne points, however, not to ritual or symbolic practices as an explanation of Peterborough ware pits locally, but to everyday domestic routine.