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VESSEL

Unique ID: LIN-DD5EC7

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

690 sherds, mainly of Middle Saxon date, recovered during field-walking. Paul Blinkhorn provides the following report.

The assemblage has a total weight of 15,180g. The estimated vessel equivalent (EVE), by summation of surviving rimsherd circumference was only measured for the Ipswich Ware assemblage, and is 2.89 The following pottery types were noted.

Badorf-type ware, 8th - 11th century (Blackmore 2003, 241). Rhenish import. Vessels typically jugs, along with small quantities of relief-band amphorae with thick applied strips, both vessel types often rouletted. 3 sherds, 40g.

Ipswich Ware, AD720-850 (Blinkhorn 2012) Middle Saxon, slow-wheel made ware, manufactured exclusively in the eponymous Suffolk wic. There are two main fabric types, although individual vessels which do not conform to these groups also occur: 406 sherds, 9834g, EVE = 2.89.

Miscellaneous Romano-British Wares. Mostly Grey Wares, although a single sherd of Samian Ware and another of Grog-tempered ware were also present. 32 sherds, 1004g.

Early/Middle Saxon Hand-built Wares, 5th - 9th century. Mostly sand-tempered, although a few sherds with visible chaff-temper were also present. 27 sherds, 490g.

Late Saxon Sandy Wares, mid 9th - 11th century. Wheel-thrown sandy wares similar to those in the Torksey-type Ware and Lincoln Late Saxon Sandy Ware traditions (Young and Vince 2005). 28 sherds, 553g.

Miscellaneous Shelly Wares. Most of the shelly wares have had all their calcareous component leached out, making exact identification extremely difficult, although around twenty rimsherds were present, some of which are broadly dateable (see below). 98 sherds, 1392g.

Miscellaneous Medieval Wares, c 1200 - 1600. Mainly Toynton-type Wares (McCarthy and Brooks 1988, 259), along with small quantities of Grimston ware (Leah 1994). 96 sherds, 1867g.

Discussion

The assemblage of Ipswich Ware is the largest known from a site outside East Anglia, other than from the wics of London and York. It is the largest from Lincolnshire, including that excavated at the settlement at Flixborough (Blinkhorn. 2009). That assemblage comprised 282 sherds (weight = 8112g, EVE = 2.28), and although this material is more fragmented due to being entirely unstratified (mean sherd weight = 24.2g; Flixborough: mean wt = 28.8g), this group exceeds the Flixborough material in both weight (9,834g) and EVE (2.89). All the other known assemblages from the county comprise less than ten sherds each (Blinkhorn 2012, 82), other than the site at Fishtoft, which yielded forty-nine (Cope-Faulkner, 2012).

The rim assemblage comprised entirely jars (EVE = 2.23; 77%) and pitchers (EVE = 0.66; 23%). The jar rim assemblage consisted of 75% 'small jars (ie those with a rim diameter of 160mm or less) and 25% 'large' vessels (rim dimater greater than 160mm). Thus, the assemblage comprised 58% small jars, 19% large jars and 23% pitchers. In East Anglia, small jars usually make up around 80-90% of any assemblage, whereas pitchers and large jars occur more frequently at sites outside the kingdom (Blinkhorn 2012). It is worthy of note that this site has produced one of the highest proportions of pitchers at any known site, and similar to that at Flixborough, although the proportion of large jars is not as high (ibid. 32). It is possible however that some of the rims from this site identified as small jars may in fact be from pitchers, but lacking evidence of spouts or handles, as Ipswich ware pitchers are usually fairly small, with a mean rim diameter of around 150mm (ibid. 63).

The presence of the imported Badorf Ware sherds is worthy of note. They all appear to be from pitchers or jars, including a rim with rouletted decoration, a fairly typical products of the tradition. Imported middle Saxon continental wares are rare away from the ports of entry such as Ipswich and London. A wide range of imported pottery types was noted at Lincoln (Young and Vince 2005, 39-41), but Badorf-type Wares were not present. Continental imports, including Badorf Ware were present at Flixborough, but such pottery is otherwise very rare in Lincolnshire, with the few other sites which have produced them only yielding one or two sherds, such as Riby Crossroads (Steedman 1994). Nationally, their main occurrence at inland sites tends to be at sites with ecclesiastical connections such as North Elmham (Wade-Martins 1977) or 'lordly' settlements, such as Flixborough or Wicken Bonhunt in Essex (Wade 1980). Their presence here, allied with the large quantity of Ipswich ware, suggests very strongly that this was a site of some wealth and status in the middle Saxon period.

The shelly ware assemblage, as noted above, is in the main somewhat abraded, with most of the sherds having had the calcareous component leached out. The range of rims indicates that vessels of both middle and late Saxon date were present. For example, simple, hand-built vessels with upright rims and pierced lugs similar to those found on middle Saxon Maxey-type Wares (eg. Young and Vince 2005, Fig. 34) are present, as are a few everted and lid-seated examples from wheel-thrown late Saxon shelly wares similar to Lincoln Kiln-type Wares (ibid. Figs. 45 - 6), although the latter are relatively few in number. Even when combined with the late Saxon sandy wares, the late Saxon wares are relatively few in number, and indicate that the main period of Anglo-Saxon activity at the site ended not long after the introduction of such pottery, probably in the second half of the ninth century. A similar pattern was noted at Brandon in Suffolk, a site which produced over 20,000 sherds of Ipswich Ware, but just a few hundred late Saxon Thetford-type sherds, with the settlement moving a few hundred metres at some point in the second half of the ninth century. Given that the wics also went into rapid decline at this tie, the disruption due to the Viking raids and invasion was almost certainly a factor in this.

Bibliography

Blackmore, L, 2003 The Pottery in G Malcolm and D Bowsher with R Cowie Middle Saxon London. Excavations at the Royal Opera House 1989-99 MoLAS Monograph 15, 225-40

Blinkhorn, P, 2009 Ipswich Ware in DH Evans and C Loveluck (eds) Life and Economy at Early Medieval Flixborough, c. AD 600-1000: The Artefact Evidence Excavations at Flixborough 2, 357-64

Blinkhorn, P, 2012 The Ipswich ware project: Ceramics, trade and society in Middle Saxon England Medieval Pottery Research Group Occasional Paper 7

Cope-Faulkner, P, 2012 Clampgate Road, Fishtoft. Archaeology of a Middle Saxon Island Settlement in the Lincolnshire Fens Lincolnshire Archaeology & Heritage Series Report 10

Leah, M, 1994, The Late Saxon and Medieval Pottery Industry of Grimston, Norfolk: Excavations 1962-92. E Ang Archaeol Rep 64

McCarthy, MR and Brooks, CM, 1988 Medieval Pottery in Britain AD900-1600 Leicester University Press

Steedman, K 1994 Excavation of a Saxon Site at Riby Crossroads, Lincolnshire Archaeol J, 151, 212-306

Wade-Martins, P, 1980 Excavations in North Elmham Park, 1967-72 E Ang Archaeol, 9, 413-78

Wade, K, 1980 A settlement site at Bonhunt Farm, Wicken Bonhunt, Essex, in DG Buckley (ed.), Archaeology in Essex to AD1500, CBA Research Report 34 , 96-102

Young, J, and Vince, A, with Nailor, V, 2005 A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Pottery from Lincoln Lincoln Archaeological Studies 7

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: ROMAN
Period to: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 690
Weight: 15180 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 1st January 2012

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Adam Daubney
Identified by: Dr Adam Daubney

Materials and construction

Primary material: Ceramic
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Lincolnshire (County)
District: East Lindsey (District)
To be known as: East Lindsey

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Fieldwalking
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LIN
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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