Chronology

The Highgate excavation report defines 4 phases of activity, covering the period from the mid-1st to the mid-2nd century AD.

  1. A small group of jars and beakers in a grog-tempered fabric (HWB) and bead-rim jars in the grog and chaff tempered fabric (HWA), probably dating to the first half of the 1st century AD.

  2. Principally jars, bead-rim jars and hooked-rim bowls in grog-tempered fabric (HWB) associated with twin-flued kilns set in ditches. Mid- to end of 1st century AD.

  3. Jars, bowls and barbotine decorated beakers (poppy beakers) in grey sand-tempered fabrics (HWC), associated with above ground single-flued kilns. Early to mid 2nd century AD.

  4. Jars, bowls and beakers in grey sand-tempered wares (HWC, HWC+), principally associated with an above ground kiln with a flue arched in brick. Mid-2nd century AD.

A summary of the pottery from the site is on pp. 99-101 of the final report, with summary illustrations on pp. 103-106 [(Brown & Sheldon 2018: 99–106) – this section is also available here as a pdf (844 Kb).

The non-local pottery from the site (terra sigillata etc) and its chronological implications is summarised on pp. 86-88, and available here as a pdf (312 Kb).

Fabrics

The 1974 interim report introduced a three-way division of the Highgate fabrics, based on their principal fillers of grass or straw (fabric A), grog (B) and sand (C) (Brown & Sheldon 1974). This classification formed the basis of the subsequent discussions of the Highgate material and, with some refinements and extensions, is followed here. Simple abbreviations – HWA, HWB and HWC – are employed in this report as shorthand for these fabric groups.

HWA
Vesicular wares, with abundant pores in the matrix and marks in the surface caused by burnt-out vegetable material in the original clay mix.
HWB
Grog-tempered wares, orange-brown or dark grey-brown in color.
HWBR
Grog-tempered wares with burnished red-slipped surfaces.
HWC
Grey sand-tempered wares, often with a white slip applied to the upper part of jars and beakers.
HWB/C
Transitional grog-and sand tempered fabrics.
HWC+
Grey sand-tempered wares (as HWC) with additional large rounded sand inclusions.

The full fabric descriptions are on pp.92-3 of the final report, with photographs of the fabrics on pp.94-98. (Brown & Sheldon 2018: 92–98) – this section is also available here as a pdf (896 Kb).

References

Brown, A.E. & H.L. Sheldon. 1974. Highgate Wood: The Pottery and its Production London Archaeologist 2: 223–31.

Brown, A.E. & H.L. Sheldon. 2018. The Roman Pottery Manufacturing Site in Highgate Wood: Excavations 1966-78. Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 43. Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology.