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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Recommended Reading.
by Norman Cook.

One of the commonest finds on any Roman site is pottery and it provides one of the most useful guides to the dating of excavations. It follows that any student wishing to become an effective archaeologist must obtain an expert knowledge of the subject and this entails frequent handling of great quantities of material. But even the humblest digger will find his work more fascinating if he (or she) gets at least a working knowledge of the subject. Two handbooks which give a bare outline of the subject have been published recently.

  1. Types of Roman Coarse Ware Pottery Vessels in Northern Britain, by J P Gillam, published by the Oriel Press Ltd, 27 Ridley Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8LH. Price 7 shillings and 6 pence.

  2. Roman Samian Ware by B R Hartley, price 5 shillings and 3 pence post free and obtainable from Bernard Barr, Esq, SB Section, 96 Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, Middlesex.

    This is an off-print from "The Archaeology of Roman Britain (Methuen 1969, price 4 and 4 shillings), a book which is a fascinating mine of authoritative information about the buildings, earthworks, pottery, brooches and other small finds of the Roman period.

The book on Coarse Wares should be used with caution. The descriptions of pottery are excellent but the dating does not always hold good for similar pots in the south-east of Britain and, of course, pots from the first 30 and the last 100 years of the Roman occupation of this country are much less common in the North of Britain.

Apart from these limitations, beginners will find this an invaluable book.

Having studied both of these books thoroughly, the reader will still only have an elementary knowledge of the subject, but at least he will have some idea of what the experts are talking about.

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