Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Central Gaulish coarse micaceous ware

Jars and bowls in coarse micaceous red-brown or dark-brown wares abundantly tempered with crushed granite, produced in Central France and with wide but thin distribution across central and northern Gaul and southern Britain during 1st century BC and early 1st century AD.

Fabric and technology

Hard, rough fabric with very irregular fracture; colour ranges from orange- or red-brown through to dark brown, or almost black, but colours towards the middle of the range (2.5YR 6/6 or 2.5YR 4/4) are most common; abundant flakes of biotite mica and very large feldspar inclusions (occasionally over 1cm) prominent in both surface and section; some vessels unevenly smoothed towards rim. Hand-formed.


Principal form is jar, with moulded rim, Cam.~262, and there is a single tripod bowl from Sheepen, Cam.~45A.


Production of this fabric (in larger, heavier forms with incised decorated band on shoulder – class I & II) commences before Caesarian period, perhaps as early as 100 BC and reaches Basel and northern Gaul at this period. The Cam.~262 form develops by c. 15 BC, and distribution expands; no evidence for production after early Tiberian period.


Petrology and distribution suggests a source in Morvan, between the Saône and the upper Loire.


Wide but thin distribution across Gaul; most abundant (and highest proportion of the assemblage) in Burgundy and upper Loire valley.


For historical reasons the Cam.~262 form is known as le type Besanon in the French literature, although it is neither made nor found at Besançon.



Tyers (forthcoming) ; on the Besançon ‘type’ – a conflation of several wares: Ferdière and Ferdière 1972.


Ferdière and Ferdière 1972. Ferdière, A. and Ferdière, M., ‘Introduction à l’etude d’un type céramique: Les urnes à bord mouluré Gallo-Romaines précoces’, RAE, 22, (1972), pp. 77-88.

Tyers (forthcoming). Tyers, P. A., ‘Central Gaulish coarse wares’, forthcoming.

Distribution of Central Gaulish coarse micaceous ware in Britain
Roman Pottery in Britain (Tyers 1996)
  • Fabric code: CGMW (p.142)
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Central Gaulish coarse micaceous ware
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/CGMW • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.