Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Central Gaulish fine micaceous wares

Platters, jars and flagons in fine textured micaceous wares, red, white or mica-slipped, produced in Central Gaul and distributed there and occasionally in northern Gaul and southern Britain during the late 1st century BC and early 1st century AD.

Fabric and technology

Fairly hard, fine-textured, with slightly irregular fracture; red-brown (2.5YR 5/6) with grey core in thicker sherds; inclusions of well-sorted fine sand (containing quartz and feldspar), larger rounded brown clay pellets, and some golden mica (more visible in the surfaces). Wheel-thrown. Three variants:

red slip

cream slip

golden micaceous slip.

Forms

The three fabric variants are employed for different forms:

Fabric Form Description Cam.
A P1 Platter 1
B F1 Flagon
B F2 Flagon
B F3a Flagon
B F3b Flagon 165
C J1 Moulded-rim jar 102

Chronology

Flagon F1 found in early Augustan Welwyn Garden City burial; most other examples pre-Claudian and little evidence of post-conquest importation.

Source

Probably from the middle Loire valley, perhaps the Orléans region where the local assemblage includes a coarser version of the fabric described here, which is not found in Britain (,2).

Distribution

Common in Orléans region, and north into Paris basin; also at Rouen, suggesting trade along the Seine. In Britain, concentrated in two groups, centered on Hampshire and Herts/Essex.

Aliases

Leicester fabric WS1.

Bibliography

Rigby and Freestone 1986; Rigby and Freestone 1988; Tyers (forthcoming) .

References

Rigby and Freestone 1986. Rigby, V. and Freestone, I., ‘The petrology and typology of the earliest identified Central Gaulish imports’, Journal of Roman Pottery Studies, 1, (1986), pp. 6-21.

Rigby and Freestone 1988. Rigby, V. and Freestone, I., ‘The Introduction of Roman styles and techniques into Roman Britain: a case study from the King Harry Lane cemetery St Albans.’ in Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology., ed. E. V. Sayre, Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 123, Materials Research Society, (1988), pp. 109-115.

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

Distribution of Central Gaulish fine micaceous wares in Britain
Roman Pottery in Britain (Tyers 1996)
  • Fabric code: CGSF (p.142)
National Roman Fabric Reference Collection
(Dore & Tomber 1998, Museum of London Archaeology Service Monograph 2)
  • Fabric code: CNG TN (Central Gaulish (Micaceous) Terra Nigra, p.11).
  • Fabric code: CNG TR (Central Gaulish (Micaceous) Terra Rubra, p.12).
Thumbnail images
Central Gaulish fine micaceous wares
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