Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

London-Essex stamped wares

Fine textured grey or orange wares with roller stamped decoration produced in the south-east England during the 2nd century AD.

Fabric and technology

Hard, fine fabric, with slightly laminar fracture; dark grey-brown core (5YR 3/1) with distinct orange margins (2/5YR 5/6) and darker, orange-brown (e.g. 5YR 5/4-4/2) surfaces; tempered with abundant fine quartz and occasional specks of dark-red ironstone in a slightly micaceous matrix. External surface finely-burnished; unsmoothed and slightly uneven interior. Traces of thin slip on some specimens. Wheel-thrown.


Principal form is cylindrical bowl with pedestal foot and projecting flange, but other forms include hemispherical bowl (loosely imitating samian Drag. 37). Distinctive decoration of panels of block and circle stamps; also grooves, incised comb decoration and rouletting. Stamps and die links are described by Rodwell (1978).


Production may commence in the Flavian period, but majority seem to be early 2nd cent.


From the potteries in the region of Little and Much Hadham (Herts./Essex border).


The lower Thames basin, with some outliers such as Sea Mills (Rodwell in Bennett 1985, 51).


Chelmsford fabric 19. Colchester fabric GQ. Kent fine fabric 10e.


Rodwell 1978.


Bennett 1985. Bennett, J., Sea Mills. The Roman town of Abonae, Monograph, 3, City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol, (1985).

Rodwell 1978. Rodwell, W. J., ‘Stamp-decorated pottery of the early Roman period in eastern England’ in Early Fine wares in Roman Britain, ed. G. D. Marsh and P. R. Arthur, British archaeological reports. British series, 57, BAR, Oxford, (1978), pp. 225-92.

Distribution of London-Essex stamped wares in Britain
Roman Pottery in Britain (Tyers 1996)
  • Fabric code: LEST (p.169)
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London-Essex stamped wares
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/LEST • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.