Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Nene Valley mortaria

Mortaria manufactured in the Nene Valley potteries (Hunts/GB) from 2nd to 4th centuries AD; wide distribution in eastern England.

Fabric and technology

Hard, off-white fabric with light grey or pink core, often a brown or yellowish slip; inclusions of fine red-brown and black particles and variable amounts of quartz. Gritted with abundant crushed dark grey or black iron silicate slag. Wheel-thrown.

Forms

Mortaria, with flange and high bead or reeded rim.

Stamps

During the 2nd cent. there are a few named potters, but stamping ceases by c. AD 180. Distribution on .

Potter Date
CAMULACUS iii 130-160
CUNOARDA 130-180
DOBALLUS 140-180 <- MHMO?
VEDIACUS 140-180
VIATOR 110-145

Table 1.  Principal Nene valley mortarium potters, AD 110-180

Chronology

Earliest mortaria date to c. AD 110, and production continues into 4th cent.

Source

The Castor-Stibbington area in the lower Nene Valley. The stamps of Cunoarda read CUNOARDA [FECIT] VICO DUROBRI[VIS] and a painted inscription on another mortarium reads SENNIANVS DUROBRIVIS VRI[..] (/ 2495.1; Howe et al. 1980, 3).

Distribution

Eastern England, as far as the northern frontier, but abundant in the east Midlands and a major source for East Anglia during 3rd-4th cent (Darling 1993, 202-3).

Aliases

Chelmsford fabric 24. Chesterfield fabric m17. Colchester fabrics TE and TF. Gestingthorpe mortarium fabrics K-L. Great Chesterford mortarium fabrics 16 and 17. JRPS bibliography fabric nvm. Leicester fabric MO6. Lullingstone fabric 42. Milton Keynes fabric 4f. Kent mortarium fabric 8. Towcester mortarium fabric 8b.

Bibliography

RCHM gazetteer 95-7, F366-86; production summarized in Howe et al. 1980.

References

Darling 1993. Darling, M. J., Caister-on-Sea Excavations by Charles Green, 1951-55, EAA, 60, (1993).

Howe et al. 1980. Howe, M. D., Perrin, J. R. and Mackreth, D. F., Roman pottery from the Nene Valley: a guide, Occasional paper, 2, Peterborough City Museum and Art Gallery, Peterborough, (1980).

Distribution of Nene Valley mortaria in Britain
Roman Pottery in Britain (Tyers 1996)
  • Fabric code: NVMO (p.127)
Thumbnail images (click for higher resolution):
National Roman Fabric Reference Collection
(Dore & Tomber 1998, Museum of London Archaeology Service Monograph 2)

The online version of the NRFRC hosted by the Museum of London Archaeology Service was removed in December 2014.
For updates see here.

  • Fabric code: LNV WH (Lower Nene Valley White ware, p.119).
Thumbnail images
The pottery kilns of Roman Britain (Swan 1984)
Kilns producing this ware are located at:
  • Sibson Cum Stibbington (Hunts)
Further details of these sites are available through the link above, and are summarized and mapped here.
Nene Valley mortaria
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/NVMO • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.