Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Wroxeter mortaria

Mortaria manufactured in Wroxeter region (Salop/GB) with distribution in West Midlands. Wales, northern England and southern Scotland during 2nd century AD.

Fabric and technology

Drab cream fabric, often friable and powdery, with moderate fine quartz; quartz and red-brown and black grits. Wheel-thrown.


Mortaria with low bead and curved flange.


Several named potters are known; also a series of illiterate stamps (e.g.Walker 1958)

Potter Date
DECANIUS 110-160
DOCI .. 140-170
MELUS ii 110-150
VITALIS iii 100-150

Table 1.  Principal Wroxeter mortarium potters


AD 100-70. There is earlier production associated with the legionary fortress (Darling 1977, fig.6.7, 44-5).




The west Midlands and Wales, with occasional examples in the northern frontier zone, perhaps carried by individuals from Wroxeter.


Caersws mortarium fabrics 2 and 6. Gloucester fabric TF9G. JRPS bibliography fabric wxm. Usk mortarium fabric 19.


The principal Wroxeter potters are described in Britnell 1989, 122-3; Manning 1993, 420.


Britnell 1989. Britnell, J., Caersws Vicus, Powys. Excavations at the Old Primary School, 1985-86, British archaeological reports. British series, 205, BAR, Oxford, (1989).

Darling 1977. Darling, M. J., ‘Pottery from early military sites in Western Britain’ in Roman pottery studies in Britain and beyond Papers presented to J. P. Gillam, July 1977, ed. J. Dore and K. T. Greene, British archaeological reports. International series, 30, BAR, Oxford, (1977), pp. 57-100.

Manning 1993. Manning, W. H., The Roman pottery, Report on the excavations at Usk, 1965-1976, University of Wales Press [for] the Board of Celtic Studies of the University of Wales, Cardiff, (1993).

Walker 1958. Walker, I., ‘Excavations on a Romano-British site at Astley, 1956-68’, TWorcsAS, 35, (1958), pp. 29-57.

Distribution of Wroxeter mortaria in Britain
National Roman Fabric Reference Collection
(Dore & Tomber 1998, Museum of London Archaeology Service Monograph 2)
  • Fabric code: WRX OX (Wroxeter Oxidised ware, p.178).
  • Fabric code: WRX RS (Wroxeter Red-slipped ware, p.179).
  • Fabric code: WRX WH (Wroxeter White ware, p.179).
  • Fabric code: WRX WS (Wroxeter White-slipped ware, p.180).
Thumbnail images
Worcestershire ceramics online database
(Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service)
  • Fabric no. 34 (West Midlands mortarium)
Thumbnail images (click for higher resolution):
Wroxeter mortaria
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/WXMO • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.