Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery


Paul Tyers Roman Pottery in Britain 
First published by B. T. Batsford Ltd (London) 1996.
Reprinted by Routledge in August 1999 and October 2003.
Out of print: November 2005.
ISBN: 0-7134-7412-2 (Batsford) and 0-415-21441-6 (Routledge)

Downloadable bibliography files: in refer and bibtex format.

A wealth of information can be gleaned from the humble pot sherd. It can be used to date sites, assess economic activity and help in an understanding of patterns of trade and manufacture, especially within the Roman Empire.

  • Part I outlines, the development of Roman pottery studies in Britain, the role of ceramic studies in Romano-British archaeology and the history of Roman pottery in Britain
  • Part II presents an Atlas of almost 100 classes of pottery - both local and imported - which were used in the province. Each entry describes, fabric, technology, form, potters’ stamps, dating, source and distribution and is accompanied by a computer-generated map of the British and/or continental distribution, comparative drawings of the pottery forms and a bibliography.
Publication history
  • The book was published by B.T.Batsford in September 1996. Their archaeology titles were subsequently acquired by Routledge, who reprinted the book in 1999 and 2003, the latter being a digital printing (so the reproduction of the images, particularly the photographs, is not as good in the first two printings).
Where to get it
  • The book is now out of print. Copies are very occasionally available through on-line bookshops such as those listed by Abebooks (try this link), or on eBay.
  • The page describing the book on amazon.co.uk claims, erroneously, that there is a Kindle edition. It does however give access to a few pages through the 'Look Inside' facility.
  • Copies held by academic libraries can be tracked down using the Copac and WorldCat databases. The Copac site includes a handy facility for exporting bibliographic records in various formats (Endnote/Refer, Zotero, BibTex etc.).
Further information
  • A section of the text of this book on the subject of Roman amphoras in Britain is available in the journal Internet Archaeology- see the following entry for details.
  • A list of errata and corrigenda (not incorporated in the 1999 and 2003 reprints) and a supplementary index (references to sites outside Great Britain) are available.
  • British Archaeology November 1997, p.12.
    The full text appears online on the CBA web site.
  • Current Archaeology 156, pp. 462-3.
  • Britannia xxix(1998) pp. 447-50.
Other references:
  • The Channel 4 Time Team FAQ:
    ‘pots are classified to such an extent that it is like reading an Ikea catalogue!’
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/publications/index.html?COLLCC=758532050&COLLCC=2664949500 • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.