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Camulodunum type 262, le type Besançon and Central Gaulish granite-tempered ware

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Site name Skeleton Green
location GB Hertfordshire
museum Hertford Museum
Typology Cam 102, Cam 262
Description The Skeleton Green material includes the first substantial group of Central Gaulish jars published in Britain since the Camulodunum report in 1947. Most match the form of Cam.102 but there are a few similar to Cam.262, and a few more unusual forms such as plates (Partridge 1981, fig.51,23) and small beakers without moulded-rims (ibid.,fig.51,20-1).

The petrological report by D.F.Williams (Williams in Partridge 1981, 101-2) describes two wares:

Fabric 1
A reddish brown fabric with plentiful flecks of mica .. Thin-sectioning shows an anisotropic matrix of fired clay containing frequent inclusions of colourless or pale green augite, sanidine and plagioclase felspar, a littlebrown hornblende, some grains of quartz and numerous flecks of mica ..
Fabric 2
Thin-sectioning reveals a scatter of fine-grained sand-stone, a little plagioclase felspar, flecks of mica and numerous grains of quartz (some polycrystalline) ..

Fabric 1 should be linked with the `Standard Fabric' described in 1986 by Rigby and Freestone (1986, 13). The second ware remains more of a mystery, but it should be noted that the Skeleton Green assemblage includes in addition a number of other fabrics, including some rather undiagnostic pieces which show quartz, iron ores and mica in thin-section Clearly a number of sources are responsible for the moulded-rim jars at Skeleton Green, most of which remain unprovenanced.

A typological discussion of the jars by the author (Tyers in Partridge 1981, 102-3) drew attention to Ferdière's 1972 paper on le type Besançon, and suggested an origin in Central Gaul for at least part of the group (contrasting with the suggestions of Italy or the Rhineland given in the petrological report). However, at that time the importance of the various wares of le type Besançon was not given sufficient weight, and the invoking of `Romanizing' influence in the evolution of the Cam.102 jar type can now be seen as rather over-simplistic.

The floruit of the Skeleton Green occupation has been placed in the decades 20 BC - AD 20, thus predating, in part at least, the Sheepen material. Some of the material from the nearby Gatesbury hillfort should be as early this, and the assemblage includes a number of moulded-rim jars (Partridge 1981, Fig.126) and two large dolia type vessels with horizontal reeded rims which should also be Gaulish imports (ibid.,Fig.127). Some of this material is probably in the `Standard Fabric'. but the assemblage would benefit from re-examination in the light of our current knowledge.

Ferdière 1972
Bibliography Partridge 1981
Fabrics(s) TF2 ’Standard fabric‘ - from petrological examination
Show more details of these thin sections
TS ID Image form petrology
6 TF2 ’Standard fabric‘ /rf
7 Cam 102 TF2 ’Standard fabric‘ /rf
8 Cam 102 TF2 ’Standard fabric‘ /rf
9 TF2 ’Standard fabric‘ /rf
10 Plate TF2 ’Standard fabric‘ /rf
11 Cam 102
12 TF2 ’Standard fabric‘ /rf
42 Cam 262
43 Cam 102
45 Cam 262
46 Cam 102
Location map : Skeleton Green
 • Url: http://www.potsherd.org.uk/papers/cgmw/db/site/125 • Author: • Last updated: 29 July, 2004 •