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The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: a Handbook

Hand specimen picture panel
Thin section picture panel


Appendix 1: Keywords and Definitions
Appendix 2: Physical Layout of Sherds Housed in the NRFRC


Wattisfield Reduced ware (WAT RE)

Three samples

General appearance

This is a medium to pale grey (6/0–4/0) fabric. It has an irregular fracture, a rough/powdery feel and can be quite soft. Jars, cooking pots, bowls and dishes were made. A common decorative motif is rustication with gashes on the surface.

Hand specimen

The fabric is micaceous, generally with fine well-sorted inclusions measuring <0.1mm, consisting of abundant quartz and common red and black iron-rich grains. These inclusions are occasionally present as larger grains (up to 0.5mm), as are matrix-coloured clay pellets. The surfaces, in particular, are often very micaceous with silver flakes up to 0.4mm.

Thin section

Thin section reveals abundant densely-packed, well-sorted and frequently angular quartz and sparse opaques (0.05–0.1mm) set in an abundantly micaceous clay matrix with muscovite up to 0.5mm. Larger inclusions are infrequent, but occur up to 0.6mm occasionally 1.0mm>, with rare quartz and quartzite and common opaques (sometimes quartz rich) present. Sparse isotropic clay pellets (up to 3.0mm) can also be identified.


The Wattisfield group of kiln sites occurs in the parishes of Hepworth, Hinderclay, Botesdale, Market Weston, Rickinghall Inferior, Rickinghall Superior and Wattisfield in north central Suffolk (J Plouviez, pers comm).


Ipswich Museum


Suffolk County Council Archaeology Section, Bury St Edmunds; Norfolk Museums Service, Gressenhall; Ipswich Museum


Lyons, A, forthcoming Excavations at Scole 1993, East Anglian Archaeol

Maynard, G, Brown, B, Spencer, H E P, Grimes, W F, & Moore, I E, 1936 Reports on a Roman pottery-making site at Foxledge Common, Wattisfield, Suffolk, Proc Suffolk Inst Archaeol Hist 22, 178–97

Rogerson, A, 1977 Excavations at Scole 1973, East Anglian Archaeol 5, 97–224

Williams, D F, 1988b Petrological description, in Burgh: the Iron Age and Roman enclosure (E Martin), East Anglian Archaeol 40, 46

J Plouviez holds unpublished notes and drawings of material from Ipswich Museum
Plate 153: Fresh sherd break of WAT RE (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 153: Fresh sherd break of WAT RE (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 153.1: Photomicrograph of WAT RE (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 153.1: Photomicrograph of WAT RE (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)

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