Our single example is green-grey (10YR 7/2) with pale pink margins (5YR 7/4) and buff (10YR 8/3) self-slipped surfaces. It is friable and hard, with a hackly fracture and a rough feel. Only mortaria are known to have been produced in this fabric, which is superficially similar to those produced in the Verulamium region and New Forest (New Forest White ware 1). Forms, belonging to Fishbourne types 284, 293–4 (Holmes & Matthews in press), distinguish HAM WH from Verulamium in some cases, and in all cases from New Forest.
This sherd sample has inclusions that are generally well sorted and quite coarse, containing abundant quartz, sometimes rounded and normally measuring 0.3–0.5mm (occasionally between 0.1–1.0mm); common, rounded black and red-brown iron-rich grains (<0.3mm); and sparse dark grey, quartz-rich clay pellets and flint, both c 2.0mm. On our sample trituration grits are sparse, ill-sorted, dark grey quartz-rich clay pellets measuring 3.5–6.0mm, although Holmes and Matthews (in press) describe them as containing primarily flint and sparse red-brown material and quartz. After thin sectioning, no trituration grits are extant on our sherd and they were not photographed. Other sherds, not included here, can be somewhat finer (0.1–0.3mm) and therefore less hackly in appearance, and may also have a different balance in the trituration grits, containing less flint.
This fabric contains abundant well-sorted quartz, frequently rounded and normally measuring 0.15–0.6mm, set in a groundmass of sparse silt-sized inclusions. Apart from opaques, which are common, additional inclusions in the larger size range comprise sparse quartzite, polycrystalline quartz, flint, ferruginous pellets and rare feldspar. Inclusions measuring between c 1.5–4.0mm, and interpreted as trituration grits, are isotropic quartz-rich clay pellets and, less frequently, ill-sorted sandstone. Voids in the fabric have calcareous margins, but this may represent secondary infilling.
On the basis of vessel distribution, a source in Hampshire is likely, with west Sussex being the only alternative (Holmes & Matthews in press)
Hampshire County Museums Service, Winchester
Winchester Museums Archaeology Section
Cunliffe, B, 1971 Excavations at Fishbourne 1961–1969. 2: The finds, Rep Res Comm Soc Antiq London 27
Hartley, K F, 1991a Mortaria, in Roman finds from Exeter (N Holbrook & P T Bidwell), Exeter Archaeol Rep 4, 189–215
Holmes, K and Matthews, C in press All this of pot and potter: one and a half thousand years of Winchester pottery, excavations 1971-1986