A full functional range of forms was produced in VER WH (flagons, beakers, jars, bowls, dishes, lids, mortaria), but flagons and mortaria travelled most widely beyond the local region.
This is a cream or off-white (10YR 8/2–8/3) fabric, sometimes with a lightly-coloured core in tones similar to those seen on the surfaces.The surfaces may be mottled, occasionally self slipped, in a range of pink or pale orange or yellow (eg 10YR 8/2, 5YR 7/6, 7.5YR 7/6), or sometimes pale or silver-grey (7.5YR 6/1). A hard fabric, the fracture is invariably hackly (and sometimes laminated) with harsh surfaces. Concentric scoring is sometimes present on the interior of mortaria.
The fabric is characterised by abundant well-sorted quartz inclusions, described as granular, and sometimes iron coated. Most quartz measures between 0.2–0.5mm, although occasional grains to 0.8mm are visible. A dense, clean clay matrix – lacking mica – is typical, although some silt-sized inclusions can be seen in thin section. The only other visible inclusions are red iron-rich fragments, of the same size or smaller than the quartz; some samples have large (to 6.0mm) white and red quartz-rich clay pellets. Trituration grits are common and variably sorted, ranging in size from c 0.5–5.0mm but normally 1.0–3.0mm. Flint, frequently dark, dominates, followed by sparse quartz (some polycrystalline), and even fewer red to red-brown iron-rich or argillaceous inclusions.
The fabric is virtually identical to New Forest White ware 1, but can be distinguished by vessel form, since production of this fabric at Verulamium is likely to have ceased before the New Forest industry began.
A clean clay matrix with sparse silt-sized inclusions is visible in thin section. The field is dominated by abundant well-sorted monocrystalline quartz normally measuring c 0.1–0.5mm, with polycrystalline quartz also common. Opaques, in the same grade as quartz, are sparse, as are flint and feldspar. Trituration grits of flint and quartz, some of which is polycrystalline, correspond to those seen in the hand specimen.
Verulamium Region products are well known from a series of kilns in what is now Greater London and Hertfordshire, including Brockley Hill, Radlett and Verulam Hills Field.
Department of Prehistoric & Romano-British Antiquities, The British Museum; Museum of London
Department of Prehistoric & Romano-British Antiquities, The British Museum; Museum of London (Brockley Hill and London sites); Verulamium Museum, St Albans
Castle, S A, 1972 A kiln of the potter Doinus, Arch J 129, 69–88
Davies, B J, Richardson, B, & Tomber, R S, 1994 The archaeology of Roman London 5. A dated corpus of early Roman pottery from the City of London, CBA Res Rep 98
Devereux, D F, Jones, R F J, & Warren, S E, 1982 X-ray fluorescence analysis of Verulamium region ware, in Proceedings of the 22nd Symposium on Archaeometry, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK, March 30th–April 3rd 1982, 333–42
Hartley, K F, 1972 The mortarium stamps, in Verulamium excavations 1 (S S Frere), Rep Res Comm Soc Antiq London 28, 371–81
Hartley, K F, 1984c The mortarium stamps, and The mortaria from Verulamium: a summary, in Verulamium excavations 3 (S S Frere), Oxford Univ Comm Archaeol Monogr 1, 280–91 and 292–3
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Suggett, P G, 1954 Excavations at Brockley Hill, Middlesex, March 1952 to May 1953, Trans London Middlesex Archaeol Soc 11, 259–76
Tyers, P A, 1983 Verulamium region type white-ware fabrics from London, Early Roman Pottery from the City of London 4, MoL Archive Rep
Tyers, P A, & Marsh, G D, 1978 The Roman pottery from Southwark, in Southwark excavations 1972–1974 (eds J Bird, A H Graham, H Sheldon & P Townend), Joint Publ London Middlesex Archaeol Soc/Surrey Archaeol Soc 1, 533–607
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Wilson, M G, 1984 The other pottery, in Verulamium excavations 3 (S S Frere), Oxford Univ Comm Archaeol Monogr 1, 200–66