Most Roman pottery, however, consisted of coarse sandy greywares which were used for cooking, storage and other daily functions.
By the early 5th century, the art of pottery manufacture with a wheel had been lost (or was simply not required) in Britain.
Stamford is the major exception, continuing into the 13th century.
Middle Saxon pottery in East Anglia and Northumbria was made on a slow wheel, but elsewhere in Britain it was still handmade.
The following is a basic introduction to pottery in archaeology, focusing particularly on the ceramics of the medieval period.
The bibliography at the end provides references to more detailed and comprehensive sources.
Rural potteries probably only operated part-time and the potters were peasants who spent most of their time farming.Inclusions in the pottery, to prevent shrinkage in the kiln, vary between geological regions.Differences in style and fabric helps pottery specialists to identify vessels which are not of local manufacture.Occasionally whole vessels are found, particularly where they have been used as grave goods or cremation 'urns'.These are important in providing us with a type series of vessel forms, although broken vessels can be just as useful for this. The clay from which it is made often contains pieces of burnt flint or other stone and the pottery appears very coarse.Potters are very rarely mentioned in documentary evidence before the Late Medieval period, and were probably some of the lowest-status craftsmen.