Coarseware?

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figgis
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Got loads of pottery bits and pieces but I'm particularly fond of this little base sherd which, not to put too fine a point on it, is as rough as guts. It's blackened on the outside, so presumably cookware, but I've picked up a few pieces of this type and an ID would be very much appreciated :thumbsup:
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Pottery Man
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Figgis.... crackin good photo in the close-up of an Iron-Age sherd just like the stuff I was digging in the 1970's as Severn Valley or Malvern stuff. You don't say where you picked your piece up, but Norfolk appears in the outline.
If you found it in Norfolk, then I need to find a source of quartz-gritted clay and it needs to be alluvial because the quartz is not freshly crushed, but water-tumbled and a little sparse, rather like a natural mix of sandy clay and river-quartz (Thetford and Grimes Graves sources flint which is the same chemistry but a visually different pure silica grit).
We need confirmation that the piece was not wheel-thrown but hand-formed like kids do at primary school. If it was wheel-thrown, I would have looked at post-Roman stuff. Post Roman (they left slowly after 450 and said to be gone by 460) and the Saxon or indigenous population continued making grey wares in the manner of pre-Roman stuff but still using kick-wheels or momentum wheels that the Romans introduced. So, post Roman tends to be wheel-made but not all, by any means. Names to look for St Neots/Thetford/Ipswich wares (grey and crunchy but firing was not always hard enough) and these names derived from the places where stuff was first found rather than the exclusive place that it was made.
Thankfully, the gritty burnished wares were made in several areas of central England and even in the south-west, with each find area tending to call it as black-burnished or by its 'temper', like shelly/sandy/smooth/coarse/quartz-tempered. The burnishing was not to polish the surface but more to compress the open grain to achieve a better surface without serious holes.
Your piece would not have been out of place on our late Iron-Age Severn-Valley site, but look at the Peterborough finds and some of the Wensum(Norwich) and coastal find sites of East Anglia.
It is a much easier task when dealing with early sherds to know where they were from and whether there may be other similar sherds in the immediate surroundings. It is tempting to dismiss single tasty items on surface finds as erratics or lost items from a historic pocket.
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figgis
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Wow, thank you for such detailed information! I can only apologise for omitting some of mine, namely the find spot which I'd forgotten to add :oops:

It was found on a site in north Suffolk, approximately 30 miles south of Norwich. This site has been producing mainly greyware, some flue tile, and what I think is Roman roof tile. The metal finds are mainly Roman, with a smaller amount from Saxon onwards.
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Lots of that area was once a populated part of England, and I've looked at a couple of scatters of later material near ....(?)Hoxne, along a river of sorts on the way to Eye. Roman and civil war with lots in between. Metal detectorists had found a WW2 crash-site not far away. Lots of alloy scrap in the soil. The land-owner thought the area had only been under the plough for a few years with a change of ownership. It floods easily.
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