Sandy Shelly Ware Medieval pottery from London

A Type-Series of Medieval Pottery archaeological services

Project partner: 
English Heritage

English Heritage funded a research project to create a dated type-series of London’s medieval ceramics. The output was an extensive corpus of medieval pottery, the fifth part of which focussed on Shelly-Sandy ware and the Greyware Industries, carried out by MOLA specialists Jacqui Pearce and Lyn Blackmore.

This corpus is based on years' of archaeological investigation and provides a solid foundation for dating medieval sites in London.

Based on well-dated ceramic material from development-led archaeological sites in London, and in particular kiln waste and production evidence, the research encompassed material from the 12th to 14th centuries. The principal aim was to characterise the fabric of the pottery through thin-section and chemical analysis (Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry). The wider context of the industries was also considered, including stylistic influences, technological developments and patterns of distribution. From this a broader picture and greater understanding of the role and function of these industries in London’s ceramic history emerged.

All of the research and scientific analysis was presented in a fully illustrated monograph ‘A Dated Type-series of London Medieval Pottery Part 5: Shelly-Sandy ware and the Greyware Industries’. The type-series is an invaluable archaeological resource and has been extensively applied as a tool for dating archaeological sites and contexts in the London area.

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