Research And Reconstruction

Crambeck Pottery Face Jugs

Comitatus portrays 4th century Romans from the north of Britain. This area was dominated by the Crambeck pottery industry which started in the late third century. But perhaps because of increased demand due to the re-organisation of the northern defences of the province under Theodosius, and perhaps some administrative intervention such as the award of an army contract, the pottery captured virtually the whole of the market in the last thirty years of the fourth century.

It was close to both Malton and York and the river Derwent provided good transport links. Both Oxford clay and boulder clay were used in combination to produce various types of pottery, amongst which crude mask-mouthed flagons were a very small part. But I was lucky enough to buy a reproduced example from Graham Taylor from Potted History, and became very interested in tracking them down.

The standard works show a face mask from kiln II, (E.M. King and M. Moore, “The Romano-British settlement at Crambe, North Yorkshire”, in “Crambeck Roman Pottery Industry” ed. P.R. Wilson 1989.) But an almost complete jug sits in the Yorkshire Museum and during the Comitatus Wall Walk I found another in the Museum at Chesters. Happy me!