Talk by Adam Sutton: Late Iron Age/ Early Romano-British pottery. Title to be confirmed.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 19:30 to 21:00

'Revolutionary' Ideas: Seeing society in the ceramic technology of the Later Iron Age of Berkshire and Hampshire
Our final talk of the 2016-2017 will be by Adam Sutton, who is pursuing PhD research at Reading. Our recent finds at Abinger, coupled with what we now know were similar finds made at St Martha’s several years ago, as well as discoveries at Ashtead, Chiddingfold and Charlwood, have raised our interest in Late Iron Age pottery. At the same time reanalysis of finds from Surrey hillforts has drawn fresh attention to Middle and Late Iron Age pottery in our area. The identification of fragments of a Worms Heath (Chelsham) quern at Ashtead and that industry itself also illustrates early contact with the Roman world in our area so this talk will be of considerable interest to us.
Adam outlines his talk as follows:
The talk will deal with the results from part of my ongoing PhD research into Later Iron Age (c.400/300 BC-AD 69) ceramic technology in southern Britain, and will focus on changes in pottery production at the interface of the 'Middle' and 'Late' Iron Ages. The Middle Iron Age (c.400/300-150/50 BC) is defined by assemblages with a limited range of simple, handmade vessel types with exclusively insular characteristics – most prominently the straight-sided 'saucepan pot' - which change in the Late Iron Age (c.150/50 BC-AD 69) to include a somewhat wider range of continentally-inspired types, many of which are wheel-fashioned and produced in novel fabrics. Traditionally interpreted in terms of economic advancement, these technological changes come at a time in which there is far wider evidence of social and political upheaval in southern Britain, including the decline in use of hillforts, the establishment of oppida such as Silchester, and the first examples of contact with the Roman world. Using a new database combining fabric analysis with detailed consideration of vessel forming techniques this study aims to expand our appreciation of these processes of technological development by acknowledging the social component of technical systems, leading to new insights into how producers sought to define their communal and individual identities in this rapidly changing cultural landscape.

Postal Address: 
Letherhead Institute
67 High Street
KT22 8AH