Medieval and Later Pottery from Aldwark and Other Sites


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Catherine M. Brooks
Is Part Of
The Archaeology of York [Series]
The Pottery [Volume]
Council for British Archaeology for York Archaeological Trust
Date Copyrighted
Date Available
Digitally available on 17 November 2023
The excavation of a site adjacent to 1-5 Aldwark in 1976-7 by York Archaeological Trust has provided a quantity of well-stratified pottery dating from the 11th to the 18th century. The site, inside the line of the Roman and medieval city walls, produced evidence of a series of buildings on the Aldwark Street frontage, with large areas of open ground to the rear. The two main problems encountered in the study of this material are the lack of independent dating evidence, apart from one radiocarbon-dated feature from the 11th century, and the large quantities of residual pottery in each phase. A discussion of methodology is followed by sections on the main archaeological periods; for each period the archaeological evidence is summarised and the main fabric types listed and discussed. In several cases, periods can be given chronological subdivisions on the basis of the pottery. Seriographs are used to illustrate the changing proportions of pottery types through time, both for complete periods and for selected context groups. These sections are followed by a list of the pottery types occurring on the site in which the fabrics and forms are described and discussed. A short concluding section draws attention to the rarity or absence of certain types of imported wares, which may have socio-economic implications for the site, although detailed comparisons will have to be made with other sites in York before any far-reaching inferences can be made. There are pottery drawings and an accompanying catalogue which lists the context groups for each period, describes the illustrated pottery and enumerates the remaining sherds from each group. The pottery from a site at 2 Aldwark, excavated in 1978 and 1979-80, is dealt with in a similar manner. The sequence is shorter than that from 1-5 Aldwark, and runs from the late 13th to the 18th century. There are again problems of residuality and lack of independent dating evidence. The archaeological levels on this site are, in contrast to those at 1-5 Aldwark, largely internal deposits. The differences between internal and external levels are reflected to some extent in the pottery. Excavations at 21-33 Aldwark (Ebor Brewery) have produced much material; the pottery from Areas IV, VI, VIII and IX, excavated in 1973-4, is considered here. The pottery ranged in date from the Anglo-Scandinavian period to the 19th century, but the nature of the site recording and lack of phasing evidence preclude the production of a full pottery report. Selected pottery groups from these areas have been used, together with groups from 34 Shambles (below) and 37 Bishophill Senior (AY 16/1), to produce a seriograph illustrating proportions of contemporary pottery between the late 10th/early 11th century and the early 13th century. This gives a more detailed picture than that obtained at 1-5 Aldwark for this period. Also included in this fascicule is an account of an unstratified, though internally consistent, group of late 12th—early 13th century pottery from a watching brief at 34 Shambles in 1974. The group includes several sherds of industrial pottery which had been used to melt glass on the site. Finally, there is a short report on pottery from excavations by York Excavation Group at 11-13 Parliament Street in 1971. The pottery comprises two stratified groups, dated to the 12th century and the second half of the 13th century or slightly later.
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York Archaeological Trust
CC BY 4.0
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