Types of dating methods in archaeology
However, in the Middle and Late Saxon period (mid-7th to 11th centuries), many potteries were based in towns.Kilns are divided into single, double and multi-flue types. Several experimental kiln firings have been carried out.The latter were often used in cremation cemeteries to hold the ashes of the deceased.Urban potteries, for example in Thetford, Norwich and Ipswich, flourished in the Mid-Late Saxon period with most declining afterwards.Firing was a slow process to raise the temperature gradually to 1000°C. Few workshops have been excavated, but most consist of buildings and sheds which were probably used to store the raw materials and leather-hard pots, as well as a manufacturing area.The same basic techniques were used and the same types of vessel were produced in different areas, but the pottery has a regional character.Highly decorated tableware, including fine red and whitewares, were available during the Early Roman period.Imported wares, such as fine red samian from Gaul, were popular, and wheelmade pottery was manufactured in Britain.
These are important in providing us with a type series of vessel forms, although broken vessels can be just as useful for this. The clay from which it is made often contains pieces of burnt flint or other stone and the pottery appears very coarse.
The similarity between Iron Age and Saxon pottery, particularly in East Anglia, can cause problems where no other dating evidence is available.