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Constructing Calleva: a multidisciplinary study of the production, distribution, and consumption of ceramic building materials at the Roman town of Silchester, Hampshire

Machin, S. L. (2018) Constructing Calleva: a multidisciplinary study of the production, distribution, and consumption of ceramic building materials at the Roman town of Silchester, Hampshire. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Ceramic building materials (CBM) typically represent the largest category of artefacts recorded at Romano British sites. As it is subject to selective retention policies, the potential of CBM to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the construction industry and the development of both individual buildings and settlements more generally is often overlooked. This project investigated an urban CBM assemblage, incorporating all forms of CBM recovered. A detailed analysis of the fabric and forms of all the CBM retained from excavations at the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester, has been completed (n=2049). A fabric series of the material has been established and compared with the local geology and known production centres to ascertain raw material sources and potential supply networks. The results have shown a reliance on local raw materials, with London Clay Formation sources dominating the collection (49.68%). Changes in the incidence of fabrics over the life of the Roman town demonstrates that other, more distant sources of material were sought when local supplies were unable to meet demand, such as the production centres at Minety, Wiltshire and Eccles, Kent. Comparison of the fabrics used contemporaneously at the forum-basilica and Insula IX has highlighted the use of different production centres for different building projects. Although relief-patterned flue-tiles have been shown to be part of the regular repertoire of tile makers, not a product of specialist workshops, they nevertheless provide evidence of the complexities of their manufacture and distribution. Footprint evidence gives insight into the environment in the vicinity of the different tileries and the footprints of neonate and young cattle, sheep, and pigs show that small-scale animal husbandry was practised alongside brick and tile production.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Fulford, M.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:80656
Additional Information:Appendices not available in CentAUR

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