Vessel containing the Bredon Hill Roman Coin Hoard

Jane Evans, Senior Finds Specialist at Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service, was the first pottery expert to examine the hoard vessel.  She compiled this initial report in July 2011, shortly after hoard was found.

The jar containing the hoard was in fragments, possibly as a result of plough damage, and had not been washed. It was, however, possible to estimate its original profile and thus its form and date. It was a narrow-mouthed jar, with a diameter of 110mm, in Severn Valley ware, WHEAS Fabric 12 (Hurst and Rees 1992; http://www.worcestershireceramics.org ), the most common fabric produced and used in the region during the Roman period.

This particular form, with a simple out-curving rim and globular profile, is thought to be a long-lived type, dating from the mid 1st century AD to the 4th century AD (Webster 1976, fig. 1.1). It was the most common narrow-mouthed jar type produced at the Malvern, Newland Hopfields kiln site (Evans et al 2000, fig. 21.JNM1), where the main period of production was dated to the mid-to-late 2nd into the 3rd century (op. cit. 70).

The most interesting parallel, in terms of dating and perhaps the wider context of deposition, comes from excavations at Bays Meadow villa in Droitwich (Barfield 2006). The complete profile of a similar jar is published from Phase 3 (op. cit. fig. 97.116). This phase has a clear terminus post quem of c AD 289, based on coins associated with the construction of a defensive rampart (op. cit. 125-6). It is thought that the main villa was destroyed sometime in the late 3rd century, and new building occurred from c AD 355. No good parallels for the jar are evident in the later 4th century, phase 4, assemblage from Bays Meadow.

Based on the evidence presented above, the form of the jar associated with the hoard is consistent with the date of the coins it contained. However, the stratigraphic position of the hoard suggests a later date for the burial, and for the jar.

Jane Evans is an archaeological pottery expert working for Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archeology Service.  More research can be found in the online database of Worcestershire Ceramics.

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