Pre-Roman and Roman Winchester - Vol. 2

By Giles Clarke; J. L. MacDonald et al. | Go to book overview

18 ECONOMIC CONCLUSIONS

ALTHOUGH this study of the Lankhills finds has been concerned mainly with typology and chronology, it must not be forgotten that apart from the skeletal material, they are all industrial products. Potentially, they will reveal the changing fortunes of the industries which produced them. At Lankhills vessels, personal ornaments, and coffins were recovered in sufficient quantity and were well enough dated for the drawing of inferences about the industries behind them to be a practical possibility.

Of the vessels from the Lankhills graves, ninety-one were pottery, seventeen glass, and three pewter.1 Most of the pottery vessels were discovered in graves datable to 310-50.2 Few were found in later burials, and only seven came from the hundred or so graves to the east of Feature 12, which were all datable to after c. 370. By contrast, two of the three pewter vessels were buried after 350,3 and no more than three of the glasses were found in graves definitely datable before then.4 Six glasses came from east of Feature 12, which means that as many glasses as pots were buried in that later fourth- century area. Turning specifically to the pottery, of the colour-coated pots datable before c. 350, nineteen were made in the local New Forest kilns and eleven further away in Oxfordshire.5 By contrast, of those datable to the later fourth century, seventeen came from the New Forest and only one or perhaps two from Oxfordshire. Many of these colour-coated pots, from whatever source, were variously decorated with barbotine, painting, rouletting, and incision. There are fifteen decorated pots among the thirty datable before c. 350, but only three among the nineteen examples of later date.

These changes suggest that towards the year 400 the specialised production and widespread distribution of pottery was in decline. This is generally consistent with Fulford's work on New Forest pottery, for he has suggested that the total New Forest production was much lower in the later fourth century, that there were then fewer types, and that, as at Lankhills, decoration was becoming less common.6 It is also consistent with appearance of hand-made glass-tempered pottery, which was certainly being lost at Lankhills by c. 390-410, for a sherd was found in the filling of Feature 40.7 Lankhills is unusual, however, in showing a decline in Oxfordshire products; at Portchester Castle these became more, not less, common in the later fourth century.8 The difference between Portchester and Lankhills is perhaps to be explained by sampling error, and especially by the lack of the more common Oxfordshire bowls in the cemetery.9

The coffins suggest an equally consistent pattern. First, the custom of using coffins declined; 92 per cent of the graves west of Feature 12 had a coffin, compared with only 52 per cent in Area O.10 Second, the average number of nails also fell; west of Feature 12, 77 per cent of the coffins had more than ten nails, while in Area O the figure was only 47 per cent.11 Third, the nails themselves became marginally shorter; 43 per cent of the coffins west of Feature 12 had nails averaging more than 80-90 mm in length, against 33 per cent in Area O.12 Taken together, these observations show a decline in

____________________
1
Vessels found with the skeleton and coffin in intact or partially excavated inhumations: cf. above, p. 149.
10
See above, p. 143.
11
See above, p. 337.
12
See above, p. 333.
2
For the pottery, see above, pp. 221-37.
3
See above, pp. 206-7.
4
See above, pp. 209-20.
5
Cf. above, pp. 221-37. Figures compiled from Dr. Fulford's attributions and from dates based on site evidence and the pots themselves.
6
Fulford 1975a, 114-16 and Figs. 38 and 39.
7
See above, p. 238.
8
Fulford 1975a, 114-16.
9
Compare Table 32 with ibid. Figs. 57 and 58.

-345-

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Pre-Roman and Roman Winchester - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Author's Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Figures xvii
  • List of Tables xxi
  • List of Abbreviations xxiii
  • Introduction li
  • Part I - The Excavation 1
  • 1 - Circumstances of Excavation 1
  • 2 - Archaeological Background 4
  • 3 - General Character of the Excavation 12
  • 4 - The Graves *
  • 5 - Other Features 96
  • Part II - Analysis 111
  • 1 - Introduction 111
  • 2 - Chronology 113
  • 3 - Age and Sex 123
  • 4 - Cremations 128
  • 5 - Inhumations: The Grave 131
  • 6 - Inhumations: The Grave-Furniture 145
  • 7 - Cemetery Organisation 183
  • Part III - The Finds 201
  • 1: Introduction 201
  • 2 - Coins 202
  • 3 - Pewter Vessels 206
  • 4 - Glass Vessels 209
  • 5 - Pottery Vessels 221
  • 6 - Animal Remains 239
  • 7 - Equipment 246
  • 8 - Cross-Bow Brooches 257
  • 9 - Belts and Belt-Fittings 264
  • 10 - Beads and Necklaces 292
  • 11 - Bracelets 301
  • 12 - Other Personal Ornaments 315
  • 13 - Hobnails and Footwear 322
  • 14 - Miscellaneous Objects 326
  • 15 - Textile Remains 329
  • 16 - Coffin-Nails, Coffin-Fittings, and Coffins 332
  • 17 - Human Skeletons: Preliminary Reports 342
  • 18 - Economic Conclusions 345
  • Part IV - Discussion 347
  • 1 - Late Romano-British Burial Practice 347
  • 2 - Foreign Elements 377
  • 3 - Religion 404
  • Concordances 434
  • Addenda 451
  • Index of Sites 517
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