- Museum number
Wheel-thrown pottery flask with spalled surfaces. Plus 1 loose sherd. Exterior burnished. Fabric: medium-density voids up to 3 mm in diameter, probably calcareous inclusions in the matrix or the temper. Firing dark; black ware.
- Curator's comments
- Stead and Rigby 1999
Flasks: Eight examples, seven with a cordon at the neck base, are remarkably similar, providing evidence for the beginning of standardized, centralized production, if not large-scale output. Six were made in similar quartz-sand tempered gritty ware, with closely related decoration and fired in the same way. They have a burnished finish from the lip over the raised cordon at the neck base to a groove on the maximum girth, and then again at the base; the pattern was drawn with a burnishing tool onto a zone with a deliberately roughened matt finish. Three flasks from three different sites, Somme-Tourbe, Reims and Marson (ML.2711, ML.2770 and ML.2645), are also so similar in shape and size that their profiles can be superimposed almost exactly and it is presumed that they were produced in the same workshop, if not by the same potter. Other related products included two pedestal jars (Somme-Bionne ML.1334 and Reims ML.2739), which share the same rim, neck and shoulder configuration as the flasks. There are other connections: two pairs each share the same pattern on the decorative zone (ML.2711 and ML.2684, ML.2645 and ML.2825). A vessel found in Beine ‘l’Argentelle' grave 35 can be added to the group. The type is therefore represented in six different cemeteries in adjacent communes extending over an area 30 x 30 km, and gives some insight into the organization of supplies of wheel-thrown pots. Similarly, two other flasks exhibit the characteristics of another potter or workshop (ML.2684, from Bussy-le-Château, and ML.2825); here too similarities can be traced with a specific pedestal jar (Prosnes ML.2666). The shape can be paralleled in Mont Troté grave 131, where the example has a plain red coating which may well have been patterned in bichrome positive like that from Suippes. Flasks may have been used as liquid containers as in the later Gallo-Roman period.
Bibliography: Morel, L., 1898, ‘La Champagne souterraine’ Reims, pl. 6, fig. 6. Morel comments that this vase approaches Gallo-Roman in style, but it is typical of wheel-thrown flasks of La Tène I-II.
- Not on display
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number