British village may have been a huge pottery industry in Roman times

April 27th, 2009 - 5:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 27 (ANI): The discovery of two pottery kilns from the Roman era in Otford, a village in Kent, UK, could lead to a revaluation of their time in Britain, as it had not been thought that the firing of pottery - a huge industry in Roman times - was carried out in this area.

According to a report in the, Sevenoaks archeologist Diarmaid Walshe spearheaded the dig of the kilns, which are around 4m in diameter.

He believes if scientific analysis proves his finds are kilns, Otford could have been at the centre of an industry that supplied pottery to Roman settlements all over the South East.

“If they are pottery kilns, it’s very important because, according to experts, there were no pottery kilns in this area,” said Walshe.

“We can’t confirm it yet, but on the face of it they do appear to be pottery kilns because we’ve got massive quantities of pottery sitting in there,” he added.

“Pottery was like plastic is today. It would have been used from day to day. It could confirm Otford was a very important centre in Roman Britain and the South East because it would have been a large centre of production,” he explained.

Although Walshe admitted that the structures could in fact turn out to be bread ovens, the further discovery of a puddling pond nearby seems to add weight to his theory.

He explained that the puddling pond, around 20m by 10m, would have been used for processing the clay before moulding and then firing it in the kilns.

Items such as roof tiles would almost certainly have been made there and transported around the region.

“This would have been a large scale industry,” said Walshe. (ANI)

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