Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future
Iron finds All objects are called ‘finds’ because archaeologists find them! These iron finds were discovered at the Roman villa at Folkestone’s East Cliff when it was excavated in 1924. Archaeologists think they are different kinds of tools that were used at the villa and around the villa estate. Iron finds are sometimes X-rayed to see the shape better beneath the corrosion.
Stamped clay tile These are stamps from clay tiles found at the Roman villa at Folkestone’s East Cliff in 1924. They show the letters CL BR which stand for Classis Britannica. This was the British naval fleet in Roman times. Some people think the admiral of Classis Britannica lived at the villa.
Tiles with a CL BR stamp have been found on excavations in Folkestone, Dover, Lympne, Pevensey and Boulogne in France. Maybe you could find these places on a map. What do they all have in common?
On a clear day you can see the French coast from the Folkestone villa site.
Roman household objects These are some Roman household objects found at the Roman villa at Folkestone’s East Cliff in 1924. The spoon is very well made using animal bone. It was identified as an egg spoon. The archaeologist, Samuel Edward Winbolt, thought the thin end was used to extract snails from their shells.
The spindle whorl has been made from the base of a Roman pot.
The rib bone is from a large animal. Mr Winbolt found two of these. One was found in the baths so he thought it was used as a strigil. To get clean, you could rub oil into your skin and scrape it (and all the dirt) off using a strigil.
Pottery sherds These broken pieces of pottery (sherds) come from pots they used in the kitchens at the Roman villa at Folkestone’s East Cliff. The orange piece has small fragments of flint pressed into the clay. This sherd is from a mortarium. This was a kind of bowl for for grinding and mixing food.
The grey sherd with the holes is the bottom of a cheese press. The liquid from making the cheese would dribble through the holes.
Look at the picture of a Roman kitchen. Can you find out what the other two pots are?
Samian pottery These pieces (sherds) of bright red pottery were found at the Roman villa at Folkestone’s East Cliff in 1924. There is enough left of the cup to imagine what it looked like before it was broken. The other piece is the bottom of a dish. It has a potter’s stamp on it. It reads ‘MUSICI.M’ meaning made with the hand of Musicus.
This pottery is called Samian and was quite special. It was made in Gaul and brought across the English Channel so local people in Britain could buy it. Many households would have had some Samian for serving wine and food in the dining room.
The picture shows some complete Samian dishes and bowls with some fruit and nuts eaten in Roman times.
Amphora sherd This piece (sherd) of Roman pottery was found in a field at Cheriton. It comes from a very big jar called an amphora. Amphorae came in different shapes but they were always big and heavy! The photo is of a replica amphora.
Find out what amphorae were used for in Roman times.
Pieces of a hand mirror These pieces of a hand mirror were found in the Roman villa at Folkestone’s East Cliff. They are a rare find.

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