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Pottery at Thanet Parkway

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

In this blog post we bring to you a video of Issy's thoughts on a pot she found yesterday in one of the field boundary ditches at Thanet Parkway.

Issy gives a tentative Iron Age date to the pot but until it is back in the office and has been analysed by a pottery specialist we won't have a precise date. Pottery is quite diagnostic, that is to say changes in the technology used to make pots, the shape, the colour, and the fabric makes it very dateable to the trained eye! The 'squashing' Issy refers to in the video is a post-depositional process where the weight of the soil above it has crushed the fragile ceramic. Luckily the pot has fragmented into large pieces so there is a chance that we can piece it back together when it comes back to the office to be cleaned and analysed.

But why is a cooking pot in a ditch? The answer is that we will never know for certain how the pot ended up there. The most likely explanation is that it broke and was disposed of in a convenient hole in the ground. We find all sorts of domestic rubbish thrown into pits and ditches near where people lived, and this is another helpful clue as to who lived here and when. As Issy says in the video there are other similar pots recovered from the ditches across the site and we will use this information to eventually piece together the story of the site.

A lady holding a tape measure and wearing orange PPE and a white hard hat kneels on the muddy ground. In front of her is a black pot in the bottom of an excavated ditch.
Issy records the position of the pot before lifting it out of the ditch

Thanet Parkway is to be a new railway station on the Ashford International-Ramsgate line. Details on the proposed station can be found on the Kent County Council website here. The archaeological work at Thanet Parkway is being managed by the WSP Cultural Heritage and Archaeology team. If you would like to ask a question about the excavation please email us using the contact form on our main page or by leaving a comment here. Questions about the station and project can be raised with KCC from their website here.

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