This week’s Finds Friday is a beaker that was recovered from a grave at Bainesse cemetery during NAA’s excavations for the A1 scheme.
Dating to about the mid-3rd century AD, this beaker is from the grave of a female individual aged between 36 and 45 years. The pot was alongside the skeleton’s abdomen, which is unusual for pottery found in graves at this time as it was more common for grave goods to be located near the head, making this an unusual find. In addition, the form of the pot was also unexpected. It is made from a colour-coated fabric known as Nene Valley ware and displays a teardrop shape and cream painted scrolls on the body. It has a long neck and what is known as a bung foot, making it an unusual tableware form.
The beaker was placed on its side in the grave and found alongside an additional Nene Valley ware pot; however, the second example was unfortunately crushed either when it was originally buried or post deposition.
Nene Valley ware such as this was produced in the Lower Nene Valley in Cambridgeshire during the Roman period. This beaker not only informs us of the types of pottery that were used as grave goods during the period, but it also indicates that networks of trade and interaction existed between north and south England during the 3rd century.