Structure One produces third mat-impressed pot base

The pot base from Structure One brings the Ness's total to three.
The pot base from Structure One, with the marks of the woven mat impressed on its surface, brings the Ness’s total to three.

There was delight in the Ness pottery HQ this summer when two examples of pot bases, clearly imprinted with the marks of a basketry mat, were recovered – one from Structure Twenty-Six, the other from Trench T.

This week, while working with the thousands of pottery sherds recovered to date – there were over 45,000 at the last count, two years ago – Jan Blatchford identified a third example.

The fragment of a 16cm diameter pot base came from Structure One and is very late in the timeline of the site – it was found in the midden infill around the wall inserted into the building in the second phase of its life.

All three of the pots must have been either placed on a basketry mat when in the leather-hard or semi-plastic stage before firing.

This may have been so the pot could be turned easily while being decorated or perhaps put into a basket in order to stop it collapsing.

 

Site director Nick Card with pottery specialists Roy Towers and Jan Blatchford examine the latest mat impress base in the lab.
Site director Nick Card with pottery specialists Roy Towers and Jan Blatchford examine the latest mat impress base in the lab.