The Archaeology Gallery at West Stow Visitor Centre.
West Stow Archaeology Gallery

The Archaeology Gallery
at West Stow


Picture Page 3

From the Iron Age (c700 BC) into
The Roman Period

Click images to enlarge

This wooden trough from Badwell Ash is dated to between 500 BC and 50 AD. Wooden objects are extremely difficult to date by appearance. It was a domestic food utensil for probably decades until deterioration changed its use to a rough sled.

These hand made cooking pots are from the 3rd to 1st century BC, and the 1st century BC. Until about 50 BC all domestic pottery was produced without the knowledge of the potter's wheel.

When the potter's wheel arrived in Britain, all the new pottery produced was made like this until the Roman styles arrived.

This is another Roman object from the time before the Roman invasion. It is from the early 1st century, found at Kedington, and probably belonged to a local chieftain. It was made for wine transport in southern Italy, and was probably buried as grave goods. Found in 1947 digging house foundations.

The Romans conquered Britain in 43 AD. By 61 AD Boudicca of the Iceni tribe led a national revolt against them. Many objects were probably buried for safekeeping at this time. This is part of the Brandon Hoard of bronze objects dating from this period. The iron bound bronze cauldron reflects the importance of feasting, as do the wine strainer and the skillet.

This final object from the Brandon Hoard was a bronze bound wooden bucket or other vessel. Again it was probably a feast object owned by a wealthy local chieftain. This hoard was found during construction of Brandon's Pinefields estate, by Bennett Builders

Shortly after the end of the Boudiccan revolt a Romano-British pottery was set up at West Stow Heath. It lasted from about 70 AD until 120 AD, and these pots from the 2nd century represent their output. They tried to copy imported Samian Ware using local clay. These two larger vessels cracked in the kiln, and were found in the pottery waste at West Stow.

Globular Amphora from Hawkedon. It is Roman, from the 2nd century AD, and originally held olive oil from southern Spain. When found in 1880 it contained two figurines of the goddess Venus, and may have been used as a cremation urn.

An assortment of Roman age pins, bracelets, rings and hairpins in bone and metal.

Before Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire, the Romans worshipped a variety of gods represented by pagan idols and objects.

These crowns were probably ritual objects worn by Roman pagan priests. Cult objects such as Hercules clubs are also visible here.

This small pillar was probably a pagan Roman altar from Icklingham. However, it was found in 1974 deeply buried under a layer of chalk, which may represent a ritual casting away of pagan belief as Christianity became adopted by a high status romanised family living at Icklingham.

Three Samian ware pots and an assortment of Roman objects. Samian ware dates from the 1st century to the early 3rd century AD. It was made in large factories in central France. We regard it as high status pottery, perhaps analagous to Wedgwood or Royal Worcester today. These pots were found at Ixworth and Ingham.

An assortment of Roman mosaics from local Roman villas, such as those at Icklingham and Wordwell.

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