A North Devon storage jar of c 1600

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A North Devon storage jar of c 1600

Sherds forming this almost-complete storage jar were found during excavation of the fill of a cesspit prior to the construction of Marks and Spencer in Queen Street, Exeter, in 1979. Associated finds indicate that it was discarded around the year 1600.

The jar was made in the north Devon potteries- either in Barnstaple, Great Torrington, or Bideford. Its body is a typical north Devon red earthenware, tempered with fine white calcareous inclusions- probably pounded oyster shell, added by the potter to provide a temper to the clay. The handles, thicker than the body, were made form a different clay preparation, heavily tempered with coarse quartz sand - the so-called ‘gravel-tempered ware’ characteristic of these potteries. The interior has a smooth olive green lead glaze.

Publication: Allan, J.P. 1984 'Medieval and Post-Medieval Finds from Exeter 1971-1980', Exeter Archaeological Report 3, item no. 1995.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum