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Arbor City Hotel Aldgate ‘find of the week’

By Arbor City Hotel, finds, News

Green glazed pottery is among the most important (and frequently encountered) finds from medieval/early post medieval sites in London. This is because detailed knowledge of variations in pottery over time make it an extremely valuable dating tool! This beautiful example of a Surrey-Hampshire border whiteware dish is no. 14 in our ‘find of the week’ series from McAleer & Rushe’s site at Arbor City Hotel. Our specialist has dated it to the late 16th-century based on the mottled glaze and the thickening on the underside of the flat rim. 

The post-medieval Surrey-Hampshire border-ware industry developed from the medieval Surrey whiteware potting tradition. During these periods there were potteries making such wares at several locations on the borders of both counties. Both red- and whiteware were made in the post-medieval period, with finer wares produced before c. 1550 and sandier wares after that date. Whiteware continued to be made up to c. 1700, with chamber pots and a few other forms still in production for 50 more years, while redware continued to be manufactured into the early 20th century. 

Arbor City Hotel Aldgate: tenth find of the week

By Arbor City Hotel, finds, News

This late 16th/early 17th century stoneware saltglazed jug, produced in Raeren, is no. 10 in our ‘find of the week’ series from McAleer & Rushe’s site at Arbor City Hotel, London Aldgate. The neck is moulded with portrait busts within oval panels. It would originally have been mounted with a pewter lid and had an additional moulded frieze on the body. These jugs were used to serve beer, continuing our theme from last week!

Arbor City Hotel Aldgate: ninth find of the week

By Arbor City Hotel, finds, News

This fine collection of 17th-century German Frechen stoneware Bartmann jug faces is no. 9 in our ‘find of the week’ series from McAleer & Rushe’s site at Arbor City Hotel in Whitechapel. They came from a brick-lined cesspit and there doesn’t seem to be much broken stoneware with them, so they might have been selected/collected before disposal. These were imported into London between 1550 & 1700, and large numbers of such vessels from a single feature are often a good indication of the presence of a 17th-century drinking establishment nearby. The face masks have often been attributed as a caricature of Cardinal Roberto Bellarmine (1542-1621) and his dislike of drinking alcohol, however, the face masks predate Cardinal Bellarmine and are more likely to represent the Wild Man of European folklore.

Arbor City Hotel Aldgate: eighth ‘find of the week’

By Arbor City Hotel, finds, News

This 17th-18th century sugar cone mould is no. 8 in our ‘Find of the Week’ series from McAleer & Rushe’s site at Arbor City Hotel. These moulds varied hugely in size, producing sugar loaves weighing between 5 & 50lbs. Small cones like this example made better quality, more expensive sugar. As Whitechapel is now a very mixed community, the archaeology is a poignant reminder that the area was once involved in the transatlantic slave trade through sugar production.

Icenian silver coin with a previously unknown die stamp – another first for PCA!

By finds, News

We’ve had an amazing find this week from a site in Suffolk!

The coin is an Icenian Bury E type silver unit, of which Talbot (2017) records only 4 known examples. The reverse die of this coin (the side with the horse) is known on three of them, two of which are sub-classified by Cottam and Rudd (2022) as type 30, and the other with this die is a type 31. The remaining Bury E type has a similar (but different) reverse die and is sub-classified by Cottam and Rudd (2022) as type 29. This new coin appears to represent the fourth recorded example of that particular reverse die.

However, the obverse die on this new coin is completely unrecorded, showing a right facing bust (usually thought to be a god) with a two-headed snake in an S-shape in front. This is a different style to the other Bury E types, which usually have ‘roundels’ in front and around the bust. The double-headed snake designs are only really seen on the Bury A and H types, which Cottam and Rudd date c.55-50 BC, while the Bury E types are dated c.40-35 BC, so this coin might potentially require a slight re-think on the dating sequence of those coins.