Vindolanda Head Pot 001A
Vindolanda Head Pot 001A
Vindolanda Head Pot 001A

Vindolanda Head Pot 001A

Regular price £120.00
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Seeing an ancient face staring back at you from a museum display is a real thrill, it is one of the main reasons that we adore replicating this sought-after style of Roman pottery.   Head pots were widely used throughout Roman Britain and are some of the most striking ceramic items produced during Roman rule, and seem to have been a speciality of Romano-British potters. 

The almost caricature like features of these pots were individually modelled onto beautifully wheel thrown jars.  A fairly unusual method of working for the Romans, who often preferred the quicker convenience of mould decoration. 

Believed to have been introduced to Britain by the Roman army, there have been a large number of head pots discovered in the Colchester area where it is likely there was a prolific production site. 

Today you can see some truly superb examples of head pots on display in Colchester museum and we have used these rich examples to inspire this replica.  They are however not limited to Colchester and there have been a significant number of head pot sherd found along Hadrian's wall.  

Their function and significance is, as of yet, not fully understood.  Many, but by no means all, head pots have smith tools on them, suggesting a link to the God Vulcan.  There have also been a number of these pots found in burial settings leading some to believe that this was their main usage.  However, the majority have been found in settlement sites so it is more likely that they were used prominently in a domestic setting, perhaps for food storage.  


Earthenware, reduction fired. 


Approx. 270 mm tall, 180 mm diameter


Every jar is thrown on a potters wheel before having a drying period.  After this the individual decoration and features are hand modelled into every pot using similar tools, techniques and stamps as the original Roman potters. 

Each pot has been wood fired in an authentic replica of a Roman Pottery Kiln at Vindolanda Museum, to a temperature of between 800°C & 1000°C, using the same techniques that the original potters would have employed nearly two thousand years ago. This process often results in variations of the surface colour and texture, emulating original Roman Pottery and giving each pot it's unique character

Health and Safety

This is a Museum Quality Replica made using the tools and techniques that would have been used during the Roman era.  As this is an unglazed pot with a porous surface it will absorb some of the flavours of the food being stored, which does add to the flavour of future dishes. However, it does also mean that this pot does not meet modern Health and Safety standards and therefore we do not advise that it is used for storing food.  When the Romans used these storage jars they would rely on applying sufficient heat to the cooking pot and their contents to ensure that all bacteria was killed. Heating to over 70°C for at least 10 minutes would have killed most disease causing bacteria and temperatures of 100°C would do even more. 

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