Archaeologists discovered the vessel that inspired this replica of this straining bowl during excavations by the Durotriges Project, which investigated the prehistoric and Roman societies of central, southwestern Britain. One of the purposes of this invaluable research was to discover the extent to which Britain's Romanisation altered the customs of those already living in Britain. And, possibly most excitingly, the level to which these peoples of Britain retained their identity during the 400 years of Roman occupation.
The investigation included excavations of sites that were inhabited by the Iron Age tribe, the Durotriges. A culturally distinct group of people who occupied an area of land roughly within the boundaries of modern-day Dorset and sites throughout Wiltshire and Somerset.
After the Roman occupation in AD 43, researchers previously believed that Roman occupiers eradicated the unique practices of many native cultures. The Durotriges Project had set out to examine later Iron Age culture before the Romans' arrival and the true extent to which it evolved throughout the occupation and beyond. Happily, it seems that the Durotriges maintained much of their unique identity and practices throughout this time.
Amongst the practices and culture that set the Durotriges aside from their neighbouring tribes was their exquisite pottery, which includes these beautifully burnished straining bowls. A time consuming and laborious item to create, with the burnishing finish alone taking over 45 minutes, the Durotriges did not conform to the Roman ideal of mass production in pottery.
At present, there is no evidence for what the Durotriges use this vessel for, although it is likely to have been a handy kitchen gadget. Ancient cooks could have used this beautifully crafted bowl to strain all manner of food and beverages.
This replica Romano-British pot has been hand made in Northumberland by Potted History, based on an original artefact. We have fired to a temperature of between 800 & 1000 Centigrade to emulate 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, an aesthetic that is shared with the original Roman pottery. As each pot varies, you may not receive the exact strainer in the image, but we will select one representing your colour choice. You can be sure that your pot will be one of a kind due to the variations caused by the firing process.
Earthenware, terracotta reduction fired.
Earthenware, terracotta red slip finish
Approx. 110 mm tall, 160 mm diameter
Health and Safety
We have created this Museum Quality Replica using the tools and techniques that potters would have used during this ancient era. As this is an unglazed pot with a porous surface, it will absorb some of the flavours during the cooking process, which does add to the taste 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 cooking. The ancient people who cooked in these pots would rely on applying sufficient heat to the pot and contents to ensure that high temperatures killed all bacteria. 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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