A Ceramic Tile from Kent

Image: a ceramic tile from Castle Hill, Folkestone, Kent, excavated by Pitt-Rivers in 1878
During August, we are publishing through this blog a series of new photographs taken by archaeological photographer Ian Cartwright for an online Image Gallery created with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. You can read more about the gallery here, and you can see the whole gallery online here.

Here is the text for this image:

This abraded ceramic tile, of Romano-British or post-Roman date, is from Pitt-Rivers’ fieldwork at Castle Hill in Folkestone, Kent in 1878. Initially believing its earthworks (known locally as ‘Caesar’s Camp’) dated from the Roman invasions of Britain, his excavations revealed the monument in fact to be a medieval timber castle. Four different museum catalogue numbers are present, and a hand-written label describes the circumstances of discovery. The label reads: FRAGMENT OF NORMAN OR ROMAN TILE FOUND IN INTERIOR SLOP TO UPPER RAMPART WEST END BENEATH NORMAN CARVING CAESAR’S CAMP FOLKESTONE JUNE 26TH 1878 THE ONLY PIECE FOUND IN THE CAMP. Written for museum display, the label’s text retains elements of the General’s interpretive challenges in the field – singling out this possibly Romano-British find from a site that proved to be medieval in date, and describing the monument as a ‘camp’ (a term suggesting a prehistoric hillfort or Roman military camp) rather than a castle. (Pitt Rivers Museum Accession Number 1884.138.25)

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