A ceramic bowl from the Thames

A ceramic bowl from the Thames, from the founding collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum

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 caption for this image:

This shell-tempered ceramic bowl has been partially reconstructed after Pitt-Rivers acquired it, and (apart from two museum catalogue numbers) it bears one single word, painted onto the outside: THAMES. Many objects from Pitt-Rivers’ collection are recorded simply with the provenance of the River Thames – which may mean an object recovered from dredging the river, may imply it was found on the Thames foreshore in London or along the banks of the river further upstream, or even may represent a purposefully vague provenance given by a dealer that usefully removes any possibility of coming from privately owned land. Whatever the case for this object, there is no doubt that today the modern text has become an integral part of this medieval artefact. (Pitt Rivers Museum Accession Number 1884.35.38)​

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