• Nicholas Harrison

Learning from home - Part 4. Late Medieval ‘Finger-rilling’

Updated: Jun 18



Name: Jug/pitcher

Date: Late medieval (c. 1300 to 1600) Discussion: The sherd shows the typical features of a wheel-thrown closed/restricted vessel. That is the parallel lines on the internal surface called ‘finger-rilling’. These are produced as the pot is made. On this sherd the even parallel nature of this rilling demonstrates that it is made on a wheel, on handmade pots the rilling is more uneven. This rilling is a plane of weakness so when the pot has dried out, they are generally smoothed over to strengthen the vessel. However, in the case of vessels such as jugs this cannot occur because the mouth is too small to allow the potter to get their hand inside to do this. Therefore, the rilling remains in place, which is handy for archaeologists because it makes it easier to identify jugs from small body sherds such as this. This particular piece was found near Doncaster.

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