Identifying pottery

After this stage and obviously that of sorting, the routine operations of the pottery specialist follow one another, creating a context unit. Here too, metadata can be added: the code (Context number) and, if necessary, a label (e. g. code: 43; label: 43, lower layer), the general condition of the pottery (burnt, well preserved material, etc.) and a provisional date, determined by the specialist’s experience. 

Next comes the recording work, first of all the selection of the class to which the lot of sherds belongs, it is necessary to consider possibilities of double class (e.g. WW/OX for clear common of service or fire), as well as the doubt expressed by a question mark. The fabric that appears on the next screen systematically include indetermination and sampling, and fabric that can be determined by the expert’s eye.

The following screen shows the typologies attached to the selected class. Once the typology has been chosen, groups of forms, i. e. sets of shapes (e.g. Plate, Cup, Pot), are used to reduce the number of typological plates to be examined. These plates have two parts, above are the type drawings, below are the type abbreviated identification buttons. That serie of buttons includes the types themselves, their variants or associations if necessary, as well as systematically the typological group and indeterminacy. Beforehand, the doubt (?) or approximation (±) buttons can be checked. The passage from one board to the other is done using up or down arrows. If types, for the author of the typology, deserved a more abundant illustration, additional plates can be indicated by a “plus” (e. g. D. 27+), which allows the display of Drag. 27a1, 27a2, 27b or 27c. The transition to these additional boards is done by right and left arrows.