Saturday, October 08, 2005

Community Archaeology Workshop, York

Back in May, I took part in one of York Community Archaeologist Eliza Gore's workshops. Needless to say, I was asked to speak about brick and tile! I enjoyed this day out, talking with local enthusiasts and there's a short write up about the workshop on the York Archaeological Trust's webpages.

My favourite photo is of the chap looking bemusedly at a complete horseshore drain. The reason he's smiling is because he's looking at the stamp on the tile, which say 'DRHAIN' These tiles had to be stamped with this in the early 19th century, otherwise extra taxes would have been applied. The spellling of DRHAIN for DRAIN perhaps reflects the pronunciation of the word, as this tile comes from East Yorkshire. Initially, though, I was very worried, as though I was convinced it was a 19th century field drain, I had only previously seen the similarly shaped Roman roof tile called imbrex with a stamp such as this. Was I getting it all wrong, and were some of the fragment's I'd previously ID'ed as field drain actually Romna Imbrex? It couldn't be, surely? The method of manufacture clearly shows signs of extrusion ... I puzzled for ages as to what the stamp said (it's slightly fuzzy), and then it suddenly came to me! And the case was solved.

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