Mortarium card

Mortarium

1996.70.4163

On display

Information

A rare archaeological find from Merseyside, an almost complete mid 3rd to mid 4th century Romano-British kitchen vessel called a 'mortarium' (plural 'mortaria'), or bowl, used for grinding or mixing foodstuffs. Stoney grits were deliberately added to the interior to help break down the food that was ground in it to create a paste. This particular vessel was made at the Mancetter-Hartshill pottery factories, in Warwickshire, with characteristic white fabric and red and black grits. The sides show signs of wear with distinct bands worn away with no grits surviving. The hole in the base appears deliberate rather than from use and is almost circular. It was probably deliberately broken and placed in the pit rather than thrown away as rubbish. The exterior is slightly abraded. The vessel has a simple pushed down tongue for a spout.