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Title: Pewter tableware : its function, significance and contribution to our understanding of life in Roman Britain through a case-study of material held in the British Museum
Author: Smith , Lindsey
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 1476
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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Romano-British pewter vessels have often been interpreted as functional, utilitarian pieces, which served as the typical dining equipment of wealthy villa owners in Late Roman Britain. A substantial collection of over 100 Romano-British pewter vessels held by the British Museum provides a case study from which to investigate the functional aspects of use alongside themes relating to wider social, economic, religious and art-historical issues. While this material often lacks detailed contextual information, it does represent one of the largest collections ofRomano-British pewter and is the first time it has been examined as a whole. In addition to producing a detailed catalogue of the pewter vessels from 16 sites, this thesis examines the relationship of pewter vessels to contemporary ceramic, glass and silver forms and provides a comprehensive typology. New XRF analysis provides insights into manufacture and the use of raw materials in later Roman Britain. A number ofthe pewter vessels appear with previously unrecorded surface marks and scars that are discussed as possible evidence for function and use. In particular, a number of the vessels appear to have been 'ritually pierced' or 'deliberately holed' rendering them useless in terms of their perceived utilitarian function as plates or jugs. The 'ritual killing' of objects as sacrifice or as votives is well attested in Roman Britain and this study will consider the possibility that pewter vessels may have been specifically chosen to be deliberately buried as ritual or votive dedications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available