Today’s image shows a handmade, straight sided dish that was found in a Roman grave at Ramsgate. The dish, made from grog and quartz sand tempered fabric with a few shell inclusions, had been heavily used before it was placed in the grave at the feet of a young woman aged between 18-25 years along with two other vessels.
There are many questions we would like to ask when we find objects in these circumstances:
Did this vessel belong to the occupant of the grave or to a family member? What did she use the dish for? Did she use it for eating from or did she use it in cooking, perhaps to make pies* or other meals? Were the knife marks in the base made by her?
Despite all our efforts archaeology may not be able to answer these questions from the evidence that remains.
*Pies are mentioned in a collection of cookery recipes, Apicius, believed to date from the late 4th to 5th centuries.