VM_365 Day 315 Middle Iron Age Pottery lid used in slow cooking, Tivoli, Margate

VM 315

Today’s image for Day 315 of the VM_365 project  shows part of a Middle Iron Age flat and perforated handled lid for a cooking vessel  which came from a small excavation at Tivoli Park Avenue, Margate carried out by the Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society.

A series of small test pit excavations by the Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society were carried out in the mid-late 2000’s and were designed to find further traces of the Tivoli Roman ‘villa’  which featured  on Day 77 of the VM_365 project  and was previously recorded by Dr. Arthur Rowe.  Little material associated with the villa was recovered but instead the investigations produced a rare sequence of earlier Iron Age activity.

In the uppermost levels of the sequence, in descending order, there was a thin scatter of material confirming Anglo-Saxon, Early-Mid Roman and Late Iron Age activity. Beneath this were increasing quantities of Mid-Late iron Age material (c.200-50 BC), and then beneath that a chalk and cobble floor of, broadly Mid Iron Age date (c.350-200 BC) and, beneath that again, postholes and occupation soil datable to the Early-Mid Iron Age (c.600-350 BC).

One of the features associated with the Middle Iron Age floor produced the lid shown above in the picture on the left. It is part of a handled lid – with the rim at the bottom, and handle at top. The handle is flat and perforated (picture right) which means that the lid was used during the slow-cooking of vegetables or meat, over a relatively low heat.

Roughly made pot lids, using re-worked lower bodies of broken jars are not unknown from Iron Age sites – but a deliberately-made lid, with a ‘steamer-knob’, is rare and tends to confirm that at least in the Middle Iron Age more sophisticated cooking techniques were being employed than the simple roasting of a pig or other animal on a turned spit.

The information and images for this post were kindly provided by Nigel Macpherson-Grant.

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