In a previous blog post, we shared our exciting pottery find from Trench 6 at the Kaims site: a single rim fragment of cord-impressed pottery with a tentative Bronze Age date. In our 4th week of the season, a further 21 fragments turned up in the same area! The find included two more rim pieces, four with cord impressions, and 17 undecorated fragments of various sizes from (we believe) the lower portion of the vessel.
Pottery fragments lying in situ in Trench 6 before excavation
After giving the collection a gentle wash, we were surprised to see that on the surface of several of the fragments are what appear to be small finger nail impressions running in horizontal lines in the fired clay. They don’t appear to be intentional decoration, so they could be marks left by the vessel’s Bronze-Age creator during the forming process. If after further analysis our suspicions are confirmed, this would be very exciting for us, because this find will be a rare glimpse of an individual person’s fingerprint on this landscape.
Pottery fragments after washing
When the new pottery was compared with the original fragment, we found that the three rim pieces fit together, along with the remaining two decorated pieces. This gives us a much more reliable idea of the possible size of the vessel, which might have had a rim as wide as 45cm. Right now we think we might have the remnants of a very large bowl or jar.
The 5 decorated pieces that fit together
One fragment revealed another feature of this vessel: a thin, raised band of clay running along the middle of the vessel, right at the bottom of the criss-cross, cord-impressed band of decoration near the rim.
Due to the poor quality of the clay and low firing temperatures, the vessel would not have successfully held liquid, but could have been used for food storage.