Romans go drinking
This Roman pot was made in Highgate Wood, close to Muswell Hill. The potter may have intended its shiny finish to look like pewter. The Romans would have used the vessel for drinking wine or beer. It was made between ad 70 and 160.
How was the beaker made?
Clay was dug out of the ground around Highgate Wood. The potters removed any stones or roots before 'throwing' the pot on a fast-turning wheel. They then dipped the beaker in liquid clay or 'slip', so that it would have a clean, glossy surface. They used a comb to apply the dots, then fired the pot in a kiln heated with wood or charcoal.
Roman potters of Highgate Wood
Local potters seem to have had years of experience making pots - long before the Roman invasion of ad 43. As Roman London grew, they saw a business opportunity supplying jars, bowls and beakers to the Romans.
Archaeologists discovered at least ten kilns in Highgate Wood during the 1960s and 1970s. You can't see the kilns now, but the Information Centre in Highgate Wood has information about the Romans and the local environment.
Find out more about the Highgate Wood Information Centre
Museum number 3097