And the Roman left and the Danes blew in—And that’s where your history-books begin!
Rudyard Kipling, The River’s Tale, ca. 1890

The departure of the last Romans from Britain in 422 A.D. left the native tribes to a far more primitive way of life. In many areas, the art of using a potter’s wheel was forgotten, and ancient potting techniques returned to popular use. For example, in East Anglia, Saxon potters crafted burial urns that were laboriously built up from hand-smoothed coils of clay. This one dates from about 500 to 600 A.D.




1. Urn, earthenware. East Anglia, ca. 500–600 A.D. Lent by the Chipstone Foundation, 2000.10.