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The Trimontium Museum Archive

Castor Ware Beaker: NMS ref X.FRA 1391

Home | Archive | Castor Ware Beaker: NMS ref X.FRA 1391
Image copyright National Museums Scotland.

This wonderfully well preserved Castor ware beaker was found at Trimontium during James Curle’s excavations in the earlier 20th century. It shows a chase scene featuring a stag being pursued by a great-jawed hound and a hind chased by another hound. Both hounds have collars and it looks as though the chase scene is taking place in a woodland. This is evidenced by leaf and bud iconography in the background. This particular beaker dates from AD 140-180 and is now in the care of National Museums Scotland.

The beaker itself is made of a thin white ware that in covered with a black engobe. It is 4 ¾ inches high, with a mouth diameter of 3 ¾ inches and 1 ¾ inches at its base. Similar evidence of Castor ware vessels were found at the site, with most of them featuring some element of animal forms.

Image left: illustration of the design on the beaker. From James Curle A Roman Frontier Post and Its People.

Although the origins of this beaker are unknown, the name Castor ware derives from pottery from the Nene valley.

Similar beakers have been discovered at Colchester and Cirencester.

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