Department of Archaeology
   
   
  

Workshop Three: Research Partnerships

Very few collaborative samian research projects have been undertaken between institutions, despite the existence of split collections (for instance, the Oswald collection, split between Durham and Nottingham) and complementary collections (the potter’s stamp collections held at Leeds and Nottingham). By bringing the main players in UK samian studies together for this workshop, we aim to forge new research partnerships and explore the possibility for future collaborative research programmes. This workshop also seeks to foster International research collaborations, with samian scholars from Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands all being in attendance.  

Address from the Chair, Steven Willis, University of Kent

Summary by Christoph Rummel

The conference chair, Steven Willis pointed out how fruitful the earlier sessions had been and what an impact they were having on the way samian was seen and researched in Britain. Indeed, several of the parties involved in earlier workshops had repeatedly met again between the actual workshops in order to discuss and bring forwards some of the possibilities and opportunities identified at earlier meetings. He furthermore pointed out that the workshop to reassess problems in current trends in samian studies were happening at a crucial time, and that a platform for discussion between all involved parties had never been as crucial as now. As such, he was pleased that one of the suggestions made at Workshop 2, namely a regular forum for all those involved in samian studies in the UK, was already in the process of being established.

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The AHRC-funded Gallo-Roman sigillata (samian) industries project, 2008-2012
Michael Fulford, University of Reading

Summary by Christoph Rummel

Michael Fulford reported on progress of a project that had been begun by Geoffrey Dannell and himself in 2005, namely the full publication of the index of potters’ stamps put together by Brian Hartley and Brenda Dickinson at Leeds. This project acquired British Academy funding in 2006 and then an AHRC grant to complete publication from 2008-2012. This AHRC project is a joint research partnership between three organizations: the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading, the Department of Classics at the University of Leeds and the Römisch-Germanische Zentralmuseum at Mainz in Germany. Outside these institutions, major input has also come from Geoffrey Dannell and Paul Tyers.

Prof. Fulford pointed out that due to the current structure of the AHRC and the way that grants are allocated, the original project direction was modified slightly, making the main aim a major publication on Gallo Roman terra sigillata, i.e. what has become known as the "Leeds Index". The first two volumes of this work, out of a projected nine, have just been published. The project scope, however, is significantly more than just the publication of one major work – through Allard Mees at Mainz, an interactive database of potters' stamps is being developed by the RGZM. This is to provide complete access to all data in the publications by 2012. There is also funding for Brenda Dickinson and Rosemary Wilkinson to complete pre-publication work on the Index, as well as two fully funded PhD scholarships on samian research, one based at Leeds and the other based at Reading. The Leeds scholarship, based in the department of Classics, will focus on linguistic or onomastic research on the names of samian potters, while the scholarship to be held at the department of Archaeology in Reading will focus on wider socio-economic aspects of samian research and is deliberately kept wide open to allow an individual stance on the matter.

In summary, Prof Fulford highlighted that the success of the project was to a large extent connected to its emphasis on publications – aiming to publish two volumes of the index per year until 2012. The overarching funding is furthermore aimed at a new synthesis of Gaulish Sigillata, demonstrating the value of research in this field to a wider audience and bringing together results of current research not only in Britain, but throughout Europe. This involves research on the history of research on Gaulish sigillata, technological aspects of samian production, the organisation of samian workshops, individual personalia in samian production, the distribution of pottery, or the reconstruction of a culture of consumption, based on samian data. During the launch of the first publications on the 17th of September, Prof. Fulford is hoping that those interested in contributing to the wider research agenda of the Research volume, and the topics above, will come together at the British Academy and try to agree on a format and research topics. Such themes could then be refined at a specific workshop in 2009, which would lead to a larger, international, conference on samian in 2010, to be published as part of the project.

Discussion

Following the above presentation, Naomi Sykes picked up on the point of the research themes mentioned towards the end of the talk, asking whether these would constitute a book by themselves or be part of the publication of the Leeds Index. Prof Fulford stated that any thematic research will be published in one substantial standalone volume that will come out of the 2010 conference on samian. Dr Sykes then wondered, as one core aims of current research was to demonstrate research value, how exactly the Leeds Index project would work. Prof Fulford pointed out that this would involve several stages, as the new research, including the work carried out by PhD students would highlight not just the value of samian stamps, but also point out how they can play a role in wider research – the index being only a small sample of what had been done so far and not merely a collation of data, but an important platform for further research. At this point, Prof. Fulford argued that it was important to note that the nature of funding in the UK had changed significantly: money was no longer available to create substantial resources that would not be used much. Instead current research, if attempting to acquire funding, must show that it addresses wider research questions. As such, the only way to find money for the publication of large corpora of data is through their inclusion in larger research projects.

The chair, Steven Willis, moved on to say how uplifting it was to see that, after the second workshop focused very much on the mechanics of day-to-day samian research, large scale samian research is being carried out and receiving a new impetus at an academic research level. Indeed, it had been established at earlier meetings that one of the problems of samian research was the sheer complexity of the matter, which will be made much easier to understand upon the completion of this major subject. In this context, and particularly in view of the problematic areas identified in the last workshop, he was very pleased to hear about the PhD scholarships at Leeds and Reading, arguing that the nurture of new samian specialists through research at doctoral level was a very positive development. In this context, he wondered to what extent it would be possible to move directly into one of these PhDs without having done and MA first. Prof. Fulford suggested that the guidelines merely stated that a suitable candidate would be expected to have an MA or equivalent, and that perhaps experience in commercial archaeology could be argued to be that equivalent.

At this point Martin Pickard, with his background in European funding, asked to what extent interest in the PhD scholarships could be increased by an increase in the stipend, for example on the back of an EU research project, which Prof Fulford argued could be taken as read but would be in danger of making a PhD researcher a research assistant. He pointed out that a prospective PhD student would not need to have a detailed knowledge of samian, but merely show a general interest in the subject matter. Roberta Tomber then suggested that it might be worth advertising the existence of such a scholarship to commercial units, as it would the reach people already committed to ceramic research – a point enthusiastically endorsed by Steven Willis. This has already been done with some of the larger units such as MoLAS, but could be extended.

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Research Partnerships withy the British Museum: Samian ware from Pudding Pan
Michael Walsh, University of Southampton

Summary by Christoph Rummel

Michael Walsh has been studying samian from the Thames estuary and is involved in a research partnership between the University of Southampton and the British Museum that focuses on British Shipwrecks. His presentation focused on the samian found in the Thames estuary at Pudding Pan, c. 7.5km north-west of Reculver and Pan Sands, c. 10km north-west of that site.

Samian finds from the site were first recorded and published in 1778, and have been brought up consistently during dredging for oysters and fish trawling. Most of the wares are late 2nd century Lezoux material, as well as other 1st and 3rd century material and amphorae, rooftiles, lamps and mortaria. The aim of Dr Walsh's project is to identify the extent of the assemblage – much of which is now in private collections as far afield as North America – and to discern what is represented and what the finds actually represented. Theories on the latter have in the past ranged from the idea that a Roman lighthouse (pharos) had been located at the site to suggesting that it was a shipwreck or jettisoned cargo, which seems more likely in view of the variety of finds.

Initially, Dr Walsh contacted various (83) museums that had been involved with the site in the past, most of which responded to his queries and informed him whether they had related material and, if so, what this included. He visited 21 museums, while 5 others provided precise details. Material seems also to have been distributed to 9 private collections, 7 of which have been recorded. In general, he concluded that museums are very open about access to material, frequently even providing workspace for him – especially so the British Museum, which has a number of Pudding Pan vessels in its complete samian vessel collection.

In the course of the project, the vessels were analysed to identify types and potters, record their dimensions and identify pre- and post manufacture markers. In addition to these traditional research approaches, Dr Walsh also analysed various types of marine growth to help identify the type and location of the wreck. Interestingly, most vessels were found inverted on the seabed, many with damaged foot-rings (possibly caused by the oyster dredging). Other vessels lay on their sides – al of which had inverted stamps by one potter. This seemed to allow some conclusion regarding the way that the vessel in question may have been loaded with different cargoes.

Beyond the direct study of primary data, Dr Walsh also studied how the samian from the sites in question was recorded and collected, trying to verify theses that the peak of samian recovery occurred in the late 18th century. Instead, however, it seemed that samian in the Thames estuary was found in cycles of recovery, perhaps caused by the shifting of sand banks. By comparing dates of recovery with dates of publication, Dr Walsh was able to identify that it was the publication, rather than the recovery of samian that peaked and may, in fact, have acted as catalyst for interest and therefore increased recovery.

In acute terms of collaborative efforts, Dr Walsh pointed out that museums had always been easy to work with and frequently facilitated access to data as well as accession records. Indeed, some museums, particularly the British Museum, actually had some funding available for research into their collections. On a negative side, some museums had very long response times, while a few did not respond at all. Also, some institutions could not answer specific queries or were unaware that they even had some material. On a more practical level, while many museums were happy to provide workspace, lighting conditions in such workspaces frequently made ceramic research difficult. Download a copy of Michael Walsh's Power.

Discussion

The above paper sparked a lively discussion that initially focused primarily on the data from the shipwreck, with Marinus Polak asking how high the percentage of Lezoux material amongst the finds was. Dr Walsh replied that it was only 5 or 6 pots and that this may well have been part of an earlier spread.

Geoffrey Dannell then asked how the sites were to be published – a paper on the sites is in preparation at the moment. Apparently, this includes some stamps that were found on various vessels.

Naomi Sykes moved the discussion on to the matter of private collections, asking how many there were and to what extent the academic community was aware as them. She suggested that the collecting of samian could be studied on its own – seeing the data not just in its Roman context. Geoffrey Dannell replied that there was some awareness of this, and that a website was currently being compiled in France that listed vessels from private as well as public collections. Allard Mees pointed out that there are interesting patterns that can be observed through the study of private collections – that in Germany, for example, it appears that many people took archaeological finds from state collections that had been bombed in the war, and that these finds are only now appearing, i.e. that the generation that actually acquires that finds does not talk about them, but their children are often happy to talk to archaeologists and museums about the finds. Dr Walsh confirmed that he had encountered similar attitudes amongst people interviewed, who frequently thought that museums already had a lot of data that was not being exhibited and therefore did not see a need to report finds. Naomi Sykes concluded, and was supported in this by Dr Walsh, that it might be very interesting to actually look at the history of samian collecting itself.

Joanna Bird then asked what kinds of marine growth could be found on samian wares from the Thames estuary. These mainly include barnacles and oysters, which has led a number of museums to conclude that any samian vessels with such growths automatically stem from Pudding Pan, although they may well originate from other wreck sites. Roberta Tomber wondered whether any vessels had been recovered by diving, which Dr Walsh confirmed. He did, however, point out that conditions at the sites were extremely poor and that the majority of finds continued to be discovered through Oyster dredging. Roberta Tomber then asked whether there was any indication of the size of the vessels, while Joanna Bird wanted to know if any actual wreckage had been recovered. Neither of these points could be confirmed by Dr Walsh, although he assumed that all finds came from one second century wreck as the material if fairly coherent.

Steven Willis then pointed out the importance of the assemblage for samian chronologies, pointing out that the most recent research on Pudding Pan has actually revised the original dating and wondered about the composition of the assemblage, if any elements one would have expected were missing. Dr Walsh said this was indeed the case, as the entire assemblage did not include any decorated wares, suggesting that it was an entire shipment of plain wares – it seems somewhat unlikely that the decorated vessels should go unrecorded. Dr Willis concluded that as such, the Pudding Pan assemblage was very different from any “land based” assemblages. Geoffrey Dannell then asked where the amphorae found in association with the samian assemblage originated from; it seems they are mainly Gaulish and Spanish ones. Joanna Bird, comparing the assemblage to finds from the London waterfront, pointed out how unusual such a high volume of plain wares was, at which point Marinus Polak wondered if it was possible to statistically evaluate how big the vessel must have been on the basis of the volume of the cargo. Dr Walsh replied that this has been attempted, but would by necessity be highly speculative. 600 vessels have been recorded and assuming that this was about 59% of the original cargo, taking a figure from field-walking, the actual amount of samian transported would not have required a lot of space.

The date of the shipwreck, as pointed out by Steven Willis, was very important, as it comes from a period where the samian supply to Britain changes and the Pudding Pan material shows that certain industries in Gaul may continue in operation longer than their material is actually found in Britain as the number of exports is reduced drastically. Richard Delage pointed out that the workshops in question to continue into the 3rd century but operate to a very different module. It is therefore clearly possible to identify 3rd century wares on the basis of forms, types of décor and type of manufacture. But some of these forms do, indeed, only appear in context from Gaul. In view of this, Steven Willis stated that the variability of material and regional exports was an important factor to consider when looking at samian assemblages – making it essential that samian was studied not just on a national level, but in view of international research.

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Recherches en cours sur la sigille'e moule'e du Centre de la Gaule : DRVTAIVS, PATERNVS, styles du IIIe s
Richard Delage, Institut National de Recherches et d'Archéologie Préventive

Summary by Christoph Rummel

Dr Gwladys Monteil chaired the afternoon session and introduced Richard Delage, the first of the participants from France, who presented a paper on samian research at Lezoux. Dr Delage has been working on samian from central Gaul and Lezoux in particular for a long time and is an expert on the development of this production centre.

Dr Delage began his paper by pointing out that samian is traditionally studied by looking at various styles of decoration, as well as stamps and graffiti. As such, there are a large number of reference works that focus on particular decorative elements and their changes over time. This traditional approach, however, is somewhat problematic. It does not allow us to fully understand the process of samian production because it bases any understanding of the function of samian production centres solely on the development of samian decorators.

By focusing on the production centre of Lezoux, which actually contained several different samian workshops at different locations, Dr Delage pointed out that the organisation of such a site was extremely complex and did not merely involve samian decorators. Indeed, in the Roman period the site of Lezoux was made up of several areas of samian production, as well as sections that were not involved in this process. It has also been shown that different potters and decorators worked in different sectors of this production centre at the same time, while some potters moved around various sectors of the site. Dr Delage argued that it was possible to assign individual potters to specific sectors of production at Lezoux at certain points in time through archaeological research at the site. This then enabled further conclusions concerning the types of vessels produced by individual potters, as well as the types of decorations they used and areas of distribution of individual potters' work.

By focussing on the style of production and decoration of various individual potters during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, Dr Delage showed how individuals could influence the development of pottery production even at a major centre such as Lezoux. Towards the end of the 2nd century and in the 3rd century, the number of large workshops at Lezoux decreased drastically, although samian production did continue into the 4th century, when Lezoux has been identified as the last site to use moulds in the process of samian production.

Following this brief outline of the development of production at Lezoux, Dr Delage pointed out that traditionally, the chronology of the site had always been linked to individual potters or decorators, but suggested that it was of little benefit to look at the individual aspects of a vessel to understand its date. Instead, he proposed that, because some vessels show more than one stamp, there may have been groups of potters and decorators that worked together in a single workshop, which may explain some of the glitches in traditional samian chronology. Dr Delage argued that it was therefore necessary to look at several aspects of a vessel such as its ovolo, its decoration, the lines between panels and of course its form to try and build a complete understanding of the processes, and individuals, involved in its production. Citing the example of Paternus, he furthermore suggested that differences in stamps could serve as a direct indicator of different points in an individual potter’s or decorator's career.

In conclusion, De Delage suggested that while the history of samian production at Lezoux has been well understood on the basis of traditional approaches, the study of decoration alone has left several grey areas of chronology that are not fully understood. It is these problems in our understanding of Lezoux ware that archaeological research at the site itself can address, whilst simultaneously providing new insights into the organization of a major samian production centre.

Discussion

Following Dr Delage's paper, Dr Monteil pointed out that it had probably been the best introduction to the site of Lezoux she had ever heard. Geoffrey Dannell reiterated this, but wondered whether Peter Webster might be able to provide some further input regarding the "grey areas" of the Lezoux chronology. Peter Webster said that he was in possession of the data of excavations carried out at Lezoux by Hartley and Frere. These data include a large number of rubbings and excavations records, particularly of early material. While some of this material has not yet been associated directly with the excavation records there may be some as yet unknown clarifications of the early period of production at Lezoux, which will become apparent in the near future.

Joanna Bird picked up on the concept of relating changes in vessels to chronological changes that can be observed at Lezoux itself, asking to what extent changes in fabrics and the design of vessel footrings could be linked into the archaeology of the site. Richard Delage pointed out that such an approach was not just feasible but profitable, particularly so in relation to the development of the rims of vessels produced at Lezoux. While it is impossible to identify the exact point of changes in vessel design within a single workshop, he argued that it was possible to identify general trends over time within a specific area of production at Lezoux. This allows for a finer subdivision of more general chronological trends.

Marinus Polak then asked about the residuality of moulds and their reuse, arguing that traditionally the use of mould is dated through datable finds from throughout the western provinces. As late finds vessels from Lezoux not exported in the same quantities, however, it could well be that an even later production at the site continues, merely reusing existing moulds. Dr Delage pointed out that in France, at least, the late dates for Lezoux are gained from destruction levels or fires that can be dated accurately. In addition to this, the late dates were gained not just from the decorative elements on moulds, but a combination of different characteristics on vessels and sherds that make the assignation of dates a lot more accurate than at other sites. At this point Allard Mees argued that a lot of the later date range of production centres is seen with preconceptions by a number of scholars, and that there may have been significantly more flexibility than is currently allowed. Dr Delage agreed to this point, suggesting that even if a potter or decorator changes, moulds could frequently have been reused, explaining the continuation of earlier types of design.

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Quelques aspects des sigille'es d'Espalion (Aveyron, France)
Jean-Louis Tilhard, HeRMA, Université de Poitiers

Summary by Christoph Rummel

Jean-Louis Thilard presented the second paper of the afternoon session, focussing on samian from the site of Espalion in the department Aveyron in France.

The pottery production centre at Espalion was identified on the basis of a type of samian distinctive in its decoration and ovolo that was initially assumed to have originated around Brive-la-Gaillarde. More recent research, however, has shown that the clay associated with the Brive pottery could not actually have come from this site, and a matching type was finally found during excavations at Espalion that uncovered various moulds and vessels of a samian workshop.

The material from Espalion was classified on the basis of its decorative elements, which led to the classification of an Espalion specific group of vessel types and decorations. This group can be subdivided into several stylistic phases, from which a rough chronology of pottery production at Espalion can be surmised – especially if the chronological phases of decorative styles are related to vessel forms. There is even scope to compare production-centre specific variations of aspects of different forms, which make the development of pottery production at Espalion even clearer.

There are several similarities between the data from Espalion and decorative elements frequently found at La Graufesenque, but the vessels associated with Espalion combine various poinçons in a unique way. The fact that such combinations are not singular productions but the result of different moulds from those used at La Graufesenque is indicated by several vessels with exactly the same decorations. Such vessels have, for example, been found at Clermont Ferrand and Alesia. This, and the identification of various potters through their stamps, clearly showed that a further centre of samian production existed at Espalion.

Once the group of samian produced at Espalion had been identified, it was possible to plot the site's distribution both within central Gaul and beyond in order to identify trade routes followed and main areas of distribution. Dr Thilard furthermore studied the site of Espalion in detail in order to identify where exactly specific groups of Espalion pottery were made at which time and so reconstruct the economic development of this samian production centre.

Discussion

Marinus Polak questioned the distribution of samian produced at Espalion - on the map showed by Dr Tilhard, it appeared that Espalion itself was very much at the edge of the distribution area of its own pottery, rather than at its centre. This, according to Dr Polak, related directly to some of the points regarding distribution network and transport routes that had come up during Dr Walsh's paper on the Pudding Pan wrecks earlier in the day. Dr Polak suggested that samian may frequently not have been the main transport good, but packed alongside other cargoes and suggested it might be very interesting to look at what such cargoes may have been, and in what way they influenced samian distribution. Dr Tilhard responded that the location of Espalion at the edge of its distribution area was not as strange as one might assume, as a very similar distribution is known from other production centres as, for example, Montans.

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Un wandering potter de Gaule me'ridionale: Logirnus
Thierry Martin, Équipe TPC (UMR 5140 du CNRS, Lattes, France)

Summary by Christoph Rummel

The third French paper of the day was presented by Thierry Martin of the CNRS, who has been working extensively at the samian production centre of Montans. He presented a paper on a so-called "wandering potter", Longirnus, whose products have been identified at several workshops including La Graufesenque and Montans.

Dr Martin argued that a particular combination of decorative elements can be identified on the vessels produced by Longirnus at Montans, where two workshops of this potter have been identified on the basis of moulds. A particular element of decoration used by Longirnus is an imprint of a small hand that is frequently found woven into the decoration of various vessels. Some of the decorative elements used by Longirnus at Montans closely resemble styles ('E' and 'F', as well as ovolo 'i') of the potter Albus who worked at Espalion, as described by Dr Tilhard in the previous paper. As such, Dr Martin suggested that Longirnus appears to have used poinçons and a sigillum originally used by Albus of Espalion to decorate the moulds he used at Montans. These include the in planta manus, the styl 'i' ovolo identified at Espalion, a particular type of leaf decoration, a column style separator, two particular bifols and a trifol, and a stylized profile of an emperor.

While the discussion focussed on decorative elements of samian, Dr Martin concluded that an explanation for the occurrence of decorative elements of Albus moulds from Espalion in the workshops of Longirnus at Montans may be that Longrinus served an "apprenticeship" in the workshops at Espalion and therefore had access to the poinçons and sigilla there. Dr Martin suggested that the use of decorative rules typical of Albus by Longirnus might indicate the direct influence this workshop had on him in his younger years.

Finally, Dr Martin pointed out that there are also some vessels with identical decorations to those assigned to Longirnus at Montans that have been found associated with the production centre at La Graufesenque. As such, he suggested that towards a later stage of his career, Longirnus moved away from Montans and set up a workshop at La Graufesenque. Dr Martin concluded that the existence of such "wandering potters", who worked at different production centres at various points in their careers in samian manufacture was a necessary result of the "globalized" nature of samian production and may well explain some of the grey areas in current samian chronology.

Discussion

Following the paper, Gwladys Monteil highlighted that the final point of Dr Martin's paper was very important and that it should always be remembered that the highly complex manufacture of samian, split into several industries as it was, would frequently have included the reuse and transfer of tools and hardware, as well as a vivid exchange of materials and talent between major production sites and individual workshops. This would, of course, have included potters and decorators themselves, who may have taken their own poinçons and other tools with them when moving. As the entire world of samian production appears to have been extremely flexible, rather than a set and static framework, it should always be treated as such, and rigid rules would be difficult, if not impossible, to apply. At this point Allard Mees pointed out that attribution of styles of decoration to individuals may furthermore be difficult, suggesting that with great Dutch painters the majority of work was carried out by various assistants in an atelier, rather than the famous painter himself, and that similar processes may well have taken place in Gaulish samian workshops. Overall, there was general agreement that with the detailed study of samian decoration and assignation to individual potters there can be theories and suggestions, but no precise answers.

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European Funding Opportunities
Martin Pickard, Grantcraft

Summary by Christoph Rummel

In the last paper of the day, Martin Pickard of Grantcraft, who advises several Universities, including the University of Nottingham, on funding applications provided an overview of European funding opportunities for international collaborative research as discussed during the workshop. He argued that the issues identified in the course of the day would fit with several programmes run by the European Union, which provided several sources of funding that involved substantial budgets. While most funding is available for collaborative research, proposals can also be made to fit for other approaches. This is especially true for funding administered through European Research Councils who also have means of funding individual research based on a research theme. A third programme focuses on the specific training of individuals.

Amongst other schemes, Dr Pickard suggested that the most useful approach for samian research as observed by him as an independent adviser would be in Marie Curie Training funds allocated through collaborative research projects by several European players. Such Grants could be applied for in September of every year, and could involve substantial amounts of funding. The complex IT issues during the earlier part of the day could easily be incorporated into such projects, as the funds covered dedicated staff that could develop entirely new tools, rather than trying to make existing ones fit. Further avenues that could be considered in future would be lifelong training and career development funds, industry-academia partnerships between commercial archaeologists and universities or independent research grants.

Discussion

The general consensus following Dr Pickard's presentation was that there was a lot to think about in what he said, and that it would be highly ambitious to try and put a research agenda together in time for a September deadline of applications. Dr Pickard pointed out that it would surely be worth trying to put something together anyway as it would be good training, even if it failed. Steven Willis had a specific question regarding the allocation of research fellow in the course of EU funded projects as these had to be international. Dr Pickard pointed out that there would be no problem for them to be based in Britain and work on data from abroad and vice versa. Michael Fulford asked how many partner institutions would usually have to be involved in a large scale project such as proposed by Dr Pickard. It appears that at least 3 are the norm, but usually between 5 and 7 institutions are involved in large-scale European research projects. In any proposal, it would be particularly important to highlight why specifically applied methods of training would be beneficial to future research across Europe. Marinus Polak had several questions regarding the involvement of archaeological units in partnerships between industry and academia, such as the inclusion of researchers without a PhD and restrictions on the age and size of companies involved. Dr Pickard pointed out that not all levels of partners in research would be a postgraduate or postdoctoral level, and stated that there are no restrictions on the industrial partners involved in such partnerships.

The chair, Steven Willis, concluded the day by pointing out that it had started on a high note with the presentation of Prof Fulford's successful project and ended on an equally high note with the opportunities pointed out by Dr Pickard.

He pointed out that the workshops are showing more and more that the discipline of samian research itself is healthy and strong, but that its problems lie in demographics and communications. Dr Willis suggested that it is in these areas in particular that a route for the future must be found in order to enable a new generation of archaeologists working with samian to operate effectively. While there is a need to identify overall research topics and attract funding for these, which evidently is available, the "coal face" of archaeology must not be forgotten. A core point not to be forgotten, according to Dr Willis, is that samian is not just a discipline of its own, but feeds into numerous other aspects of archaeological research in general.

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