How many later prehistoric pottery collections are there in England? This simple question was the basis for a survey funded by English Heritage at the instigation of the Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group. The goal of the survey was to create a register of all the collections which date between the Late Bronze Age and the Late Iron Age, c 1000 BC-AD 50, and to complement this with a bibliography of published collections.
From January 1996 to October 1998, a team of 21 surveyors from across the country was engaged in the desktop recording of as many collections as they could find. This recording was conducted using a single-page proforma which requested the following information about each collection: date of record, survey area, name of collection, county, parish, NGR, SMR, Scheduled Ancient Monuments code, type of site using the RCHME Thesaurus of Monument Types (1995), current location of collection, final curatorial location, method of recovery (excavation, fieldwalking, evaluation, pipeline, causal pick-up, watching brief, other, no information available), size of collection, date range, and whether the collection had been published. Museums, units, amateur groups and individual collectors were contacted by the local surveyor.
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