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The Pottery Kilns of Roman Britain

To honour the achievements of Vivien, the Study Group for Roman Pottery has initiated this project to digitise Vivien’s gazetteer with the aim of enhancing this data. 

Stage one was the scanning and digitisation of the microfiche gazetteer and its mapping with a web interface for the large public to access and browse the data. To continue the legacy and enhance the impact of the kiln data, Andrew Peachey, on behalf of the Study Group for Roman Pottery, surveyed kilns recorded on the Historic Environment Records of England between 1982-2014 in order to update the resource. A total of 336 kilns were added to those originally included in the microfiche gazetteer. 

The SGRP intends to implement future phases of research in order to continue to update the database as further Roman kilns are recorded. Which is why the latest version of the web application includes an interface for logged in users to manage current data or to add new entries. 

The web application is meant to encourage collaboration and easy adding of data by external contributors. For this, it allows visitors to register and login with google or facebook after which they are allowed to add new entries to the database. These records are tagged as community added kilns and are subject to moderation from administrators. Moderators may approve the data as genuine and include it in the main data set or reject it. Before the data is moderated, it is displayed on the map with a different colour.

Technologies used 

The web application is now a mix of WordPress with a custom theme, special plugins for registering new users and custom built PHP and JS code for managing the kiln visualisation and editing the data.  

The kiln data is held in PostgreSQL, the web mapping is done with Leaflet.