Unique St Agnes Pottery Sherd Goes On Display

The St. Agnes Sherd.
© National Maritime Museum Cornwall

A unique piece of pottery uncovered during the building of social housing on St Agnes in 2009 has gone on display at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

Radiocarbon dating has confirmed it dates back to 1000-800 BC.

The pottery, uncovered at the site of a late Bronze Age roundhouse, was part of a thick cup or beaker and has been decorated with what is thought to be a masted boat. That’s interested archaeologists because masts weren’t used here until the first century.

Sean Taylor of the Cornwall Council historic environment service reckons the Bronze Age islanders drew a Phoenician trading vessel as it passed St Agnes.

We’ll never know whether it is a boat but it’s still significant because the pattern was inscribed on the clay before it was fired.

Sean says it’s on display at the museum in Falmouth but says he hopes it will be shown on St Mary’s soon.

Sean says the whole process has taken some time, with the first excavations taking place in 2009.

He says the site as a whole is an amazing place to work and very significant. And there is some hope that the rest of the pot, or other similar finds could be located somewhere around the settlement.