1. Introduction

Members of the voluntary Berkshire Archaeology Research Group (BARG) recently worked on the final preparation of all the archaeological assemblages from one of their long-standing projects, a study of the archaeology of this parish, the Barkham Survey. The artefacts are soon to be stored in the Museum of Reading in Berkshire (accession number REDMG 2006.962). One of those assemblages is a large collection of sherds from and a few whole examples of, late 19th century German salt-glazed stoneware seltzer bottles from the Apollinaris spring.

Stoneware is a material created at high temperatures of between 1200 and 1400 degrees centigrade where all the inclusions are fully fused into the body and the fabric becomes impervious to water.1 The following is a description of how we examined this assemblage, and an analysis as far as is possible to date in seeking to answer our many questions about the industry and the history of these stoneware bottles.