Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

AmphorasAmphoras were the transport containers of the Graeco-Roman world, are are usually large pottery vessels, with handles, for the storage and transportation of liquids, especially wine, olive oil and other foodstuffs. The study of the production, distribution and dating of amphoras (and indirectly the products they originally contained) is one of the most important sources for the analysis of the the Roman economy. Amphoras are commonly found in shipwrecks of the Roman period, particularly in the western Mediterranean.
Coarse waresCoarse wares, for cooking or food preparation or storage, are the most common wares on most sites. In most cases they will be from local sources but some coarse wares are transported over long distances.
Fine waresIn addition to terra sigillata, other traditions of fine pottery were current during the Roman period. Many of these vessels can be classed as table wares, and were used as drinking vessels (cups and beakers) or for the service of food (plates and dishes). Common decorative techniques include slipped (or more rarely glazed) surfaces.
MortariaMortaria are hemispherical or conical bowls commonly with heavy flanges and coarse grits embedded into the internal surface. They were used for pounding or mixing foods and are an important indicator of the spread of romanised food preparation methods. Stamps on some early Roman mortaria record the name of the potter, from which it is possible to trace their movement between workshops. Some vessels produced in Italy and Gaul are transported long distances but local factories dominate at most periods.
Terra SigillataA tradition of red-gloss table wares current in Western Europe from the first century BC until the third century AD. Probably the most widely distributed and intensively studied class of Roman ceramics. The products of the largest sigillata industries, such as those based at Arezzo (Italy) or near Millau (France) are found throught the Mediterranean basin and across the northern Roman provinces and are an important source of dating evidence on many archaeological sites.
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Class • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.