A more detailed map of sigillata kiln sites is also available.
Terra sigillata or samian wares are the classic fine wares of the early Roman period, familiar to any visitor to a museum or excavation with finds of this period. Their study has a long and brilliant history, and has traditionally overshadowed that of more humble wares.
The roots of the industry go back to the mid-first cent. BC in Italy. Building on the foundations of a pre-existing black-slipped ware industry, glossy red-slipped wares were produced at Arezzo, in northern Tuscany, by c. 40 BC. The industry expanded, and factories producing Italian-type sigillata were founded at other centres in Italy, such as Pisa, and also in southern France and northern Spain.
A database of the principal terra sigillata forms, with illustrations, is available here.
|Central Gaulish terra sigillata||Terra sigillata manufacture commenced in Central Gaul from the Augustan period and during the 1st century AD the distinctive micaceous products of Lezoux are distributed across central and western Gaul, and occasionally to southern Britain. The height of the industry was during the 2nd century AD. when the products of Les Martres-de-Veyre and Lezoux (Puy-de-Dôme/FR) had a wide distribution across Gaul, Germany, Britain and the Danube provinces.||40||200|
|Colchester terra sigillata||Terra sigillata manufactured at Colchester (Essex/GB) during mid-late 2nd century AD, with limited distribution in eastern England. Some of the potters working at Colchester had earlier operated at East Gaulish factories such as Sinzig and Trier (DE).||155||180|
|East Gaulish terra sigillata||Terra sigillata kiln sites were founded in eastern Gaul from the mid-1st century AD, but production for a wider market is only significant during the 2nd and early-mid 3rd centuries AD. There is evidence from the study of stamps and moulds for the movement of potters between production centres, and craftsmen from Sinzig and Trier (Rheinland-Pfalz/DE) were probably responsible for the small Colchester (Essex/GB) sigillata industry during the mid-late 2nd century AD.||120||260|
|Italian-type (Arretine) sigillata||Classic terra sigillata (`arretine') production commenced at Arezzo (Toscana/IT) during the early Augustan period. Additional workshops were set up in Italy, at Pisa (IT) and elsewhere, and also in southern Gaul, particularly at Lyon (Rhône/FR). Study of stamps and moulds suggests the movement of potters between workshops.||-20||30|
|South Gaulish (La Graufesenque) terra sigillata||Terra sigillata was manufactured at La Graufesenque (nr Millau, Aveyron/FR) from the Augustan period and the products achieved a wide distribution during the Tiberio-Claudian period. The height of the industry is reached during the mid-late 1st century AD, when the distribution covers most of the western Empire, the Mediterranean littoral, and beyond.||40||120|
|South Gaulish (Montans) terra sigillata||Terra sigillata produced at Montans (Tarn/FR) and distributed across western Gaul, northern Spain and Britain during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.||50||180|