Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Phocaean red-slipped ware

Fine red-slipped table wares produced in western Asia Minor and widely distributed around the eastern Mediterranean (and more rarely in the west) during the 5th and 6th centuries AD.

Fabric and technology

Hard, fine textured fabric; brownish-red with purple or maroon tinge, with thin red slip over whole surface; fine white flecks in clean matrix.


Plates, bowls and dishes; principal form in Britain is Hayes type 3, a shallow bowl with short vertical wall, incorporating slight flange, frequently stamped on inner face with crosses and other motifs.


Post-Roman in Britain, c. AD 475-550.


Phocaea, western Asia Minor.


Principally the eastern Mediterranean, but with scattered distribution around the west, along the Atlantic seaways, to south-west Britain and Ireland.


Late Roman C.


British (Tintagel) class Ai.


Source and dating: Hayes 1972, 323-70; Hayes 1980; Mayet and Picon 1986; Empereur and Picon 1986. Distribution in Britain: Thomas 1981; Fulford 1989; also Rahtz et al. 1992, 161-2.


Empereur and Picon 1986. Empereur, J. Y. and Picon, M., ‘A propos d’un nouvel atelier de Late Roman C’, Figlina, 7, (1986), pp. 143-6.

Fulford 1989. Fulford, M. G., ‘Byzantium and Britain: a Mediterranean perspective on Post-Roman Mediterranean imports in western Britain and Ireland’, MedArch, 33, (1989), pp. 1-6.

Hayes 1972. Hayes, J. W., Late Roman pottery, British School at Rome, London, (1972).

Hayes 1980. Hayes, J. W., A supplement to Late Roman Pottery, British School at Rome, London, (1980).

Mayet and Picon 1986. Mayet, F. and Picon, M., ‘Une sigillée phocéenne tardive (Late Roman C ware) et sa diffusion en Occident’, Figlina, 7, (1986), pp. 129-34.

Rahtz et al. 1992. Rahtz, P. A., Woodward, A., Burrow, I., Everton, A., Watts, L., Leach, P., Hirst, S., Fowler, P. and Gardner, K., Cadbury Congresbury 1968-73. A late/post-Roman hilltop settlement in Somerset, British archaeological reports. British series, 223, Tempus Reparatum, Oxford, (1992).

Thomas 1981. Thomas, C., A provisional list of imported pottery in Post-Roman Britain and Ireland, Special report, 7, Institute of Cornish Studies, Redruth, (1981).

Distribution of Phocaean red-slipped ware in Britain
Roman Pottery in Britain (Tyers 1996)
  • Fabric code: PRSW (p.155)
DICOCER: Dictionnaire des Céramiques Antiques
(Py, ed 1993)
  • Fabric code: LATE-C [PDF] (Céramique Late Roman C)
Pages may include descriptions of related types (text in French).
Phocaean red-slipped ware
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/PRSW • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.