|Database of sigillata forms|
|A searchable database of the principal sigillata forms is available here.|
|Fabric and technology|
Hard, smooth surfaced fabric with conchoidal or slightly laminar
fracture; pinkish-brown (10R 5-6/8, sometimes 10R 5/10) typically
with glossy red slip (10R 5/8 or darker, 2.5YR 4/6) covering the
entire vessel, except interior of enclosed vessels. Earliest specimens
in Britain (Tiberio-Claudian) lack high gloss of classic ware
and are duller in appearance. Very abundant inclusions of finely
divided limestone, usually under 0.1mm in diameter but occasionally
up to 0.5mm, or in longer streaks; occasional fragments of rounded
quartzite (up to 0.5mm diameter) in the paste and the underside
of footrings. A distinctive variant of the ware has a yellow
slip (2.5Y 7/4) marbled with red streaks.
Although c. 600 potters are known to have operated at La Graufesenque
the assemblage in Britain is often dominated by a small number
of firms, particularly Aquitanus, Bassus, Calvus, Crestio, Frontinus,
Germanus, Licinus, Modestus, Murranus, Niger, Pass(i)enus, Patricius,
Primus, Rufinus, Secundus, Severus, Virilis and Vitalis .
Production at La Graufesenque commences in the late Augustan period,
and there may be some Tiberian exports to Britain, but the period
of the major export is c. AD 40-100. Local production continues
up to at least c. AD 200.
La Graufesenque (Aveyron), on the outskirts of Millau.
Extensive around western Mediterranean, including Italy and North
Africa, Gaul, Rhineland and Danube provinces, and Britain. Also
a wide scatter in eastern provinces, and beyond as far as the
Sudan and India.
The marbled variant dates to c. AD 40-75 and is uncommon in Britain -- rarely more than a sherd or two in even large collections -- but is far more prominent in assemblages around the Mediterranean (Rogers 1981).
Colchester fabric SG. JRPS bibliography fabric sts.
Milton Keynes fabric . Kent fine fabric 20a. Silchester
Bémont, Vernhet and Beck 1987 and Bémont and Jacob 1986, 96-103
give summaries of production at La Graufesenque. The papers presented
at the SFECAG conference at Millau in 1994 (Rivet 1994) illustrate
some new developments in sigillata studies, such as the
use of statistical techniques to investigate the relationships
between potters within a workshop or the links between potters
The important series of pre-firing graffiti from La Graufesenque are reported by Marichal 1988. South Gaulish decorated wares are covered by Knorr 1919; Knorr 1952; Hermet 1934, with important collections published by Atkinson 1914 (the Pompeii hoard); Hull 1958; Hawkes and Hull 1947; Curle 1911; Dannell in Peacock 1971; Manning 1993.
Atkinson, D., 'A hoard of samian ware from Pompeii', JRS, 4, (1914), pp. 27-64.
Bémont and Jacob 1986.
Bémont, C. and Jacob, J.-P., La Terre sigillée gallo-romaine. Lieux de production du Haut Empire: implantations, produits, relations, Documents d'archéologie française, 6, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Paris, (1986).
Bémont, Vernhet and Beck 1987.
Bémont, C., Vernhet, A. and Beck, F., La Graufesenque. Village de potiers gallo-romains, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, (1987).
Curle, J., A Roman frontier post and its people The fort of Newstead in the Parish of Melrose, Glasgow, (1911).
Hawkes and Hull 1947.
Hawkes, C. F. C. and Hull, M. R., Camulodunum. First report on the excavations at Colchester, 1930-39, Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 14, Society of Antiquaries, Oxford, (1947).
Hermet, F., La Graufesenque (Condatomago), Librairie Ernest Leroux, Paris, (1934).
Hull, M. R., Roman Colchester, Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 20, Society of Antiquaries and the Corporation of the Borough of Colchester, Oxford, (1958).
Knorr, R., Töpfer und Fabriken verzierter Terra-Sigillata des ersten Jahrhunderts, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, (1919).
Knorr, R., Terra Sigillata Gefasse des ersten Jahrhunderts, mit Töpfernamen, Kohlhammer,, Stuttgart, (1952).
Manning, W. H., The Roman pottery, Report on the excavations at Usk, 1965-1976, University of Wales Press [for] the Board of Celtic Studies of the University of Wales, Cardiff, (1993).
Marichal, R., Les graffites de la Graufesenque, Supplément à Gallia, 47, Éditions du CNRS, Paris, (1988).
Peacock, D. P. S., 'Petrography of certain coarse pottery' in Excavations at Fishbourne, 1961-69, ed. B. Cunliffe, 27, Reports of the research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London, London, (1971), pp. 255-259.
Rivet, L., Actes du Congrès de Millau. 12-15 Mai 1994. Société Française d'tude de la Céramique Antique en Gaule, SFECAG, Marseille, (1994).
Rogers, G. B., 'Marbled samian from Fréjus (Var)' in Roman Pottery research in Britain and North-West Europe. Papers presented to Graham Webster, ed. A. C. Anderson and A. S. Anderson, British archaeological reports. International series, 123, BAR, Oxford, (1981), pp. 257-64.