Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Terra nigra

Plates, cups and beakers in fine black slipped wares produced in northern Gaul and distributed across north-east Gaul and south-east Britain during the late 1st century BC and 1st century AD.

Fabric and technology

A variable series of hard off-white (2.5Y 7-8/0) to dark grey or brown fabrics, with thin darker margins, silty or slightly sandy textured, coated with a darker grey (2.5Y 4/0) or blue-black slip; highly-burnished surfaces, sometimes with individual strokes visible. Wheel-thrown. Much variation possible on an individual vessel.


Plates, cups, beakers and bowls.


Augustan to Neronian/early Flavian.


Vesle valley, near Rheims, the Marne valley and the Trier region.


North-east Gaul, between the Seine, Moselle and Rhine. In Britain, principally south and east of the Severn-Humber line, with concentrations in central southern England, and Herts/Essex region.


JRPS bibliography fabric tng. Kent fine fabric 7a. Silchester fabric E6.


Distribution of Terra nigra in Britain
Roman Pottery in Britain (Tyers 1996)
  • Fabric code: TN (p.165)
Thumbnail images (click for higher resolution):
National Roman Fabric Reference Collection
(Dore & Tomber 1998, Museum of London Archaeology Service Monograph 2)
  • Fabric code: GAB TN 1 (Gallia-Belgica (Vesle valley) Terra Nigra 1, p.15).
Thumbnail images
Worcestershire ceramics online database
(Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service)
  • Fabric no. 25 (Terra nigra)
Thumbnail images (click for higher resolution):
Terra nigra
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/TN • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.