Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Introduction to the Atlas

The role of pottery in Roman archaeology

Pottery is one of the most abundant finds from any archaeological sites of the Roman period, and has been studied systematically for over a century. In the wider context of Roman archaeology, ceramic studies have a number of roles, among the principal of which are dating of sites, examining economic and social structures and illustrating the processs of site formation.

The structure of Roman pottery studies

Traditionally, some of the principal classes of Roman pottery have been studied by groups of specialists who concentrate largely or exclusively on a single class of pottery. This has resulted in a very extensive but fragmented bibliography, including specialised journals and conference proceedings devoted to a single class of pottery. A complementary approach is to consider all the pottery found at a site, and study its date, sources and function. The resulting site reports form the second major strand through Roman ceramic studies.

How the Atlas is organised

Each Atlas page includes details of a ware, illustrated where possible by images, distribution maps, and links to other web sites that hold relevant data. The pages include cross-refereces to the relevant pages in Roman Pottery in Britain and other major publications.

The Atlas can be reached through menu pages which list all pages with similar characteristics:

  • wares of the same class (broad functional or technological category, such as amphoras, mortaria or terra sigillata), or
  • wares from the same source area (if you know where it is made) or

Entries points to these pages can also be found in the side menu bar.

URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/index.html • © Text 1996, Layout 2012. Some images may be linked to other web sites.