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The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: a Handbook

Hand specimen picture panel
Thin section picture panel


Appendix 1: Keywords and Definitions
Appendix 2: Physical Layout of Sherds Housed in the NRFRC


Lezoux samian 2 (LEZ SA 2)

Seven samples

This group refers to 2nd century products from Lezoux.

General appearance

This fabric is red-brown (10R 6/8, 10R 5/6) or paler (estimated to a value of 8), with surfaces red-brown (10R 5/8) or orange-brown (2.5YR 5/8), but browner than, for example, those seen from La Graufesenque. The slip is smooth and lustrous, but less so than La Graufesenque. It is a hard fabric with a conchoidal fracture. Later in the 2nd century (BM registration no. P1995.7-12.6) the fabric is generally paler (10R 8/8) with a slightly browner slip.

Hand specimen

The inclusion suite is more mixed than for the south Gaulish centres, and on the whole ill sorted. Plate 21, of early Antonine date, is considered a typical Lezoux product. Limestone, silver (with less gold) mica and red-brown and black iron-rich grains are all common, and generally <0.1mm, although limestone and iron-rich grains occur up to 1.0mm. Quartz is sparse, normally measuring c 0.2mm. The Hadrianic fabric (BM registration no. P1995.7-12.5) tends to be denser, with fewer inclusions.

Thin section

An isotropic and calcareous clay is visible. It contains abundant, frequently rounded, limestone and less quartz and opaques, all generally <0.1mm. Regular larger inclusions of quartz, feldspar and limestone measure between c 0.1–0.2mm. The matrix is micaceous, with common muscovite and some brown mica, measuring to c 0.6mm. Additional inclusions, always rare, comprise ferromagnesian minerals and siltstone.


Atilianus, Attius, Lollius, Luppa, Maior, Namilianus, Pugnus


Museum of London


University of Durham (Oswald-Plicque Collection); Department of Prehistoric & Romano-British Antiquities, The British Museum; Museum of London; Musée de la Céramique Gallo-Romaine, Lezoux (France); Musée des Antiquités Nationales, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, (France) (Collection Plicque)


Bémont, C, & Jacob, J-P (eds), 1986 La terre sigillée gallo-romaine. Lieux de production du Haut Empire: implantations, produits, relations, Documents d’Archéologie Française 6, Paris

Bet, P, Fenet, A, & Montineri, D, 1989 La typologie de la sigillée lisse de Lezoux: considérations générales et formes inédites, SFECAG. Actes du Congrès de Lezoux, 37–54

Oswald, F, 1936–7 Index of figure-types on terra sigillata (‘samian ware’)

Oswald, F, & Pryce, T Davies, 1920 Introduction to the study of terra sigillata

Picon, M, 1973 Introduction à l’étude technique des céramiques sigillées de Lezoux, Centre de Recherche sur les Techniques Gallo-Romaines 2, Dijon

Rogers, G, 1975 Poteries sigillées de la Gaule centrale. 1. Les motifs non figurés, Gallia Supplément 28

Stanfield, J A, & Simpson, G, 1958 Central Gaulish potters

Stanfield, J A, & Simpson, G, 1990 Les potiers de la Gaule centrale, Revue Archéologiques Sites, Gonfaron

Webster, P V, with contributions by Dannell, G B, 1996 Roman samian pottery in Britain, Practical handbook in archaeology 13

See the related record on the Atlas of Roman Pottery on the Potsherd website

Plate 21: Fresh sherd break of LEZ SA 2 (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 21: Fresh sherd break of LEZ SA 2 (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 21.1: Photomicrograph of LEZ SA 2 (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 21.1: Photomicrograph of LEZ SA 2 (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)