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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


Montans samian (MON SA)

Five samples

Like most British examples, all the samples included here are 2nd century in date.

General appearance

This is often a very pale red-brown (nearest value 10R 6/8, estimated value 10R 8/8–7/8) fabric. Surfaces are red-brown (10R 5/8–4/8) with a smooth lustrous slip. It is hard with a smooth fracture and feel. The 1st century Montans fabric is generally paler than La Graufesenque, with browner gloss, and therefore more similar to Lezoux.

Hand specimen

The fabric is dominated, even more so than La Graufesenque, by abundant well-sorted limestone, <0.1mm, occasionally to 0.4mm. All other inclusions are sparse, with only one grain of quartz seen in five samples. Red-brown iron-rich grains (occasionally to 0.3mm), fine silver mica and voids (to 1.0mm) are also identified.

Thin section

An isotropic calcareous clay is visible, with limestone accounting for approximately half of the groundmass on part of the sample. Muscovite and brown mica can be identified, as can sparse quartz, opaques, limestone (sometimes as voids with reaction rims), clean clay pellets and feldspar, all of which measure between 0.1–0.3mm.


Chresimus (x2), Felicio, Q.V-C- (x2)


Museum of London


Museum of London; Musée Toulouse-Lautrec d’Albi (France) (Collection Lacroix); Musée Raymond-Lafage de Lisle-sur-Tarn (France) (Collection Lacroix); Dépôt de fouilles de Montans (France); Musée Saint-Raymond de Toulouse (France) (Collection Rossignol)


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

Simpson, G, 1976 Decorated terra sigillata at Montans (Tarn) from the manuscript of Elie Rossignol at Albi, Britannia 7, 244–73

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

Plate 18: Fresh sherd break of MON SA (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 18: Fresh sherd break of MON SA (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 18.1: Photomicrograph of MON SA (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 18.1: Photomicrograph of MON SA (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)