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The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: a Handbook

Hand specimen picture panel
Thin section picture panel

References

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

 

Italian and Italian-style sigillata


Lyon, Italian-style sigillata (LYO SA)

Five samples

General appearance

This is a pale orange-brown (nearest value 2.5YR 6/6–6/8, but estimated as slightly paler) fabric. Surface colour is brown (10R 5/6) or orange-brown (2.5YR 6/8, 2.5YR 4/8) with a distinct orange under-cast.The slip is of high quality, silky smooth and usually semi-lustrous. It is hard fired with a smooth fracture and feel.

Hand specimen

The inclusions are well sorted and consistently <0.1mm. Abundant limestone dominates, with fine mica common (mostly silver but some gold) in the break and flakes up to 0.4mm typical on the surface of the vessels. Other sparse inclusions are red-brown and black iron-rich grains, quartz and red-brown ?rock fragments (the latter occasionally up to 0.7mm).

Thin section

A silty clay with some larger inclusions of quartz, opaques (sometimes quartz rich) and particularly fragments of sparry calcite (some may be redeposited), frequently to 0.3mm. The sample contains abundant mica, with muscovite dominant, although some brown mica can be identified. A single siltstone is also present.

Donor

CNRS CRA Laboratoire de Céramologie Lyon (France)

Museum

Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine, Lyon (France)

References

Kenrick, P M, 1978 Arretine pottery – a changing scene, in Papers in Italian Archaeology i: the Lancaster seminar (eds H Blake, T W Potter & D B Whitehouse), 237–41, BAR Supp Ser 41(I)

Lasfargues, J, Lasfargues, A, & Vertet, H, 1976 L’atelier de potiers augustéen à Lyon: la fouille de sauvetage de 1966, in Notes d’épigraphie et d’archéologie lyonnaises, 61–80, Lyon

Picon, M, & Garmier, J, 1974 Un atelier d’Ateius à Lyon, Revue Archéologique de l’Est 25, 71–6

von Schnurbein, S, 1990 Die außeritalische Produktion, 2. Kurzlebiges Manufakturen Lyon-La Muette, in Conspectus Formarum Terrae Sigillatae Italico Modo Confectae (E Ettlinger et al), Materialien zur Römisch-Germanischen Keramik Heft 10, 19–20, Bonn

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

Plate 15: Fresh sherd break of LYO SA (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 15: Fresh sherd break of LYO SA (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 15.1: Photomicrograph of LYO SA (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 15.1: Photomicrograph of LYO SA (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)


Pisa, Italian sigillata (PIS SA)

Two samples

General appearance

These samples are typically pale pink-brown (2.5YR 6/6, 5YR 7/4) with glossy red-brown (10R 4/6) slip. They are very hard with smooth surfaces and smooth fracture.

Hand specimen

The fabric is characterised by a fine calcareous clay, containing abundant limestone inclusions, sometimes appearing as streaks. The limestone varies somewhat between samples and may be well or ill sorted: normally it measures <0.2mm, although occasionally grains up to 0.4mm are present. Other visible inclusions are sparse, and include red, brown or red-brown iron-rich inclusions, quartz and rarely visible fine silver mica.

Thin section

This is an exceptionally fine calcareous clay containing common muscovite and brown mica, and rare silt-sized quartz. Limestone is abundant, but is not normally visible as discrete inclusions. Larger grains are virtually absent, but quartz and opaques to c 0.1–0.3mm are present.

Source

L. Rasinius (x2)

Donor

Museum of London

Museums

(for Italian sigillata in general) Colchester Museums; Hertford Museum; Departments of Greek & Roman Antiquities and Prehistoric & Romano-British Antiquities, The British Museum; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

References

Bird, J, 1995a The samian and other imported red-slipped fine wares, in Excavations in the Marlowe Car Park and surrounding areas. Part 2: the finds (K Blockley, M Blockley, P Blockley, S Frere & S Stow), The archaeology of Canterbury 5, 772–97

Ettlinger, E, 1990 Die italische Produktion 1. Die klassische Zeit: Pisa und das Ateius-Problem, in Conspectus Formarum Terrae Sigillatae Italico Modo Confectae (E Ettlinger et al), Materialien zur Römisch-Germanischen Keramik Heft 10, 7–8, Bonn

Hartley, B R, 1988 The arretine, in Puckeridge-Braughing, Hertfordshire: the Ermine Street excavations 1971–72 (T W Potter & S D Trow), Hertfordshire Archaeol 10, 94–6

Kenrick, P M, 1993 Potters’ stamps on Italian terra sigillata: towards a new catalogue, J Roman Pottery Stud 6, 27–35

Williams, D F, 1988a Petrological examinations of the arretine ware, in Puckeridge-Braughing, Hertfordshire: the Ermine Street excavations 1971–72 (T W Potter & S D Trow), Hertfordshire Archaeol 10, 96

Williams, D F, & Dannell, G B, 1978 Petrological analysis of arretine and early samian: a preliminary report, in Early fine wares in Roman Britain (eds P Arthur & G Marsh), BAR 57, 5–13

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

Plate 16: Fresh sherd break of PIS SA (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 16: Fresh sherd break of PIS SA (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 16.1: Photomicrograph of PIS SA (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 16.1: Photomicrograph of PIS SA (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)


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