Study Group for Roman Pottery

Roman Pottery Bibliography

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12 Aveyron continued:
Journal of Roman Pottery Studies  Vol 4, 1991 page 113
987 Marichal, R, Les graffties de La Graufesenque, 47e suppl. à Gallia, 1988.
exc,syn/ptp/kln/1st-early 2nd
This is book of deep significance for the study of Roman pottery. On occupation sites in Britain, and almost everywhere else as well, graffiti on pottery often seems beyond interpretation, the vast majority of examples being little more than a cross or a few letters scratched on the underside of a pot, perhaps no more than a crude signature indicating ownership. At La Graufesenque, Marichal demonstrates that the graffiti on plain samian plates was of critical importance to the accountancy of the industry: each firing of a kiln would contain a single plate, itself previously unfired, onto which was scratched an invoice, a list of all the potters contributing vessels to the firing, and the respective numbers of vessels per potter. Since the invoice itself was fired along with the vessels listed, it provided irrefutable evidence of what had gone in, so that each could retrieve his own. What is truly astonishing about this, beyond the mere simplicity of the system, is the order of magnitude represented by each firing. No. 1: 27,945 vessels. No. 2: 28,693 vessels. No. 3: 29,825 vessels. No. 4: 31,010 vessels. (This last is the largest number quoted; the smallest apparently complete number is 25,380, for No. 12). It is thought that several kilns may have operated simultaneously during the summer months, with the full firing cycle requiring as little as fifteen days: it is by no means inconceivable that La Graufesenque may have produced the order of one million vessels per season. When one adds that these were vessels of the highest quality, perhaps one in ten having a complicated moulded decoration, a picture begins to emerge of an industry achieving a degree of efficiency and turnover on a par with many industries of the 20th century. The volume includes a detailed study of the writing on the sherds (the alphabet, numbers, punctuation and abbreviations), the language (phonetics, morphology, etc; most of the potters were indigenous, not Romans), and a study of the potters' working methods, as well as a catalogue of the fired plates, illustrated with 213 photographs. There are also two graffiti invoice-plates from Montans, and one from Blickweiler. Quite apart from the technological aspects of the La Graufesenque industry, which are illuminated now as never before, this book brings us much closer to the potters and their way of life.

Journal of Roman Pottery Studies  Vol 4, 1991 page 114
*995 : polak, M, 'Some observations on the production of terra sigillata at La Graufesenque', Archäologisches Korrespondemblatt, Vol. 19, 1989 (2), 145-154.
A first glance at research connected with the author's PhD thesis on the South Gaulish samian stamps from Vechten. Standardisation of vessel size is looked at in the light of the Vechten material. Of considerable interest is the analysis of the organisational models behind the various types of samian stamps used. Briefly, names appearing in the nominative or with abbreviations of 'fecit' or 'manu' are likely to be potters working on their own. Abbreviations of 'officina' are likely to denote larger firms of more than one potter. Names in the genitive may be either individuals or firms.
    >Journal of Roman Pottery Studies  Vol 5, 1992 page 141
*1143 Review of Marichal. R. Les Graffites de La Graufesenque, by Bird. J. Britannia, 22, 1991, 338-9. Cf JRPS 4,entry no. 987.

Journal of Roman Pottery Studies  Vol 5, 1992 page 148
+ 1208  Haalebos, J-K, Mees, A W &: polak, M, 'über Töpfer und Fabriken verzierter Terra-Sigillata des ersten Jahrhunderts', Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt, 21, 1991, 79-91.
This is in part a critique of the much longer work on the dating of South Gaulish samian on the German Limes by Barbara Pferdehirt (Jahrb des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, 33, 1986, 221-320; cf also JRPS 4, entry no. 1006). In so doing, the article draws together a number of important points related to recent Dutch and German research. Of critical importance are the links between potters stamping bowls and those stamping or signing moulds. Excellent photographs (Taf 15-20) and drawings illustrate examples of cases where different potters are involved in the mould and bowl making processes. This is linked with the (progressing) study of the Cluzel 15 workshop deposit (from excavations at La Graufesenque). Ultimately it should be possible to identify potters who were mould makers and those who were simply mould buyers. A second part examines the proportions of forms 29 and 37 found in successive levels at Nijmegen.

Journal of Roman Pottery Studies  Vol 5, 1992 page 154
1243 Tilhard, J-L, Moser, F &: picon, M, 'De Brive à Espalion: bilan des recherches sur un nouvel atelier de sigillée et sur les productions céramiques de Brive (Corrèze)', SFECAG, Actes du Congrès de Cognac, 1991, 229-258.
syn,chm,exc/lst-late 2nd/usf
tsg (Espalion & Brive)/hpb/ccc/rgh/osd
It seems that the joyous announcement by Alain Vernhet following the paper by Moser and Tilhard at Toulouse, "we have just witnessed the birth of a new child: the workshop at Brive" (see JRPS 3, entry nos. 650 & 651), was perfectly justified, but they had got the wrong baby! This paper shows that while the moulds and various fine wares found at Brive were indeed probably locally-made, the samian wares were probably made at Espalion, in the valley of the Lot to the northwest of La Graufesenque. Although the writers had had some doubts about the homogeneity of the Brive material from the start, confirmation of this surprising turnabout was possible only following an intensive programme of chemical analyses, which included examination of the kiln furniture and the moulds as well as the pottery from both sites. Obviously the full understanding of the two sites was initially hampered by the relative lack of archaeological investigations, and recent survey work has still not produced the kilns or kiln deposits which might resolve many outstanding questions, but the analyses have clarified the most important questions. While Brive does not now appear to have been a major production centre for early samian, it was undoubtedly a producer of fine wares, such as 'hairpin' barbotine-decorated beakers and rouletted bowls - material dating from the end of the 1st century through the end of the 2nd. Espalion, or, more precisely, a workshop somewhere in the region of Espalion, and probably in the Lot Valley, was undoubtedly a producer of both plain and mould-decorated samian from the reign of Tiberius (probably) to that of Domitian or early Trajan. Espalion, 

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