Study Group for Roman Pottery

Roman Pottery Bibliography

Departments of France: page 69b

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69 Rhône continued :
 amphorae at the five Lyon-region sites are compared in chronological terms, showing at all sites the obvious decline of Italian amphorae from a peak of 63% at St Romain-en-Gal in the period 30-20 BC, in favour of both Spanish and Gaulish amphorae which dominate at Bas-de-Loyasse, which is the latest of the sites compared. This is a key paper in the modem evolution of amphora studies.

Journal of Roman Pottery Studies  Vol 4, 1991 page 109
961  Ettlinger, E, Hedinger, B, Hoffmann, B, Kenrick, P M, Pucci, G, Roth-Rubi, K, Schneider, G, von Schnurbein, S, Wells, C M & Zabehlicky-Scheffenegger, S, Conspectus Formarum Terrae Sigillatae Italico Modo Confectae, Römish-Germanische Kommission des Deutsches Archälogischen Instituts zu Frankfurt A.M., 1990.
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Is this the coming trend? Does it now require a committee of ten to produce the kind of fundamental textbook which will be worthy of Loeschcke, Dragendorff, Déchelette, Oxé & Comfort or Oswald &: pryce? Is this what the European Community has brought us to? Well, if so, it is surely to be welcomed. This can only be described as a major contribution to sigillata research, and to Roman pottery studies in general, and the proof of the pudding is that the type series presented in this volume has already become a lingua franca among Arretine researchers (well, at least among the collaborators on the Conspectus, who happen to include some of the most eminent in the field). The core of the volume is a new form classification for plain "Italian-type" sigillata, which is essentially the plain ware produced at Lyon, Pisa and Arezzo. On the scope of the project, Wells remarks, "We might even define 'Italian-type sigillata' somewhat flippantly as 'any sigillata that Loeschcke would have called "Arretine"', any sigillata, that is to say, wherever it is made, which in appearance (forms, colour, etc.) closely resembles the products of the Arezzo workshops" (pl). Fifty-four basic forms are defined, and most are illustrated with several examples, often divided into sub-categories. Beyond the form series, however, the authors also provide a wealth of information on aspects of production and dating, and there is an 'Exkurse' which includes sections on potters' stamps, on decoration on 'plain' wares, on the shapes of footrings, on the rim-forms of mould-decorated types, and on flagons and jars. The text is mainly in English and German, with a short section in Italian. There can be no doubt that this volume is a remarkable achievement, not least in its straightforward, accessible presentation, and it will clearly enjoy a very long life as the standard reference volume for "Italian-type" sigillata.

Journal of Roman Pottery Studies  Vol 5, 1992 page 147
1200  Desbat, A, 'La datation par les céramiques: réflexions à partir de quelques exemples', SFECAG, Actes du Congrés de Cognac, 1991, 153-160. One of four papers in a thematic section entitled 'Méthodologie: la chronologic en céramique de la datation relative à la datation absolue': see also entry nos. 1203, 1234 and 1241.
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    This a rumination on the problems of the dating of archaeological contexts, using a series of well-chosen examples. In the first example, the initial excavation in 1970 of a mosaic at Saint-Romain-en-Gal suggested that it was Augustan, since the layer immediately underneath it contained arretine ware, an ACO beaker and lamps with birds' heads; a new excavation in 1980 showed that the mosaic sat above deeply-set walls, and the true in situ Augustan layers were perhaps a further two metres below, and the mosaic was in fact dated to roughly 180 AD. The Augustan material at the top was thus entirely residual, and was simply part of the infilling between the two deeply-set walls.
In a second example, only the samian content of a large deposit at rue des Farges, Lyon, is shown in a dating graph: although the bulk of the material is clearly 60/70-90, the presence of South Gaulish Service F, dated 90+, undoubtedly means the whole lot should be dated 90-110/120. Similarly, the samian found in three contexts from Saint-Romain-en-Gal is shown in a dating graph: here, on the basis of presence/absence only, two of the three contexts are more or less indistinguishable, but when presented in a quantified form it becomes apparent that they do actually form a sequence. In a fourth example, a stratigraphic sequence of four contexts at the Gorge du Loup site, Lyon, is shown in the same manner as the two preceding examples, but in this instance the pottery dating does not follow the stratigraphy, largely because there was too little pottery present. In fact most of the problems presented here seem to this writer somewhat more theoretical than real: it seems very likely that if the coarse wares in these contexts had been taken into account, they would not have been dated so early. These illustrations do, nevertheless, neatly summarize the fundamental problems of pottery dating.

Journal of Roman Pottery Studies  Vol 5, 1992 page 155
1248  Vertet, H, 'Observations sur la sociologie et 1'économie des ateliers de potiers gallo-romains du centre de la Gaule', SFECAG, Actes du Congrès de Cognac, 1991, 185-191.
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This is a thoughtful examination of the development of the pottery industries in Gaul - Central Gaul in particular - and on the social and economic status of the potters. The installation of the industries in South Gaul, Central Gaul and Lyon in the early 1st century were all deliberate acts, requiring substantial capital investments, at places where there was little or no previous tradition of pottery production. A similar sort of investment was also needed in Central Gaul in the early 2nd century, when the potters began using a calcareous clay and the industry was re-organised. Vertet suggests that the initial investments must have been undertaken by Romans directly, while the later investments may have come from wealthy Gauls. In either case, however, the potters themselves were relatively poor, although not slaves - Vertet quotes Finley, who speaks of peasants who were "neither slaves nor free men". It is also worth noting Vertet's complaint (in footnote 2) that this is a subject which is no longer receiving the attention it deserves: some thirty years ago the CNRS created three posts to cover the production centres of South, Central and East Gaul, respectively; two of the three original occupants are now retired, and have not been replaced.

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