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Roman pottery sherd

Marbled Roman pottery sherd from the first century C.E.

Pottery sherd, 40-80 C.E., Roman, Clay, Gift of Arthur and Roswitha Haas, 2015.7.153.11.

An object as small as even a single pottery sherd can give us a wealth of information about when, where, and how it was made. This sherd is Marbled Sigillata Ware, as evidenced by the greenish yellow coating on its surface with red marbled streaks, a decoration probably meant to imitate marble, agate, or variegated glass. It was produced in South Gaul, specifically at workshops in what is modern day France and Italy. It was particularly in vogue during the reigns of Emperors Claudius and Nero–so much so that we even have ancient knockoffs of this type!  Marbled Sigillata Ware has been found as far east as Athens, Greece and as far north as Roman Britain. Even without knowing what type of pot this sherd belonged to, it can be closely dated to 40-80 C.E. based on its decoration, method of manufacture, and clay.



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