Curators Choice – Samian Pottery

Samian ware is one of the most distinctive types of pottery from the Roman world. It was made originally in northern Italy, with manufacture later shifting to Gaul, modern day France.

Samian was a high-quality tableware, with a beautiful glossy red, or occasionally black, finish. Many Samian vessels have moulded decoration, with scenes including animals, people and vegetation. Some vessels are stamped on the base with the maker’s name. As archaeologists have worked when different potters were operating at different production sites, these stamps can date the pots production very precisely.

In this video, Collections Assistant Archaeology Catherine Knight, takes a closer look the Roman Samian pottery in the collection.

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