THE SAMIAN WARE

Margaret Ward, MA MIFA

Methodology

Each sherd was catalogued on a Microsoft Access database. Full details of sherds and numbers of vessels, including weights and measurements of rims for EVES (Estimated Vessel Equivalents) were recorded and are stored in the archive.

The products of the samian industry were highly standardised, and their study and publication have developed along standardised lines. The standard terminology is employed here.

The abbreviations SG, CG and EG denote vessels which were produced in South Gaulish, Central Gaulish and East Gaulish workshops. For other abbreviations such as Cala Culip, Oswald, S & S, etc see the bibliography. Hartley and Dickinson’s numbering system for their forthcoming index of potters’ stamps on samian ware has been adopted, using Roman numerals in lower case following the potter’s name; Roman numerals in upper case denote the numbering system (usually of styles) employed in Stanfield and Simpson’s work (S & S) and followed by Rogers (1974 and 1999). Vessel types are generally Dragendorff’s form numbers unless otherwise stated; for other terminology, see Webster 1996.

A dish from Central Gaul, found in layer 1282, Trench 12

Date-ranges such as c AD 70-110 or c 120-200, have been given rather than the use of epochs (e.g. Flavian-Trajanic or Hadrianic-Antonine). These should not be thought more precise than the use of epochs. They are employed to facilitate computer analysis of the material. Tables and a histogram have been provided in order to summarise the forms, fabrics and date-ranges of the material according to numbers of vessels (see Tables 2, 4, 6). Although measurements for EVES were recorded, EVES have been so little employed in samian reports that comparisons would be impossible (see Willis 1998, 94). Here, maximum numbers of vessels are given as the estimation of minimum numbers is considered misleading, especially in the case of small fragments of the same date, origin and form. Willis (2005, 5.2.2) has noted that, although this method has a potential problem of multiple counting of sherds from the same vessel in more than one context, multiple counting should arise primarily amongst the plain wares, since most moulded bowls have distinctive decoration. At any rate, the provision of measurements for EVES in the archive should facilitate the integration of the samian ware into the pottery assemblage as a whole.

The samian assemblage is summarized first by phase; details of individual vessels are listed by trench and phase; finally, the assemblage is summarized in its entirety. 

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