Reconstructing production technology and distribution, using thin section petrography: A pilot study of Roman pottery production in the Pontine region, Central Italy

B. Borgers*, G. Tol, T. de Haas

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper explores aspects of production and distribution of local Roman pottery from the Pontine region, Central Italy, based on ceramics recovered in surveys carried out within the ‘Minor Centres’ project. The aim of this project was to investigate the role of minor centres in local economies of Roman Central Italy. Ceramic fabrics from waster pottery, recovered from three such centres and one rural site, were studied in thin section, and com-
pared with pottery from consumption sites in the area. This study was complemented by clay prospection, which was carried out with the aim to identify potential clay sources used for Roman pottery production. The results
show that the local pottery at each site is characterised by a unique compositional signature, and demonstrate that potters in the Pontine region exploited local raw materials. Furthermore, the results indicate that local prod-
ucts were distributed within a radius of 25 km, and that the ‘Roman’ traditions of paste preparation, as identified in this study, appear to result from long-lived traditions of paste preparation techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1072
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2018


  • Roman ceramics
  • Petrography
  • Pontine region
  • Minor centres

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