Roman cooking vessels (ollae): A preliminary study of the material from the Pontine region, Central Italy

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

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This paper presents the petrographic analysis of cooking vessels (ollae) from the Pontine region, Central Italy, dated between the 4th and the 1st centuries BC. Cooking vessels of three surveys in different parts of the Pontine Plain and around Norba, in the Lepine foothills, are considered. The considered time-span covers the period in which the Pontine region became integrated in the Roman state until the end of the Republic, and cooking vessels have much to tell us about the region's integration in production and distribution systems, and whether changes occurred therein.

The petrographic study shows that the cooking pots were produced and distributed at regional and supra-regional scales. The production and distribution systems that are tentatively inferred show aspects of continuity and change during the time-span considered. Roman cooking vessels that circulated in the Pontine region between the 4th and the 3rd centuries BC had a supra-regional and regional provenance. During the 2nd and the 1st centuries BC, the region continued to have access to these products, as well as to other ones that were produced within and outside the region. Furthermore, the distribution of supra-regional products increased, whereas the importance of existing regional centres decreased in favour of others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-325
Number of pages13
JournalScience and Technology of Archaeological Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Roman cooking vessels
  • Pontine region
  • Petrography

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