Ceramics of the first millennium BC from a survey at Lanuvium in the Alban Hills, Central Italy: Method, aims and first results of regional fabric classification


  • P.A.J. Attema
  • G.J.M. van Oortmerssen


Researchers at the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA) have developed a fabric classitication method that relates surface pottery from the surveys of the Institute's Pontine Region Project (P.R.P.) in South Lazio to pottery from the lnstitute's stratigraphical excavations at the protohistoric site of Satricum in the same area (c. 60 km south of Rome). In this paper it is argued that classitication of the surface pottery on the basis of fabric analysis is the most useful starting point for dealing with the problem of the low chronological and functional resolution of surface materials. Fabric analysis allows us to relate worn body sherds found during surface survey to well-defined pottery groups based on excavated materials. Survey makes it possible, then, to 'trap' moments of increased production and/or increased pottety supply in the wider rural landscape, and to relate such observed changes to socio-economic and political change in the urban sphere. Following an introduction to the overall research programme, the authors explain the fabric classification method and provide an example of its application to a pottery collection from a recent P.R.P. survey at Lanuvium in the Alban hills. The fabric classification is given in an Appendix and covers the local impasto and local coarse wares collected in site and off-site contexts in the Lanuvium survey.