Terra sigillata in southern Latium. The evidence from the Pontine Region Project, 1987-2014
Keywords:Pontine Region Project, Early Imperial period, terra sigillata, name stamps, Roman economy, ceramic studies
This contribution is the first of a series of publications by the authors to systematically disclose the wealth of material evidence collected during some 30 years of fieldwork in the Pontine region by the Pontine Region Project. This project has, since its inception in the mid-1980s, investigated more than 36 km2 of terrain across all major geomorphological units of the region, largely by means of systematic surface investigations. During these investigations, close to 200 000 artefacts were collected for further study, including c. 1 660 fragments of (Italian) terra sigillata, the emblematic, shiny red fine table ware of the Early Imperial period. In this article, we present a detailed spatial and contextual analysis of the terra sigillata fragments that have been gathered within the Pontine Region Project and discuss the results in light of economic issues (market integration, economic growth). We then supplement this evidence by published evidence of name stamps from surrounding areas to further expose to what extent, and in what ways, the different parts of southern Latium were embedded in the long-distance economic networks of the period.