Laura Garofalo is a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art & Archaeology. Her primary interests are in the intersections of Roman history, art, and archaeology. Laura is currently writing a dissertation on retrospective styles in Flavian Rome.

Fragments with Graffiti

Both of these ceramic fragments come from bowls and may have shared not only a potter’s workshop but perhaps also an owner. The deeply incised graffito, “ANTHUSA,” on one fragment (1122) may correspond with a sketchier graffito on the other (1125), incised “ANTH,” perhaps in an abbreviation of the same name. Said to have been […]

Select Bibliography

Brown, A. C. 1968. Catalogue of Italian Terra-Sigillata in the Ashmolean Museum. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Chase, G. H. 1975. Catalogue of Arretine Pottery. Cambridge, MA: Copy Quick Corp. Reprint of 1916 ed., published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston. Hartley, B. R. and B. M. Dickinson. 2008-2012. Names on Terra Sigillata: An Index of Makers’ Stamps & […]

Horned Figure Wearing a Goat Skin

This finely detailed fragment depicts the upper half of a bearded man with horns. The twisted horns and beard, as well as the goat-skin chlamys, or cloak, which the figure wears, suggest that he is a satyr, a companion of the god Dionysus. A goat-skin chlamys flows behind the figure, highlighting the detailed molding of […]

Plate with Pottery Stamp

This shallow ceramic plate represents one shape of vessel which was commonly produced. The overall high-gloss appearance of the terra sigillata is especially visible in this piece, demonstrating the luster and aesthetic appeal even a relatively unadorned vessel could offer. The plate has a low rim with incised grooves and sits on a small ring-foot. […]

Fragment with Graffito

This fragment from a ceramic plate or bowl has a particularly thin fabric, perhaps connoting a finer ware of pottery. The base of the fragment has a lightly incised graffito which reads “BRO.” Note, however, that the right side of the ‘B’ has been formed in a linear pattern, a form which may evoke some […]

Fragment with Figural Pottery Stamp

The interior of this fragment of a bowl preserves a figural potter’s stamp, perhaps depicting Ceres, the goddess of the harvest. Within the rectangular stamp, the standing female figure is draped from shoulder to ankle. In her upraised right hand, she holds a wreath; in her left hand, she holds a sheaf of wheat, an […]

Fragment with Graffito

This ceramic base of a bowl features a deeply incised graffito which reads “FLORV,” perhaps short for the name “Florus.” This type of graffito might have been used to identify the owner of the vessel or may have been used as a trade marking. The interior of the vessel features a round stamp with a […]

Putto Charioteer in a Circus Scene

This fragment of a bowl depicts a chubby cupid figure, or putto, driving a two-horse chariot. Three tall, triangular turning-posts, or metae, on either side of the chariot set the scene in a Roman circus. The putto extends a long whip over the two leaping horses, perhaps encouraging them to go faster against another racing […]

Actaeon Attacked by Hounds

This fragment, most likely from the lower half of a small bowl, depicts a scene of the mythological hunter Actaeon being attacked by his own hunting dogs. In Greco-Roman mythology (particularly the version in Ovid’s Metamorphoses), Actaeon was a hunter who accidentally stumbled upon the goddess Diana bathing in the woods. As retribution for his […]

Everyday Dining: Terra Sigillata

The high-gloss, red-slip ceramic vessels featured here would have been used for daily eating and drinking throughout the Roman Empire. This type of ceramic ware is referred to as terra sigillata, or “stamped clay,” as many pieces were mold-made (See the image below for an example of a terra sigillata mold at the Walters Art […]