The Roman House at Hopkins | Everyday Dining: Terra Sigillata

Fragment with Graffito

By Laura Garofalo

Accession Number: JHAM 1120
Measurements: Width: 7.4 cm, Height: 4.4 cm
Material: Slipped Ceramic
Culture/Date: Roman, late 1st c. BCE
Provenance: Unknown

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 potter’s mark, “HILA / RVS.” At least three central Italian pottery workshops have names with ‘Hilarus’ attested, but no known pottery stamp exactly matches this one.Parts of the sides of the vessel are also still visible, suggesting the curvature of the walls.

Detail of the pottery stamp. JHAM 1120

Robinson, D.M., ed. 1936. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: United States of America, The Robinson Collection, Baltimore, MD. 3 vol. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Pg. 56-57, no. 4a-b, pl. XLIV, 4a-b.