Zur Abfolge der ersten Dekorationsserien der Reliefsigillata-Töpfer in Rheinzabern

Mit 3 Beilagen (A – C)

Von Friedrich-Karl Bittner


Ricken 1942, Taf. 10,6
Ricken 1942, Taf. 10,6


Based on various criteria (especially the use and sequence of the ovolos, regarded as a control function within the manufactory), F.-K. Bittner tries to rearrange the sequence of the decoration series within the Rheinzabern mould-made sigillata, unfortunately presented by Heinrich Ricken without justification. Bittner divides the production in Rheinzabern into potter’s generations, of which the first two are treated here. In the center of the interest are the positions of Cobnertus I and III and Reginus I. The attached lists of figure types facilitate the traceability of Bittner’s proposals.

 Auf Grund verschiedener Kriterien (besonders der Verwendung und Abfolge der Eierstäbe, die als Kontrollfunktion innerhalb der Manufakturen angesehen werden) versucht F.-K. Bittner eine Neuordnung der von H. Ricken leider ohne Begründung vorgelegten Abfolge der Dekorationsserien der Reliefsigillata-Töpfer in Rheinzabern. Bittner teilt die Produktion in Rheinzabern in Töpfergenerationen ein, von welchen hier die ersten beiden behandelt werden. Im Zentrum des Interesses stehen die Positionen von Cobnertus I und III und Reginus I. Die beigefügten Punzenlisten erleichtern die Nachvollziehbarkeit der Vorschläge Bittners.

Clay preparation units

Rheinzabern 1975-77. Pit with clay ready for use.
Rheinzabern 1975-77. Pit with clay ready for use.

Dear Colleagues,

I am working on a topic, related to the clay preparation in the Roman period. I am trying to collect evidence for the different facilities in use during this process and the proofs of their presence in the ceramic workshops. I found some basic information in Peacock’s work on Roman pottery (Peacock 1982), and data for excavated structures in for example Pergamon, Sagalassos, Rheinzabern (see Poblome et al. 2001, Reutti 1983) etc. Unfortunately, I was unable to find publications with more specific information for the general layout of these facilities in the ceramic workshops and the exact way they were used. My goal is to find the differences in the layout and operation of the structures, used for clay settling, levigation, sedimentation and any other process related to the preparation of the raw material, together with the distinctive traces they leave in the archaeological record. I would be gratefull if someone could help me with bibliographical references or personal experience in this matter.

Best regards,
A. Harizanov


Peacock 1982: D. P. S. Peacock. Pottery in the Roman World: an ethnoarchaeological approach. – Longman, London, 1982.
Poblome et al. 2001: J. Poblome, O. Bounegtru, P. Degryse, W. Viaene, M. Waelkens, S. Erdemgil. The sigillata manufactories of Pergamon and Sagalassos. – JRA, 14, 2001, 143-166.
Reutti 1983: F. Reutti. Tonverarbeitende Industrie im römischen Rheinzabern. – In: Germania, 61, 1. Halbband, 1983, 33-69

Parallel of a kiln construction

Kilns near Montana, Bulgaria
Kilns near Montana, Bulgaria

Dear Colleаgues,

I am looking for a parallel of this kiln construction, excavated in the territory of Bulgaria. The structure was discovered in a Roman villa rustica, dated to the second half of the 2nd – third quarter of the 4th c. AD (Aleksandrov 1983, 72-75). The site was situated near the the modern day (and also the Roman) town of Montana (in the Roman provinces of Moesia Inferior/Dacia Mediterrranea).
The construction comprised four two-chambered structures (two with perforated and two with solid intermediate floors) connected by a long praefurnium (image – Aleksandrov 1983, p. 60). The fire was ignited into the lower chamber of the largest structure from where the hot air was transfered to the other three parts of this facility (Aleksandrov 1983, 60-61).

Tools used for the production and decoration of roman pottery

Dear colleagues,

I was wondering if someone knows and can recommend me bibliography on tools (made in various materials) that are used in the production and decoration of roman pottery which can be found in (and around) pottery workshops. I’m especially interested  in tools that were used in decorating vessels (such as tools for the making of incised decoration, and other).

Thank You in advance for Your replies!

Acknowledgment of the Administrator

Today I am very happy to announce: The Blog of the RCRF is now online!

That should be the occasion to express my gratitude to all who had contributed to it:

First of all Jonas Hellwig, web-designer and specialist for social media, who, together with his collaborator Michael Ernst, created the blog entirely according to our wishes.

(For informations about his company look at: http://kulturbanause.de).

But just as well I want to thank my colleagues Philip Kenrick, Susanne Zabehlicky-Scheffenegger and Viorica Rusu-Bolindet, who helped me with many good advises, corrections and so on.

Now I wish our Blog many followers and contributors interested in all kinds of Roman pottery and eager to discuss their latest researches or open questions with others.

Dr. Fridolin Reutti

The OCK Database

Users of the OCK database of potters’ stamps on Italian terra sigillata will know that it is increasingly difficult – if not impossible – to run this old Paradox program on newer versions of Windows.
The best solution appeared to be to find a web-platform for the database, and in 2011 I was offered the opportunity for it to be incorporated within the databases hosted by the Oxford Roman Economy Project. Unfortunately, this has proved more challenging than expected and it has not come to fruition.
Please be assured that I still have an urgent interest in this and am seeking other solutions! In the mean time, while I am still intending to make further revisions/additions to the catalogue, it is obviously more important to bring the 2000 edition back into a more usable state.