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Morgantina Studies, Volume VI: The Hellenistic and Roman Fine Pottery

Morgantina Studies, Volume VI: The Hellenistic and Roman Fine Pottery

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    Morgantina Studies, Volume VI: The Hellenistic and Roman Fine Pottery
    Book Description:

    Excavation of the ancient city of Morgantina in southeastern Sicily since 1955 has recovered an extraordinary quantity and variety of pottery, both locally made and imported. This volume presents the fine-ware pottery dating between the second half of the fourth century BCE, when Morgantina was a thriving inland center closely tied to the Hellenistic east through Syracuse, and the first half of the first century CE, when Morgantina had been reduced to a dwindling Roman provincial town that would soon be abandoned. Bearing gloss and often paint or relief, these fine ceramics were mostly tableware, and together they provide a well-defined picture of the evolving material culture of an important urban site over several centuries. And since virtually all these vessels come from dated deposits, this volume provides wide-ranging contributions to the chronology of Hellenistic and early Roman pottery.

    An introductory chapter sketches out a comprehensive history of the city, discusses the many well-dated archaeological deposits that contained the excavated pottery, and defines the major fabrics of the ceramics found at the site. The bulk of the volume consists of a scholarly presentation of more than 1,500 pottery vessels, analyzing their shapes, fabrics, chronology, decoration, and techniques of fabrication.

    This rich ceramic material includes significant bodies of Republican black-gloss and red-gloss vases, Sicilian polychrome ware, and Eastern Sigillata A, as well as early Italian terra sigillata, with numerous examples imported from Arezzo and other Italian centers, along with regional versions from Campania and elsewhere on Sicily. The relief ware includes important groups of third-century BCE medallion cups and hemispherical moldmade cups of the second and first centuries BCE.

    Morgantina was also an active center of pottery production, and the debris from several workshops has been recovered, enabling Shelley Stone to reconstruct the working techniques and materials of the local craftsmen, the range of ceramics they produced, and how their products were influenced by pottery imported to the site from elsewhere on Sicily, the Italian mainland, and even more distant centers. The volume also presents new information about the sources of the clay used by the Morgantina potters, as revealed by X-ray fluorescence analysis of selected vases.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4516-3
    Subjects: Art & Art History, Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xiii)
  3. List of Text Figures, Tables, and Charts
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
  4. List of Plates
    (pp. xv-xix)
  5. Editors’ Preface
    (pp. xx-xx)
    Malcolm Bell III and Christopher Moss
  6. Preface
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  7. Bibliography and Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-2)
  8. I History and Archaeology of Morgantina
    (pp. 3-80)

    The ancient city of Morgantina was an important regional center in southeastern central Sicily from the second half of the 4th into the late 1st century BCE, and then survived as a small village into the first half of the 1st century CE. Excavations at the site have recovered an enormous amount of pottery dated between ca. 350 BCE and ca. 50 CE. Given its location fifty miles from the east coast of the island, Morgantina was not exposed to the degree of foreign influence that a port would have seen, and its ceramics give us a picture of the...

  9. II The Later 4th and 3rd Centuries BCE
    (pp. 81-138)

    The fills associated with the capture of Morgantina by the Romans in 211 BCE cast valuable light on the chronology of Hellenistic Sicilian tablewares. The destruction deposits at Gela (ca. 280 BCE) and a vast series of graves on Lipari (sacked by the Romans in 252 BCE, with most of the graves dated before that event and only a few after it), provide a picture of ceramic development on Sicily during the later 4th century and through the first half of the 3rd century. However, the deposits at Gela are limited in size, and one may also conjecture that the...

  10. III Republican Morgantina: Black- and Red-Gloss Wares after 211 BCE to ca. 35–25 BCE
    (pp. 139-206)

    It is difficult to evaluate material culture at Morgantina in the years after the Roman sack of 211 BCE. The 2nd century is essentially a long blank in terms of fills, with only one very small deposit of ceramics (deposit IIA) from the first half of the century (probably datable to the end of the first quarter of the century).¹ All the pottery in that deposit seems to have been imported to Morgantina; there is no evidence that any ceramics were made at the city during the first half of the 2nd century, although one may suspect that roof tiles...

  11. IV Imported Early Italian Terra Sigillata and South Italian Regional Sigillatas
    (pp. 207-228)

    The last settlement at Morgantina was small, with a population of fewer than a thousand inhabitants. Its commercial center was located in the northwest corner of the Agora (context IIIF), and its main domestic quarter was on the West Hill (contexts IIIA–IIIF). There is slight evidence that isolated buildings (probably farmhouses) may have dotted the Serra Orlando ridge outside the central inhabited area. The early imperial village succeeded the Republican city that was largely destroyed in the third quarter of the 1st century BCE. The period between ca. 35 and ca. 10 BCE is difficult to evaluate; one house...

  12. V Pottery with Moldmade Decoration
    (pp. 229-290)

    Moldmade wares constitute a specialized category of fine pottery with decoration in relief. More than any other fine Hellenistic or early Roman ceramics, vases with moldmade relief decoration recall the appearance of contemporary vases in metal. This chapter examines the classes of vases that have moldmade ornament as their primary decoration. In addition, a brief section on appliqués presents the fragments of applied moldmade decoration that in most cases aredisiecta membraand cannot be associated with a specific vase type. Many of these appliqués were subsidiary ornament on jugs or cups;¹ they are presented here because, like the decoration...

  13. VI Thin-Walled Pottery
    (pp. 291-304)

    Thin-walled vases make up a class of Republican and early imperial ceramics characterized primarily by sharply articulated, fragile forms.¹ These wares seem to have been derived initially mainly from shapes current in the Late La Tène pottery of northern Italy and northern Europe, but they swiftly came under the influence of the southern Mediterranean “Hellenistic” tradition.² They were essentially fine pottery, and their forms often are elegant, but they also have many similarities to utilitarian wares. Thin-walled wares tend to be fairly small, and their shapes are limited to small cups, beakers, jars, and small pitchers or mugs.³ Some were...

  14. VII Catalogue
    (pp. 305-407)

    Each catalogue entry begins with the catalogue number (in bold), followed by the Morgantina inventory number (two digits indicating the year when the piece was catalogued, followed by the piece’s number in that year’s sequence of catalogued objects). Findspot then follows on the same line, usually given by deposit or context number, and then reference to illustrations. The next line gives the measurements of the piece; all measurements are given in centimeters. Dimensions measured with a rule include the round number of centimeter(s) and one unit of the fraction of a centimeter. Estimated measurements are given in a round number...

  15. Appendix 1: The Evidence for Pottery Manufacture at Morgantina from the Later 4th Century BCE to the 1st Century CE
    (pp. 408-415)
  16. Appendix 2: The Provenance of Ceramics at Morgantina from the 3rd Century BCE through the 1st Century CE as Defined by Portable EDXRF Analysis
    (pp. 416-450)
    Malia Johnson and Maury Morgenstein
  17. Appendix 3: Concordance of Shapes Found at Morgantina with Those Commonly Found in the Tombs of the 4th and the First Half of the 3rd Century BCE on Lipari
    (pp. 451-457)
  18. Appendix 4: The Morgantina Silver Treasure
    (pp. 458-461)
  19. Concordance of Inventory Numbers
    (pp. 462-469)
  20. Subject Index
    (pp. 470-483)
  21. Index of Deposits and Contexts
    (pp. 484-485)
  22. Plates
    (pp. None)