Roman Pottery Sherd

This is a broken piece of pottery made in Roman times, in a style known as Samian ware. It would have originally formed part of a bowl made in Gaul (France) some time between the first and third centuries.

What can we see?


The grapevine would have repeated around the body of the bowl in a fluid, scrolling pattern. Evoking a vineyard, figures and animals hide within.


Cupid is the Roman god of desire, affection and erotic love.

Known as Eros by the Ancient Greeks,  he was portrayed as a slender winged youth. In the later Roman era, Cupid often appears as a chubby boy with a bow and arrow.


Two goats appear marching to the right along the lower band of the sherd. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder advised goat dung flavoured with saffron as a remedy for gout.


We’re not sure what type of bird this is. Could it be a curious cuckoo?

Author: Dan Robertson, Curator of Local History & Archaeology


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