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