"Terra sigillata – exclusive Roman tableware" Top 5 Page for this destination Speyer Local Custom Tip by Trekki
Speyer Local Customs: 24 reviews and 70 photos
Parts of the “Barbarian Treasure(s)”, which have been found in the 80ies on several spots in the Rhine, are ancient Roman dishware. It is fascinating how these findings can add to understanding how life in these days must have been.
As already mentioned before, the Romans brought their handicrafters with them when settling in what is now Southern Germany. In the beginning, they also had all their “home ware” brought from Rome. When they had discovered that there are excellent sources for potter’s clay nearby, big manufacturing sites have been founded here, to be precise in Rheinzabern, where a museum is showing history and manufacturing of this special dishware.
It is called Terra Sigillata (modern name) or vas samium (ancient name) and means polished ware. While blazing the clay, oxygen was fed, which gave it the red colour. The gloss was achieved by coating with thin layers of clay, which was mixed with potassium carbonate.
But the museum does not only has exhibits of this clay dishes, but also very much exclusive glass vases and cups (see photos 1 and 2) and metal sieves (photo3), something that fascinated me most (I still don’t know why). These sieves have been used to filter the wine. My god, thinking of these things being nearly 2000 years old, and still have a “modern” design is unbelievable :-)
Nevertheless, all this exclusive dish ware was only used by wealthy Romans. The poorer people could only afford wooden or simple clay ware.
The website below is of a British archaeologic site, about ancient pottery in Europe and shows also some marvellous patterns of Terra Sigillata.
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