Roman pottery

While I was on honeymoon I was, of course, drawn to anything pottery related that I saw. Just ask Mr Ty Siriol and he’ll roll his eyes and smile. 🙂 While we were in Cartagena, Spain we went to visit the site of a Roman Theatre that had only recently been discovered and excavated. It had been buried a long time ago rather than demolished (as it was cheaper and easier) and the site had been built on. Over the years it was forgotten. 

The inhabitants of Cartagena were shocked when they discovered Roman remains (buildings and pottery) during a routine mini-excavation, which is required before building planning is granted. Archaeologists were called in and a full scale excavation took place. No one has any idea how a Roman theatre so big could have remained hidden for so many years. Houses and buildings were demolished so that they could uncover it and work is still going on today. 

Birdseye view showing just how big the site is.

The Roman Theatre at Cartagena, Spain

In the museum they had displayed some of the pottery that they found and it seems that this site was in use for hundreds of years. When it was no longer used as a theatre parts of it were converted into shops, like a marketplace. Much of the pottery was here and came from countries all over the Mediterranean as shown on this map.

Map showing the origins of some of the pottery found at Cartagena Roman Theatre.

I tried my best to photograph some examples to show you but the light was poor. Here’s some of what I got. 

The platter on the right appeared to have been made by being pressed into shape. The two jars look to have been made on a wheel. There was no obvious decoration on these pieces and they were more functional. 

These amphorae are oriental (if my translation is right) and look to have been decorated with a layer of clay slip, some of which is still present.  

This pitcher looks like is was made from coils of clay and dipped in clay slip so that it could be more asthetically pleasing.
Here we can see 2 plates that have been beautifully decoration in the Catalan style using oxide stains. The lower right jar is much older and shows decoration made from finger indentations. 

These are from the Paterna-Manises region and show a more decorative finish. 

I love these pieces. They show the scrafitto (scratched) decoration beautifully. They were made to be asthetically pleasing as well as functional. 

I have looked through all the photos from no less that 3 cameras and it seems that there isn’t a photo of me in Cartagena. I’m usually the one with a camera in my hand meaning of course that I’m rarely in the shot. I need to do more selfies! Anyway, this is a photo of me on the ship not long after we set sail again from Cartagena. 

Me on the ship leaving Cartagena

I hope you enjoyed, or at least indulged me by reading through my blog on the pottery found in Cartagena Roman theatre. 

All the best,
Cathy xx
Twitter: @tysiriolceramic

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