The Apolinaris Bowl
This little bowl base was found on the site of a Roman villa in Hallaton. It had been turned up during ploughing along with many other sherds of Roman pottery.
It is just the base of a small pot but what makes it so special is that the potter’s name, ‘Apolinaris’ is clearly stamped on the bottom. This allows us to tell its story. It is made of Samian Ware (terra sigillata) which tells us that the people who used it were able to afford luxuries (Samian Ware is the ‘posh’ end of the market). It was made in Gaul (France) and exported to various parts of the Roman Empire including Britain.
Because so much research has been done on Samian Ware and the potters’ marks we know that this small bowl was most probably produced in Les Martres-de-Veyre between 120 and 140AD. So, our little pot travelled all the way from France to grace the table of a wealthy Romano-British landowner in Hallaton.
Possibly it was broken and thrown out with the rubbish, maybe it was left when the villa fell into disuse. Whatever happened it was found again almost 2000 years later by the local field-walking group and now forms part of the current exhibition in Hallaton museum.
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Hallaton Fieldwork Group
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Page Last Updated: 13 May 2013