Archaeometric study on terra sigillata from Cales (Italy)

Archaeometric study on terra sigillata from Cales (Italy)
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   An International Journal of   MINERALOGY, CRYSTALLOGRAPHY, GEOCHEMISTRY,ORE DEPOSITS, PETROLOGY, VOLCANOLOGY  and applied topics on  Environment  ,  Archeometry and Cultural Heritage DOI: 10.2451/2011PM0030Periodico di Mineralogia (2011), 80, 3 (Spec. Issue), 455-470 PERIODICOdi MINERALOGIA established in 1930 Introduction and historical background The “Latin” colony of Cales (modern-dayCalvi Vecchia – Caserta; Figure 1) located on the Via Latina , 8 km ca. south of Teanum Sidicinum (today called Teano) and 20 kms ca. north of  Capua (modern-day S. Maria Capua Vetere), wasthe most important Roman outpost in Campaniaduring the Romanization of Southern Italy, fromthe Samnite to the Hannibalic Wars. The city hadan important strategic function because from its position Romans could control the  Ager  Falernus (colonized by the Romans in the same period), the CampusStellatis and the  Ager Campanus , the so-called Capuan territory at theother side of the river Volturnum (Pedroni, 1993).Exhausted by the Hannibalic War, the cityreceived a new colony in 185 B.C. (Pedroni,1990); the  Liber Coloniarium reported landassignments of Gracchan type (from 133 B.C.) Archaeometric study on terra sigillata from Cales (Italy) Vincenza Guarino 1,* , Alberto De Bonis 1 , Celestino Grifa 2 , Alessio Langella 2 , Vincenzo Morra 1 and Luigi Pedroni 3 1 Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, 80134 Napoli, Italy 2 Dipartimento di Scienze per la Biologia, Geologia e Ambiente, Università degli Studi del Sannio,Benevento, Italy 3 Via Torre di Franco 68, Napoli, Italy*Corresponding author: vincenza.guarino@unina.i t Abstract Mineralogical and petrographical studies on 23 ancient pottery fragments of terra sigillata from ancient Cales (today Calvi Risorta, Caserta) are here discussed. Stamps on potterysurfaces assigned the fragments to Cales and other Italian workshops acting in Arezzo and Northern Italy area between 1 st century B.C.-1 st century A.D., other stamped fragments havean uncertain provenance.The mineralogical and petrographical features of pastes have been detected using opticalmicroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, and DTA-DTG analyses. The geochemical comparisons among ceramics, production indicators of Calenian pottery(Black Glazed pottery spacers) and local clayey raw materials allowed to distinguish locally produced potsherds from imported ones. Moreover, the whole archaeological andarchaeometric data set allowed to draw main technological aspects of a fine ware productionmuch used on rich roman tables.  Key words : terra sigillata ; Calenian stamps; Satrius stamp; Cales. guarino cales_periodico 19/12/11 11:16 Pagina 455  456 V. Guarino et al.Periodico di Mineralogia (2011), 80, 3 (Spec. Issue), 455-470 in the Calenian territory. Romans used the cityas fortress during the Social War (91-87 B.C.)fought against the Italic rebellious, and it wassurely involved in the Civil War, entertaining onhis territory Silla’s troops on the way back fromGreece in 83 B.C.Its territory was redistributed in Augustan age, period in which Cales knew a new prosperity, astestified by urban and architectural interventionssponsored by local elite (Johannowsky, 1961;Pedroni, 1993).In the Late Antiquity, the perimeter of the citywas restricted, the city suffered the invasion of the Vandals, and in medieval time reduced to asuburb around the castle risen on the little arx of the Roman colony, dominating the old Via Latina .Cales was known in antiquity for the fine ware productions. One of the most diffused productionwas the Black-Glazed pottery (hereafter  BG )exported from the first half of the third centuryto the half of the first century B.C. (Pedroni,1993; 1996) when was gradually replaced by theso called terra sigillata (hereafter TS  ). Also theCalenian workshops converted their productionfollowing the new style (  Arretino modo ) startedfrom  Arretium (modern-day Arezzo) and quicklydiffused throughout the Empire (Cuomo diCaprio, 2007). For long time the definition of “CalenianPottery” has been used as synonym of  BG  pottery decorated with relief, produced in manycentres of ancient Italy between the end of thefourth and the beginning of the third centuryB.C. (Pagenstecher, 1909; Jentel, 1976; SanesiMastrocinque, 1982). The plain black coarsedCalenian ceramic timidly appeared in modernstudies only in 1960 in which Lamboglia (1960)attributed a production of Campanian pottery of    Figure 1. Geological sketch map of Cales area. guarino cales_periodico 19/12/11 11:16 Pagina 456  “type B” to Cales. During the following decades,a precise knowledge of the existence of black-glaze production named “  B-oïde ” manufacturedin Cales was given by Arcelin and Morel(Arcelin, 1978; Morel, 1978; 1980; 1981; 1988;1989; 1990).The first study on Calenian TS was published by Morel (1989) and following contributions(Pedroni and Soricelli, 1996; Pedroni and Tasser,2002) pointed out the good quality of CalenianTS, the repertory perfectly comparable to other Italian TS productions such as the  Arretina withtheir characteristic relief decorations.It seems to have been produced from the half of the first century B.C. to the whole Augustanage; the absence of stamps inplanta pedis (stamps with frame in the shape of a human foot)used from the beginning of the Tiberian age,could be simply imputable to a casual gap in thefindings. The Calenian TS seems to have had adiffusion that has overcome the regional boundaries, reaching, although in limitedquantity, more distant areas like the Apulianregion and some sites of the Spanish coasts(Pedroni and Soricelli, 1996).The aim of the present paper is a preliminarymineralogical and petrographical characterizationof some samples of Calenian TS samples,identified by presumed stamps of Calenianworkshops, and a comparison with other ItalianTS samples and others with an uncertain provenance. The whole data set allowed a preliminary technological characterization, interms of component of the paste, firingtemperatures and clayey raw materials, of a fineware ceramic widespread on roman tables duringImperial age. Geological setting The city of Calvi Risorta (ancient Cales) islocated in the northern sector of the CampanianPlain, South of  Roccamonfina volcano and justWest from the  Monti Trebulani a mountain chainformed by Mesozoic carbonates (Lazio-Campania-Molise carbonate platform; Bonardiet al., 2009), found in the northern area of theVolturno River plain (Figure 1).Extensive deposits of clays outcrop on thesouthern side of the  Monte Maggiore relief, between the towns of Calvi Risorta andRocchetta e Croce. These deposits, belonging tothe foredeep succession of the PietrarojaFormation (Middle-Upper Tortonian), have beenexploited up to modern times for pottery and brick productions.South of Calvi Risorta is located thearchaeological area of Cales, which lies on pyroclastic flow deposits from Phlegraean Fields,represented by the Campanian Ignimbrite (39 ka,De Vivo et al., 2001; Fedele et al., 2008) and,subordinately, by the incoherent facies of the Neapolitan Yellow Tuff (15 ka, Deino et al., 2004). Materials and methods The analyzed fragments were found in an area NE of the plateau hosting the Roman city but,unfortunately, the chronology cannot be preciselyassigned because of the lack of a stratigraphiccontext.The fragments have been divided in six groupsaccording to their area of production, certain or hypothetical, on the base of the stamp or the peculiar decorations (Table 1):- n. 4 vessels of “  Arretina ” manufactured inthe workshops of Arezzo (or Cincelli), signed by: Umbr(icius) (sample 18); Soter A. Sesti (OCK 1945, sample 21); C. Gavius (OCK 868/869,sample 25); sample 30 likely belongs to thisgroup, too;- n. 2 vessels for which a Padanian srcin could be hypothesized. In particular, sample 36 showsthe signature of  Agath(us) (OCK 54); sample 37is a fragment of an “Aco beaker”, with shape anddecoration typical of a North-Italian production;- n. 2 vessels ascribable to Late-Italianmanufacturers (Pisa srcin). The sample 38 is 457 Archaeometric study on terra sigillata from ...Periodico di Mineralogia (2011), 80, 3 (Spec. Issue), 455-470 guarino cales_periodico 19/12/11 11:16 Pagina 457  signed by  L.(ucius)R.(asinius) P.(isanus)in planta pedis (OCK 1690), and sample 39 by  L .  Rasini(us)Pis(anus),in lunula ;- n. 6 vessels of possible Calenian srcin for the presence of signatures well known inCampania or attested only at Cales. The stampsare: ( T  ) heophil(a) (Sample 5);  Darn (…) Vecil(ius) (sample 6);  Auctus (sample 11); Cupitus (sample 32); Cra (…)  Meno(laus) (sample 9). Sample 40 is a wall fragment withrelief decorations for which it was hard to findany attribution;- n. 3 vessels of uncertain srcin, withsignatures diffused in Central Italy and in theregion of Rome:  Iucu(ndus) Valeri Tyranni (OCK 2307, sample 33);  Notus (sample 34),  Pistus (sample 35, as  Iustus ).- n. 2 vessels of Calenian srcin. The stamp is Satri(us) (OC 1671) for samples 4 and 10.All these sherds generically are of Augustanage (27 B.C.-14 A.D.), the Padanian TS seemschronologically later and two Late-Italian TS 458 V. Guarino et al.Periodico di Mineralogia (2011), 80, 3 (Spec. Issue), 455-470SamplesStampsProvenanceClassesCronology (centuries)4 Satri(us) CalesTS  I B.C.-I A.D.5 (T)heophil(a)Cales?TS  I B.C.-I A.D.6  Darn(…) Vecil(ius)Cales?TS  I B.C.-I A.D.9 Cra(…) Meno(laus)Cales?TS  I B.C.-I A.D.10 Satri(us) CalesTS  I B.C.-I A.D.11  AuctusCales?TS  I B.C.-I A.D.18 Umbr(icius)ArezzoTS  I B.C.-I A.D.21 Soter A. Sesti ArezzoTS  I B.C.-I A.D.25 C. GaviusArezzoTS  I B.C.-I A.D.30  Arezzo?TS  I B.C.-I A.D.32 CupitusCales?TS  I B.C.-I A.D.33  Iucu(ndus) Valeri Tyranni Central ItalyTS  I B.C.-I A.D.34  Notus Central ItalyTS  I B.C.-I A.D.35  Pistus (or Iastus)Central ItalyTS  I B.C.-I A.D.36  Agath(us)Padanian srcin TS  I B.C.-II A.D.37  Padanian srcin TS  I B.C.-I A.D.38  L.(ucius) R.(asinius) P.(isanus)PisaTS  I B.C.-I A.D.39 Cra(…) Meno(laus)PisaTS  I B.C.-I A.D.40 Cales?TS  I B.C.-I A.D.CAL1 CalesBG spacer  III B.C.-I A.D.CAL2 CalesBG spacer  III B.C.-I A.D.CAL3 CalesBG spacer  III B.C.-I A.D.CAL4 CalesBG spacer  III B.C.-I A.D. Table 1. Archaeological features of Italian TS samples. guarino cales_periodico 19/12/11 11:16 Pagina 458  fragments can be dated between the half of the Icentury A.D. and the beginning of the II centuryA.D.In order to identify the local products all pottery were compared with 4 kiln refusessamples (BG spacers, CAL1, CAL2, CAL3,CAL4), and two clayey sediments coming fromthe surrounding area of Cales. The sediments arerepresented by greyish clayey silts belonging tothe Pietraroja Formation. The first sample(CVR1) was collected in Rocchetta e Croce area,the second one (CVR2) in a clay quarry next toCalvi Risorta town. The samples were chosen ina minero-petrographic dataset of clayey rawmaterials collected in Campania region (DeBonis et al., 2010; De Bonis, 2011), based ontheir sedimentological and compositionalhomogeneities and the proximity of the outcropsto the archaeological area.The following investigations were carried outon the above described samples:- Optical Microscopy (OM, Leitz Laborlux 12POL) on thin sections; - X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRFS):major and trace elements were analysed with aPhilips PW1400 spectrometer. The detectionlimits and standard calibrations are reported inMelluso et al. (2001).- X-Ray Diffraction Analysis (XRD): semi-quantitative mineralogical analyses were carriedout with a Philips PW1730/3710 diffractometer using the following operative conditions: CuK  α radiation, incident and diffracted-beam Soller slits, curved graphite monochromator, 40 kV,30mA, 3-70° scanning interval, step size =0.020° 2 θ and counting time of 5s per step.Powders with grain size < 10 mm were obtainedusing a McCrone microniser mill. Treatments(Air dried, EG solvated, and heated at 375° and550 °C) on < 2µm fractions, allowed to identifyclay minerals (Moore and Reynolds, 1997).- Thermal Analysis (DTA-DTG): carried outwith a Multiple thermoanalyzer Netzsch STA409 on 100 mg samples. Results Optical Microscopy (OM) Direct observations of thin sections in opticalmicroscopy gave information on texturalfeatures and no-plastic inclusions of the ceramic pastes. Sample 10 was not analysed as the thinsection was not available.All TS samples show an overall homogeneity(Figure 2), and are characterized by a very fineisotropic or anisotropic matrix, ranging in colour from light brown to dark brown, and from reddish brown to brown. No-plastic inclusions are small-size rounded or sub-rounded grains (0.01-0.5 mm)of quartz, white mica, and oxides; brown mica andfeldspar along with traces of clinopyroxene,volcanic fragments and scoriae were alsoobserved in few samples (see Table 2). Porosity isgenerally low. Some samples showed calcitemicrocrysts, as remains of shells, reacted grainsor as post-deposition carbonate. The presence of a red-brown slip, 0.01 to 0.02 mm thick, was alsoevidenced in TS samples (Table 2). The 4 kiln refuses (BG spacers, CAL1, CAL2,CAL3, CAL4, also described in detail byLangella and Morra, 2001) are characterized bya coarser fraction composed of no-plasticinclusions consisting of quartz, feldspar, whiteand brown mica and rare clinopyroxene crystals.Carbonate clasts are visible, and in some casesare very abundant. A slip of about 0.02 mm alsooccurs in these samples.  XRD analyses Semi-quantitative results of mineralogicalanalyses are reported in Table 3.All the samples (TS and BG spacers) arecharacterized by prevailing quartz and feldsparsand minor goethite. Mica represents the other common phase; in some samples (30, 34, 36, 38,and 39) they are recorded in very low amounts.In TS samples, clinopyroxene always occurs,except in samples 4 and 10; it should beremarked that this phase was identified in low 459 Archaeometric study on terra sigillata from ...Periodico di Mineralogia (2011), 80, 3 (Spec. Issue), 455-470 guarino cales_periodico 19/12/11 11:16 Pagina 459
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