PEPP - METHODS

By J. Theodore Peña

[Document created: 3/22/17.  Document last modified: 5/24/17]

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Study Methods

     2.1 Overview

     2.2 Basic Organizing Perspectives

     2.3 Classes

     2.4 Fragments

     2.5 Forms

     2.6 Fabrics

     2.7 Pottery Groups

     2.8 Compositional Analysis

     2.9 Other Operations

3. On-Line Presentation of Results

     3.1 Overview

     3.2 Class Pages

     3.3 Databases

4. List of Sources Cited

 

1. Introduction

This document describes the methods that PEPP is employing for the description and quantification of the Palatine East pottery assemblage and for the on-line presentation of project results.

Basic analytical categories that have a specific definition as employed by PEPP are rendered in bolded italics at the point of their definition.

Some sections of this document provide only a provisional or preliminary description of the study methods or web page with which they are concerned, and these will be revised and/or expanded as the study of the materials and the on-line presentation of results advance.

 

2. Study Methods

 

2.1 Overview

This section provides a rapid overview of the methods that PEPP is employing for its work.  In the interest of providing a concise representation of the larger picture it glosses over a substantial amount of detail on various points, deferring to the sections that follow the in-depth consideration of these.

At the outset of the project in 2001 the site pottery assemblage was divided into classes (wares) in accordance with the broadly-held conceptualization of these expressed in the literature, and various individuals charged with responsibility for the study of either a single class or a set of related classes.

The study of each class involves the following operations:

The set of materials assigned to the class question is evaluated for fabric and divided into multiple sub-classes on the basis of this attribute when two or more fabrics are present.

A set of forms is defined for the class or for each of the sub-classes represented, with this operation based to the extent possible on form typologies extant in the literature.

The materials in the class or in each sub-class are assigned to a specific form to the extent that this is possible.  Rim, base, handle, and body fragments that cannot be assigned to a specific form – in most cases because they preserve only a small portion of the profile of the vessel to which they belonged – are assigned to a vessel part type (either rim type, base type, handle, or body type).

Each rim, base, and handle fragment and other fragments that bear a feature of particular interest (a maker’s stamp, graffito, dipinto/titulus pictus, noteworthy element of decoration, noteworthy feature indicative of manufacturing technique, repair or other noteworthy instance of use alteration) is assigned a working number that is written on the fragment in pencil or marker pen that is referred to as a PN number.  An Excel spreadsheet - referred to as a class spreadsheet - is created for the class or sub-class and a record created in the spreadsheet’s main worksheet for each of the numbered fragments.

The set of fragments assigned to each form is evaluated with a view to identifying any form variants where such exist and then documenting the basic attributes of each of the forms and form variants represented.  These attributes include morphology, range of vessel dimensions, vessel weight, manufacturing techniques, manufacturing sequence, function/use, and chronology.

One or more examples of each form and form variant are selected for detailed description.  One or more examples of a vessel fragment type may also be selected for detailed description.  These examples – referred to as specimens - generally represent the example or examples that best embody the main features of the form, form variant, or vessel fragment type, usually by virtue of their relatively high degree of completeness.  Each of these specimens is assigned a four-digit identification number – referred to as an accession number – that is prefaced with the string PEPP (e.g., PEPP 0931).  This number is written on the fragment or fragments that constitute the specimen in ink, along with the number of the context in which the fragment or fragments were recovered.  A description of the specimen – referred to as a catalog entry - is composed in a Word file according to a standard format.  A profile drawing of the specimen is produced in pencil and a photomicrograph taken of its fabric on a fresh fracture surface by means of a digital microscope.  Specimens that bear a feature of particular interest, including a maker’s stamp, graffito, dipinto, repair, or informative example of decoration, manufacturing technique, or use alteration are also in many cases photographed.

Other numbered fragments that bear a feature of particular interest are assigned an accession number and a catalog entry is composed for these.  Many of these specimens are also drawn and photographed and a photomicrograph taken of their fabric.

A detailed fabric description is produced for the fabric associated with that class or sub-class in a Word file according to a standard format.  In addition, one or, in some cases, two or more specimens that are judged to be good representative examples of that fabric are selected for thin sectioning and petrographic analysis.

The set of materials assigned to specific form, form variant, or vessel part type from a specific context – referred to as a pottery group - is quantified by each of four different measures to the extent possible: count (number of fragments), weight, estimated vessels represented (EVREP) for rims, bases, and handles, and estimated vessel equivalents (EVE) for rims, bases, and handles.  The application of the EVREP measure necessitates the identification of rim, base, and handle fragments that derive from the same vessel, while the application of the EVE measure requires the determination of rim diameter and percentage of rim present for rim fragments and base diameter and percentage of base present for base fragments.  This information is recorded in the relevant record in the class spreadsheet’s main worksheet.  A second worksheet is created in the class spreadsheet and the quantitative data for each pottery group is entered in this for each of the four measures.

The person charged with the study of the class composes a Word document that assembles the results of his/her work with the class or multiple sub-classes that it subsumes, describing the class and sub-classes and each of the forms, form variants, and vessel part types, incorporating in this text the relevant fabric descriptions and catalog descriptions.  This document, the class spreadsheet, the specimen profile drawings and photographs, the fabric photomicrographs, and the results of the petrographic analysis of the specimens selected for this constitute the documentation that is available for the on-line presentation of that class.

In addition to the study of the materials belonging to each pottery class along the lines just described, PEPP is undertaking or has completed various special studies.  These include the following: a combined program of neutron activation analysis (NAA) and electron microscopy aimed at determining the fabric and glaze chemistry of specimens belonging to various classes of glazed tablewares; a program of NAA aimed at determining the fabric chemistry of specimens belonging to various classes of fine-bodied tablewares from the Rome region; a program of three-dimensional modelling aimed at determining the capacity of examples of the various classes of transport amphoras represented in the site assemblage; and a combined program of x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis and three dimensional scanning aimed at determining the fabric chemistry and fabric density of various classes of Hispanic and African transport amphoras.

 

2.2 Basic Organizing Perspectives

PEPP’s approach to the study of the site pottery assemblage departs from a materials science perspective.  In accordance with this perspective, a fabric is defined as a ceramic body with any associated surfacing that was produced employing a specific raw material or set of raw materials by means of a specific set of preparation practices.  A class is defined as the set of vessels that was produced in a single, specific fabric by means of a specific set of manufacturing practices.  The presence of two or more different fabrics within the set of materials belonging to a class as defined in the literature accordingly requires that these materials be divided into multiple sub-classes, one for each of the fabrics represented. 

Each of the classes and sub-classes defined in this way is assumed to correlate with the output of a particular workshop or a set of workshops that operated in a particular locale or more broadly defined region.  (A workshop or set of workshops operating in a locale or region can, of course, manufacture pottery in multiple fabrics at any one time, or change its/their sources of raw material and/or modify its/their paste preparation practices over time.)  There is little evidence available regarding the degree of compositional homogeneity/heterogeneity present within the output of individual pottery workshops and sets of workshops operating in particular locals and regions in the Roman world, though it must be assumed that, whatever this was in any specific instance, it varied to some extent and in different ways from case to case.  Further, our abilities to recognize and document this variability are circumscribed by various technical and practical considerations. This assumption is thus simplifying in its nature and the limitations on its validity remain untested.

 

2.3 Classes

PEPP’s approach to the definition of classes has resulted in the recognition of various classes and sub-classes not generally recognized in the literature.  The project has accordingly adopted its own system of nomenclature to refer to sets of related classes, e.g., Italian Sigillata 1-3, African Sigillata 1-8, and so forth.  This approach will doubtless prove challenging for some users, and in recognition of this an effort will be made in the various pages that present project results to indicate as may prove helpful the correlation between PEPP class designations and those generally employed in the literature.

Each of the classes recognized is assigned to one of four broad functional categories – tablewares, cookwares, utilitarian wares, and transport amphoras.  Although the definition of these categories and the determination of the boundaries that separate them are in some ways problematic, this high-level functional division of the site assemblage has proved to be a useful device for both organizing the project’s work and presenting its results.

The following are the groupings of related classes and the individuals currently responsible for their study arranged by functional category:

Tablewares

Italian sigillatas (J. Theodore Peña; henceforth JTP)

Gallic and Hispanic sigillatas (JTP)

African sigillatas (JTP)

Eastern sigillatas (JTP)

Thin-walled wares (JTP)

Late imperial glazed wares (JTP)

West-Central Italian finewares (Jennifer Black; henceforth JB)

Cookwares

West-Central Italian cookwares (Janne P. Ikäheimo; henceforth JPI)

Campanian cookwares (JPI)

African cookwares (JPI)

Aegean cookware (JPI)

Hand-built cookwares (JPI)

Utilitarian wares

African utilitarian wares (JPI)

West-central Italian utilitarian wares (JTP)

Unguentaria (JTP)

Transport Amphoras

Italian amphoras (Victor M. Martínez; henceforth VMM)

Hispanic amphoras (VMM)

African amphoras (Amanda Dubrov; henceforth AD)

Eastern amphoras (JTP, VMM, and others to be determined)

Unprovenienced/unidentified amphoras (VMM)

Sherd disks/amphora stoppers (Jayd Lewis; henceforth JL)

 

2.4 Fragments

This section describes the various protocols and terms employed for the classification and description of vessel fragments (sherds).  Many of the points addressed relate specifically to the generation of catalog entries for accessioned specimens as referred to in Section 2.1.

2.4.1 Vessel Part

All fragments are categorized as one of the following kinds of vessel part: rim, base, handle, body, rim/base/handle, rim/base, rim/handle, base/handle.

In order to permit the rapid and systematic categorization of fragments as a vessel part and to regularize any biases that this operation introduces into the project’s quantification procedures (by promoting the systematic over- or under-categorization of fragments as a rim, base, or handle for particular classes or forms) the project has adopted a set of explicit rules for the assigning of fragments to one or the other of these categories.  These rules are as follows:

Rim: A fragment is categorized as a rim when it preserves any portion of the terminal part of the rim of the vessel to which it belonged (or, for vessels with a flanged rim, any portion of the terminal part of the flange).  In cases in which the very tip of the rim has been broken away or a significant amount of a vessel’s surface had been lost to abrasion, chipping, or crumbling in the rim area, this loss disqualifies a fragment as a rim if it is sufficient to affect the drawing of the fragment’s profile.  This rule is waived for certain sets of materials that possess a highly friable fabric that tends to lose its surface under normal conditions (e.g., early examples of the Dressel 20 amphora).  For vessels with a flanged rim and an upwardly projecting lip on line with the vessel wall, the tip of the flange is regarded as the rim rather than the tip of the lip.  For vessels with a projecting orlo a spigolo, such as the Keay 52 amphora, the upper projection of the rim element is regarded as the rim rather than the sideways projection of the rim element. For closed forms (that is, forms that are thrown closed) with a knob at the top of the vessel, such as coin banks, the knob at the top of the vessel is regarded as the rim (rather than as the base, as is done with lid knobs, in which case examples of this form would have two bases and no rim).

Base: A fragment is categorized as a base when it preserves any portion of the outer edge of a flat, regular feature on which the vessel was intended to rest.  For bases consisting of a ring foot, the qualifying element is taken to be the ring foot’s resting surface, that is, the portion of the foot in contact with the surface on which the vessel rested.  In accordance with this definition, fragments from the inner part of a base that do not preserve any part of its outer edge are categorized as body fragments.  Lid knobs and grips are categorized as bases.

Special rules are required for certain forms belonging to the cookware functional category (casseroles and shallow casseroles with a rounded bottom, lids and baking domes that lack a knob or a grip) and for the several classes of transport amphoras that terminate in a spike, a button base, or a rounded bottom, and a detailed exposition of these will be added to this section when the relevant classes are being prepared for presentation.

Handle: A fragment is categorized as a handle when it preserves any readily visible material portion of one or more of the handles (including the handle attachment) on the vessel to which it belonged.  By this rule, a fragment preserving even a very small bit of the handle attachment is categorized as a handle, whereas a fragment that preserves only a discoloration on or a dimple or impression in the vessel wall where a handle was once attached is not categorized as a handle.

Compound fragments:  Fragments that preserve all three or any two of the features just considered are categorized as a rim/base/handle, rim/base, rim/handle, base/handle, in accordance with the features represented.

Body fragment: All fragments not categorized as a rim, base, or handle or a compound fragment are categorized as a body fragment.

The application of these rules leads to the categorization of some fragments as a body fragment that some researchers might intuitively regard as rim, base, or handle and to the categorization as a handle of some fragments that some researchers might intuitively regard as a body fragment.  While this approach thus produces what are to some extent counter-intuitive results, it does have the virtue of yielding explicitly defined and systematically obtained fragment categorizations.  Any loss of qualitative information that might stem from the counter-intuitive categorization of a fragment as a body fragment rather than as a rim or base fragment can be avoided by simply assigning that fragment to the form in question rather than to a generic body vessel part type (thereby guaranteeing that the form in question will be documented as being present in the context in question) and/or by assigning that fragment a PN number and/or accession number as a fragment bearing a special feature.

2.4.2 Color

Fragments are characterized for the color of their ceramic body and surface (either the natural surface of the ceramic body or an applied surfacing of some kind) using the Munsell Soil Colors Chart (henceforth Munsell chart) with a notation made of both the alphanumeric value and the associated English color name.  Where specimens display two or more distinct colors of surface (e.g., mottled slip) or ceramic body (e.g., oxidized surface zones and an un-oxidized core) this is recorded.  The colors of most of the glazes attested in the site assemblage are not included in the Munsell chart, and these are characterized using a standardized set of English terms.

The characterization of the ceramic body is made on a fresh break produced by detaching a small chip from the fragment with pliers.  (The chip detached for this purpose is then examined under a digital microscope and a photomicrograph made of its fabric, as described in Section 2.6.2.)  An effort is made to interpolate between the color chips appearing in the Munsell chart as this seems useful for the adequate characterization a fragment’s color.   No particular effort is expended to capture the exact color of a specimen that appears to have been discolored by sooting or burning.

2.4.3 Morphology

The morphology (large, readily visible features, for the most part probably made deliberately by the potter) of the fragment is observed and recorded.  The following kinds of morphological features are recognized:

Wheel ridging:  A spiral furrow produced by the potter’s fingers during throwing.  This usually occurs on the interior of a closed vessel.

Corrugation:  Sets of broad, rounded linear depressions that appear to have been deliberately produced by the potter for some esthetic or functional purpose.  These usually occur on a vessel’s exterior.

Dimpling: The deflection of the vessel wall inward over a sizable area subsequent to throwing.  This occurs on some thin-walled tableware forms.

2.4.4 Surfacing

The following types of surfacing are recognized: slip covering, gloss slip covering (a more or less glossy, sintered slip covering associated with the various classes of black gloss ware and sigillata), slip decoration (zones or lines of slip that cover only some limited portion of the vessel’s surface), glaze, salt scum (a layer of salt that frequently precipitates on the exterior surface of vessels manufactured with saline water during drying and/or firing), burnishing. 

Slip covering and gloss slip covering are characterized impressionistically for their degree of glossiness using an ordinal scale (values: matte, slightly glossy, glossy, highly glossy).

Slip covering, gloss slip covering, and salt scum are characterized impressionistically for their evenness (values: regular, uneven, zoned, patches, mottled) and for their thickness (values: thick, thin) when this appears to be unusually thick or thin.

2.4.5 Decoration

The types of decorative features/elements (other than surfacing, as just discussed) recognized include the following:

Groove: One or more regular, generally narrow, horizontal channels deliberately incised into the vessel’s surface by the potter with a pointed implement either for some decorative or, less often, some functional purpose (e.g., to enhance the strength of an overlying handle attachment).

Chattering: A single band or multiple bands of densely-set, oblique gouges cut into the vessel’s surface by applying a sharp, flexible tool to the vessel as it is spun on a potter’s wheel.  Extensive patterns of chattering that somewhat resemble a feather that sometimes appear on the interior lower wall and floor of some forms are referred to as feather roulette chattering.

Roulette: One or multiple, usually horizontal bands of impressions made by rolling a roller tool with a relief-decorated roller surface over the vessel’s surface.

Stamp: Impression made into a vessel’s surface with a stamping tool bearing a relief-decorated stamping surface.

Applique: A paste element produced in a mold and then applied to a vessel’s surface.

Applied elements: Bits of paste formed free-hand and then applied to a vessels surface (e.g., petals)

Barbotine: Slurry elements produced on the surface of a vessel by extrusion from an extruding tool.

2.4.6 Micromorphology

The micromorphology (minor features visible on a vessel’s surface that are for the most part a casual by-product of the forming and/or surfacing operations employed for its manufacture) of a fragment is observed and recorded.  The observation of these features assists with determining the operations involved in the form’s manufacture and the sequence in which these were executed.  The following kinds of micromorphological features are recognized:

Burr: A small, irregular lip of paste produced by any of several different operations.

Compression: A conspicuously smooth, compact surface produced by deliberate compression with a tool of some kind.  This regularly occurs on the floor of some large, open forms.

Compression ridges: Swarms of small diagonal ridges (often appearing as wrinkles) produced on a vessel’s surface by the restricting of the diameter of the piece during throwing.  These are often present on the interior shoulder/neck of closed forms.

Drag mark: A small linear incision with an inclusion embedded at one end produced on a vessel’s surface when a fettling knife or similar implement caught and dragged an inclusion in the paste during turning (trimming). These usually occur on the exterior lower/middle wall and underside of turned bases.

Facets: Sets of flat horizontal bands produced on a vessel’s surface by a fettling knife or similar implement during turning.  These are frequently present on the exterior middle/lower wall.  Facets are characterized impressionistically for their width (values: tiny, small, medium, large).

Finger mark: Impression in the surface of a vessel or area of irregularity in its surfacing produced by contact with a potter’s finger.

Gouge: A small linear incision presumably produced in a vessel’s surface by a fettling knife or similar implement during turning.  These are frequently present on the exterior lower/middle wall and base.

Parting agent: Sand or clay crumbs spread on a drying surface as a parting agent that are transferred to a vessel set upon that surface.  These sometimes appear on the underside of vessel bases.

Paste transfer: Small, irregular patches of paste that were transferred onto a vessel’s surface by any one of various operations.  These sometimes occur in the rim area of a vessel, where they are likely the result of the reattaching of the vessel to the wheel in inverted position with pads of clay for the turning of the lower wall and base. 

Seam: A linear, more or less irregular fissure or step that occurs on a vessel’s surface where two separately formed elements were joined together or where a single element was folded over on itself and the juncture not completely smoothed over.  Seams also sometimes appear as a line in a fracture surface.

Striations: Sets of tiny irregular raised lines - sometimes horizontal, sometimes not - produced on a vessel’s surface during the forming and/or surfacing either by the potter’s fingers or by an implement such as a cloth or sponge.

Wire marks: Sets of sub-parallel, more or less strongly eccentric ridges produced on the underside of a vessel’s base by detaching it from the wheel head with a wire or similar implement.

2.4.7 Dimensions

When a fragment preserves one or more of the intact dimensions (rim diameter, base diameter, height) of the vessel from which it derived these are measured and recorded.

Rim and base diameter are measured directly to the tenth of a centimeter for fragments preserving 50 percent or more of the element using a digital caliper.  When the portion of a rim or base that is preserved is less than 50 percent these dimensions are estimated to the centimeter (or occasionally the half-centimeter) by matching the element’s curve with one of the curves on a bull’s eye-type diameter gauge.  With fragments preserving less that ca. 3-5 percent of a rim or base it often proves possible to arrive only at an estimate consisting of a range of values (e.g., 5-7 cm) by this method.  In many cases with fragments preserving an arc smaller than this it is not possible to arrive at a useful estimate of any kind.  For bases for which the lower wall obscures a clear view of the base from above, a diameter gauge printed on a transparent plastic sheet is employed to estimate the diameter.  Rim measurements for most forms are made at the highest point of the vessel (where a rim fragment set on a diameter gauge comes into contact with the gauge).  For forms with an everted and downcurved rim or a flanged rim the measurement is taken at the point of the rim’s greatest diameter.

Height is measured by setting a compound fragment that preserves the entire vessel profile on its base on a flat surface, placing a digital caliper atop the rim in a vertical position, dropping the instrument’s depth probe down to the surface, and then taking the reading.  This measurement is made to the tenth of a centimeter.

For rim and base fragments that preserve only a portion of the vessel profile the fragment is set on a flat surface on the rim or base and the same method employed to record the maximum preserved height.

Other fragment dimensions are measured directly with a digital caliper on a less systematic, if often a regular basis as specific circumstances suggest such information may prove useful.  These include maximum and minimum wall thickness, maximum handle width, and the diameter of a hole or other aperture passing through the vessel wall.  These measurements are made to the tenth of a centimeter or to the millimeter as specific considerations suggest useful.  (e.g., For thin-walled wares wall thickness is regularly measured to the millimeter.)

The following abbreviations are employed for the presentation of dimension data in catalog entries:

bd.: body

bs.: base

d.: diameter

h.: handle

ht.: height

max.: maximum

min.: minimum

na: not ascertainable

pr.: preserved

r.: rim

th.: thickness

w.: width

2.4.8 Weight

For intact vessels the weight of the vessel is measured to the gram by placing it on a digital scale.  In instances in which a fragment preserves all or nearly all of the vessel to which it belonged or nearly all of the profile of the vessel to which it belonged and has broken in such a way that it is possible to estimate the percentage of the vessel present, the fragment is weighed and an estimate made for the approximate weight of the complete vessel.

2.4.9 Use Alteration

Fragments are examined for the presence of any use alteration (physical modification to a vessel incurred by its use) and this is recorded.  The different kinds of use alteration recognized include the following: abrasion, scratching, gouging, chipping, repair, modification, sooting, deposition of an incrustation.

2.4.10 Drawing

A drawing is made in pencil on tracing paper of all specimens.  This is generally produced at a scale of 1:1, although for some unusually large fragments this has been done at a scale of 1:2.

The pencil drawing is worked up for presentation in Illustrator using a tracing routine developed by the project.  For specimens that lack complex decoration or other unusual features - the vast majority of those for which a drawing is required - this operation requires just the cutaway profile line, schematic indications of any interior and/or exterior features, and the rim and/or base diameter measurements.  In light of this fact, in 2008 PEPP adopted a set of procedures for the production of pencil drawings that involves recording only this limited set of features for most specimens, thereby saving a considerable amount of time and allowing for the production of highly compressed drawings.

The Illustrator tracing routine and an internal project document that provides instructions for its use are available for download on RES ROMANAE (http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/node/3577)

The following conventions are employed for finished drawings:

Specimens for which it is possible to measure the rim and/or base diameter directly or to estimate this to the centimeter are rendered in both cutaway profile view and exterior view, with the former view positioned to the left and the latter positioned to the right.

Specimens for which it is possible to determine the rim and/or base diameter only as a range of centimeters are rendered in both cutaway profile and exterior view with a diameter equal to the mid-point of this range. 

Specimens for which it is not possible to determine the diameter are rendered only in cutaway profile view, with a partial top line and/or bottom line as required and with any details that would appear on an exterior view projected to the left of the cutaway profile view.

For specimens of this kind that are so small that it is not possible to determine the correct orientation, the cutaway profile view is presented at what is believed most likely to be the correct orientation, without any top or bottom line. 

Line weight is used to distinguish between different kinds of features, with artificial cuts (cutaway profile line, center line) rendered at a weight of 7, lines that represent edges of the vessel (top line, bottom line, wall contour) rendered at a weight of 5, and lines that represent details (angles in the wall, junction of base and wall, decoration, etc.) rendered at a weight of either 3 or 4, depending upon the specific circumstances.

Cutaway profiles are infilled with cross-hatching, with any breaks simply left open.

The breaks at the edges of fragments are represented in the exterior view only in cases in which details such as complex or asymmetrical decoration render this necessary. 

Shading is not employed, except in the rare instances in which this is required to render a drawing comprehensible.

Drawings are provided with a centimeter scale and are labelled with the specimen’s accession number.  In cases in which a specimen has been given two or more accession numbers (when, for example, it was not realized that two fragments belong to the same vessel until after they had been assigned accession numbers) the label consists of the lowest of these numbers.

 

2.5 Forms

This section describes the various protocols and terms employed for the definition and description of forms.

2.5.1 General matters

PEPP defines a form as a distinct vessel shape obtained by a particular set of primary forming operations.  A form can subsume two or more form variants, which represent distinct versions of the form whose production involved the use of different sets of secondary forming operations (e.g., the decoration of a vessel’s rim with a groove rather than chattering; the manufacture of a vessel’s handle by pulling rather than slicing).  In the event, this approach to the definition of forms and form variants is applied somewhat flexibly, with, in some instances, sets of vessels the manufacture of which involved variation in secondary techniques classified as a single form for purposes of convenience (e.g., the African Sigillata 4 Form 3 Hayes 58A dish, some examples of which have one groove on the upper surface of the rim, some two grooves, and some no groove).  In other instances, sets of vessels the manufacture of which involved effectively the same set of primary and secondary operations have been classified as two different forms in recognition of distinctions broadly observed in the literature (e.g., the recognition of the Hayes 45 large bowl and Hayes 46 large bowl as two different forms – African Sigillata 4 Form 1 and Form 2 – even though they are distinguished from one another entirely on the basis of whether a vessel’s everted upper wall is either straight or curved).

The various forms recognized for each class or sub-class are placed in sequence that runs from open forms to closed forms and then to specialty forms and numbered (e.g., African Sigillata 4 Form 1, African Sigillata Form 2, and so forth).

In many instances rim, base, handle, or body fragments preserve too little of the vessel profile to permit their assignment to a specific, recognized form.  In cases of this kind one or more vessel part types – including rim types, base types, handle types, or body types - are designated for the class and the fragments in question assigned to these.  The rim, base, handle, and body types recognized in this way are placed in sequence and numbered as done for forms (e.g., African Sigillata 4 Base 1, African Sigillata 4 Body 1, and so forth).

2.5.2 Drawing

For each class or sub-class one or more images are produced that illustrate the set of forms, form variants, and, in some cases, vessel part types attested.  These consist of a montage of the finished drawings of some or all of the specimens for each form, form variant, and vessel part type arranged and labelled by form, variant, and vessel part type and provided with a centimeter scale.

2.5.3 Terms

Rims are described as rounded or pointed, everted or incurved, thickened, cordon, hammerhead, flanged, flanged with tooth.

The vessel wall is divided into an upper wall and a lower wall when it is marked by a distinct angle, carination, or similar feature.  In cases in which a wall is not marked by such a feature it is notionally divided into an upper, middle, and lower area, with the first of these terms used to designate the area near the rim, the last to designate the area near the base, and the second to designate the area between these other two areas. 

Walls or wall areas and the area inside a ring foot are described as concave, straight, or convex when viewed from the vessel’s exterior.

Bases are described as flat (when there is an immediate transition from the bottom of the continuous lower wall to the underside of the base), disk (when there is a distinct side to the base that separates its underside from the continuous lower wall), pedestal (when this side is notably tall), ring footed (when there is a distinct, ring-shaped base element that has both an inner and an outer face), and inset (when there is a step up from the bottom of the continuous lower wall at the point at which the vessel rests).  The flat lower surface that is present on many ring feet is referred to as a resting surface.  The exceptionally small ring foot associated with some classes of African Sigillata (commonly referred to in the literature as a vestigial ring foot) is termed a miniature ring foot.

Floor is used for refer to a broad, more or less flat area on the interior of an open form located more or less directly above the vessel’s base.   The term margined floor is used to refer to a distinctive floor configuration that is attested with some classes of sigillata (particularly the African sigillatas).   This consists of a flat, smooth floor produced by compression that generally displays a sharply articulated outer edge, beyond which is a zone not subject to compression (generally, though not always taking the form of a rounded trough that is slightly lowered with respect to the compressed inner part of the floor) before a gradual transition to the vessel wall.

Handles are identified as pulled, sliced, or rolled as a function of their cross section, morphology and micromorphology.  For a vertical strap handle, the surface facing away from the vessel body is referred to as the dorsal surface, the surface facing toward the vessel body as the ventral surface, and the side to the left when the handle is viewed from the dorsal surface as the left side, and that to the right as its right side.  The broad linear depressions that run along the length of the dorsal surface of many pulled and sliced handles are referred to as furrows.  The impressions that appear on many handle attachments where the potter compressed the paste with a finger to strengthen the join are referred to as finger strokes, and are characterized as vertical, diagonal, or horizontal depending upon their orientation with respect to the vessel’s vertical axis.  The practice of smoothing the paste of a handle attachment with a downward stroke to either side of a vertical handle is referred to as fishtailing.

2.5.4 Range of Dimensions

As the Estimated Vessel Equivalents quantification measure requires the determination of the rim and/or base diameter of a fragment these measurements were obtained for all rim and base fragments in the assemblage by means of the methods described above.  As an incidental byproduct of this operation the project has been assembling more or less extensive sets of rim and base diameter figures for each of the forms represented that to some greater or lesser extent document the range and distribution of these values.  For compound fragments these are recorded as combined rim/base or rim/base/height values.

2.5.5 Manufacturing Sequence

For reach form and form variant and for some vessel part types an effort is made to determine its manufacturing sequence (the sequence of discreet operations involved in the manufacture of an example of a form or form variant from paste and surfacing preparation through to firing and the order in which these were executed).  (For the application of this method to a small set of African sigillata forms in the site assemblage see Peña 2009A.)  This involves the consideration of the form’s fabric, surfacing, morphology, and micromorphology, combined with a set of general understandings regarding various aspects of Roman ceramic technology and manufacturing practices.  In cases in which a form’s entire profile is not attested in the site assemblage PEPP draws on evidence culled from the literature to determine the manufacturing sequence.  In cases in which there is no evidence for a form’s complete profile either in the site assemblage or the literature, informed conjecture is employed to reconstruct the probable manufacturing sequence.

To record a manufacturing sequence the various operations identified are numbered and listed in order from first to last.  Where two or more operations or series of operations cannot be placed in order these are numbered in parallel (e.g., 4A1, 4A2 and 4B1, 4B2, 4B3 for two such series of operations, the first consisting of two operations, the second of three).  Operations that are not directly attested by fragments in the site assemblage but rather have been inferred on the basis of other evidence are placed inside brackets.  In some instances in which the evidence is weak (generally due to the lack of a complete profile for the form) a set of possible operations is indicated in brackets without being numbered.  Operations that are present in some specimens and not in others have the word optional placed after them set inside parentheses.

It is planned to convert these lists of the operations to more fully developed diagrams produced using Harris Matrix Composer software at some point in the future.  (For an example of such a diagram see the PEPP landing page on RES ROMANAE: http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/node/100)

2.5.6 Chronology

In the absence of evidence to the contrary PEPP adopts the most recent reliable chronology in the literature for a form.  In some instances the evidence from the Palatine East indicates that the manufacture of a form began earlier than is commonly accepted or suggests that its manufacture and/or regular use may have continued until later than is commonly accepted, and in these cases the chronology indicated by this evidence is adopted for that form.

2.5.7 Form Type

Each form and form variant is categorized as an example of a general form type.  Rather than developing a rigorously defined project-specific set of form types based on vessel size, morphology, and other relevant attributes, PEPP has adopted a notional scheme base on widely accepted form type designations that appear in the literature. 

The form types currently recognized include the following:

transport amphora

transport amphora - flat-bottomed

transport amphora - barrel-shaped

amphora lid/stopper

cookpot

casserole

shallow casserole

pan

cooking pitcher

incense burner

cooking lid

cooking lid/bowl

baking dome

brazier

cup

chalice/stemmed cup/bowl

cup/bowl

bowl

bowl - large

bowl - small

flanged bowl

flanged bowl/mortarium

bowl/basin

bowl/dish

dish

dish/plate

plate

plate/platter

platter

mortarium

basin

crater

beaker

beaker/jar

jar

jug

juglet

pitcher

bottle

lid

ovoid-piriform vessel

flask

unguentarium

baby feeder/lamp filler

funnel

strainer

planting pot

coin bank

lamp

miniaturizing vessel

dolium

dolium lid

beehive

dormouse house

other

unknown

2.5.8 Assumed Form Function

For each of the form types recognized PEPP recognizes one or more assumed form functions.  These reflect general notions (in many cases explicitly expressed in the literature) regarding the activities/operations for which examples of the form in question are likely to have been employed.  As detailed evidence regarding the use of specific kinds of pottery vessels in the Roman world is scanty and difficult to interpret, for many form types these inferences are conjectural, highly general, or both.

The assumed form functions currently recognized include the following:

packaging/storage - wine and wine products

packaging/storage - olive oil

packaging/storage - processed fish products

packaging/storage - fruit

packaging/storage - perfume/unguent/cosmetic

packaging/storage - other substance

packaging/storage - unidentified substance

storage - food

storage - drink

storage - food/drink

storage – coins

storage – pigment

storage - unidentified substance

food preparation - grinding

food preparation - cooking

food preparation - baking

drink preparation - heating

food/drink preparation - cooking/heating

food preparation – other

drink preparation - other

food/drink preparation - other

food serving

food consumption

food serving/consumption

drink serving

drink consumption

drink transport/consumption

food/drink serving

food/drink consumption

food/drink serving/consumption

lighting

heating

fumigation

defecation/urination

planting

straining

offering

play

bee-keeping

dormouse raising

other

unknown

One or more of these functions are currently attributed by default to the various form types recognized are as follows:

transport amphora (packaging/storage - wine and wine products, packaging/storage - olive oil, packaging/storage - processed fish products, packaging/storage – fruit, packaging/storage - other substance, or packaging/storage - unidentified substance depending upon the class)

transport amphora - flat-bottomed (packaging/storage - wine and wine products, packaging/storage - other substance, or packaging/storage - unidentified substance depending upon the class)

transport amphora - barrel-shaped (packaging/storage – fruit, packaging/storage - other substance, or packaging/storage - unidentified substance depending upon the class)

transport amphora lid/stopper (as for transport amphora)

cookpot (food preparation – cooking)

casserole (food preparation – cooking)

shallow casserole (food preparation – cooking)

pan (food preparation – cooking)

cooking pitcher  (drink preparation – heating)

incense burner (fumigation)

cooking lid (food preparation – cooking)

cooking lid/bowl (food preparation – cooking; food serving/consumption)

baking dome (food preparation – baking)

brazier (food/drink preparation – cooking/heating; heating)

cup (drink consumption)

chalice/stemmed cup/bowl (drink consumption)

cup/bowl (food/drink consumption)

bowl (food serving/consumption)

bowl – large (food serving/consumption)

bowl – small (food serving/consumption)

flanged bowl (food serving/consumption)

flanged bowl/mortarium (food serving consumption; food preparation – grinding)

bowl/basin (food serving/consumption)

bowl/dish (food serving/consumption)

dish (food serving/consumption)

dish/plate (food serving/consumption)

plate (food serving/consumption)

plate/platter (food serving/consumption)

platter (food serving/consumption)

mortarium (food preparation – grinding)

basin (food preparation - other; food serving; urination/defecation)

crater (drink consumption)

beaker (drink consumption)

beaker/jar (drink consumption; food storage)

jar (food storage)

jug (drink storage; drink serving)

juglet (drink serving)

pitcher (drink serving)

bottle (drink serving)

lid (food storage)

ovoid-piriform vessel (drink storage; drink serving; drink consumption)

flask (drink transport/consumption)

unguentarium (packaging/storage - perfume/unguent/cosmetic)

baby feeder/lamp filler (food consumption; lighting)

funnel (food/drink storage; food/drink preparation - other)

strainer (straining)

planting pot (planting)

coin bank (storage - coins)

lamp (lighting)

miniaturizing vessel (offering; play)

dolium (storage - food/drink)

dolium lid (storage - food/drink)

beehive (bee-keeping)

dormouse house (dormouse raising)

other (none)

unknown (none)

2.5.9 Form Use

For each form PEPP evaluates the specimens in the site assemblage for evidence of form use (the operations for which the examples of a form were actually utilized).  This evidence generally consists of use alterations of one or more kinds.

 

2.6 Fabrics

This section describes the various protocols and terms employed for the recognition and description of fabrics.

2.6.1 General Matters

As indicated in Section 2.2, PEPP defines a fabric as a ceramic body with any associated surface coating that was produced using a specific raw material or set of raw materials (clay or clays, tempering material, glaze components) by means of a specific set of paste/surface coating preparation practices.  A class is defined as a set of vessels manufactured in a particular fabric employing a specific set of manufacturing practices, and is understood as representing the output of a workshop or set of workshops operating in a particular locale or more broadly defined region.

The effort to recognize and define fabrics is not an entirely straightforward operation that yields clear and certain results.  This is particularly the case in circumstances in which pottery manufacture across a region involved the use of generally similar raw materials and preparation practices, with the output of the workshops that operated within this territory distinguished in large measure by differences in ceramic body texture.

One important problem is the question of whether and, if so, how to represent variability within a set of materials interpreted as representing a single fabric.  In order to accommodate variability of this kind, PEPP recognizes fabric variants.  These are defined as sets of materials belonging to a single fabric that are distinguished one from the other by variation in color, hardness, and/or fracture surface in a way or to a degree believed to reflect background variability in firing and/or by variation in the abundance, size, sorting, and/or condition of inclusions and/or voids that are believed to reflect background variation in raw material procurement and paste preparation.  The recognition of form variants allows for the composing of well-focused fabric descriptions (in the form of fabric variant descriptions) while at the same time allowing for the representation of the substantial variability that may characterize the output of workshops and a set of workshops operating in the same locale or region.

2.6.2 Defining and Photographing of Fabrics

Fabrics are defined for the most part by the evaluation of fresh fracture surfaces exposed on chips measuring ca. 1 cm x 1cm or less that are removed from the edges of selected fragments by means of pliers.  The fragments chosen for chipping include those assigned an accession numbers and for which a catalog entry is to be composed, and, in many cases, additional fragments drawn from among those assigned a PN number that appear to be either a good representative example of the fabric in question or an outlier of that fabric.  Ideally, the definition of a fabric should involve the evaluation of fragments from a sizable number of different vessels, perhaps ca. 20 in the case of fabrics that embody a relatively large amount of variability.  In many cases, however, only a much smaller number of fragments is available for evaluation, and in some cases only a single fragment.

This operation involves the preparation of a notecard on which the chips belonging to a particular fabric will be mounted by labelling it at the top with both the class and fabric designation.  The chips are then detached from the fragments and glued to the notecard in one or more lines using Vinavil or a similar adhesive, with the fresh fracture surface facing upward and oriented roughly parallel to the surface of the notecard.  A label is written next to each chip recording its accession number or PN number. 

Since 2008 the chips affixed to the notecard are then photographed at a magnification of 50X using a DinoLite AM 413T digital microscope interfaced with a laptop computer running DinoCapture software.  (Although the DinoLite microscope is capable of achieving magnifications up to 130X, the evaluation and photographing of fracture surfaces at magnifications substantially greater than ca. 50X is problematic due to depth of field effects stemming from the unevenness of the surface.)  The photomicrographs made of the chips are labelled and stored in a folder on the laptop.

The set of images captured in this way is then used to define fabrics and fabric variants, assign fragments to one or another of these, and to work up fabric descriptions.  This is generally accomplished by opening multiple images simultaneously in Photoshop, comparing these, and then assigning them to subfolders representing different fabrics or fabric variants.  The resulting sets of photomicrographs are then reviewed and revised until a satisfactory arrangement is achieved.

The photomicrographs are prepared for presentation by being processed in Photoshop (reoriented, cropped, and sharpened as circumstances require) and then dropped into a frame file that includes a scale, an indication of the magnification, and a label that can be rewritten to report either the fragment’s accession number or its PN number and context.  In many cases the photomicrograph does not fill the entire frame and/or some portion of the chip’s surface is out of focus due to depth of field effects.

A set of frame files of this kind produced for magnifications ranging from 20X to 80X and a document that provides instructions for their use are available for download on the RES ROMANAE Scholarly Products/Research Tools page (http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/node/3552)

For each fabric or fabric variant one or more montages is then produced, each consisting of from two to eight photomicrographs of fragments assigned to that fabric or fabric variant.  This involves opening a frame file created for this purpose in Illustrator and then dropping the several images into it.

Prior to 2008 the fracture surfaces of the chips were evaluated under a stereomicroscope offering magnifications of 20X and 40X, with fabric assignments made and revised and fabric descriptions worked up at the microscope.  This instrument is still sometimes employed as a supplement to the digital microscope, as it often provides a more informative view of a fracture surface.

For some fabrics it has been possible to supplement the observations made by these methods with information obtained through the program of petrographic analysis described Section 2.8.1.

2.6.3 Fabric Characterizations

For each fabric and fabric variant recognized PEPP produces both a generalized hand specimen characterization and a generalized microscopic characterization. 

2.6.3.1 Hand Specimen Characterization

The hand specimen characterization describes a fabric or fabric variant as it appears when examined on a fresh fracture surface with the naked eye.  It is composed on the basis of a general examination of the fragments assigned to that fabric or fabric variant and the set of chips that have been detached and glued onto the fabric/fabric variant notecard as described in Section 2.6.2.

The fabric/fabric variant is characterized for the following attributes: hardness, body color, surfacing color and glossiness, fracture surface, texture, inclusions, and voids.  The methods employed for the characterization of these attributes and the set of values accepted for each are as follows:

Hardness:  Determined impressionistically by touch/scratch in comparison with Roman pottery in general.  (For the 2001 study season the PEPP team experimented with a geologic hardness testing kit for the characterization of fabric hardness, but this did not provide useful results.)  Values: hard, hard – medium, hard – soft, medium, medium – soft, soft, soft and powdery, not ascertainable. 

Color body: Determined using the Munsell Soil Colors Chart, as described in Section 2.4.2.

Surfacing color/glossiness: Determined using the Munsell Soil Colors Chart (color) and impressionistically (glossiness), as described in Section 2.4.4.

Fracture surface:  Determined impressionistically in comparison to Roman pottery in general.  Values: conchoidal, conchoidal – smooth, conchoidal - slightly irregular, smooth, smooth - slightly irregular, smooth – irregular, slightly irregular, slightly irregular – irregular, slightly irregular - highly irregular, irregular, irregular - highly irregular, highly irregular, blocky, platy.

Texture: Determined impressionistically in comparison to Roman pottery in general.  Values: very fine, very fine – fine, fine, fine – porphyritic, porphyritic, porphyritic – coarse, fine – gritty, gritty, gritty – coarse, coarse.

Inclusion type:  Brief characterization of body, indicating transparency, color, and luster as appropriate (e.g., dull red body, shiny colorless grain).

Inclusion/void abundance:  Determined by reference to comparator charts.  Values: very abundant (> ca. 50 percent), abundant (ca. 30-50 percent), frequent (ca. 5-30 percent), sparse (ca. 3-5 percent), rare (< ca. 3 percent), absent (no example observed in a specific fragment). 

Inclusion/void condition: Determined by reference to comparator charts.  Values: angular, rounded, platy, indeterminate.

Inclusion/void size:  Determined impressionistically by a general sense of the actual size in fractions of a millimeter of visible inclusions.  Values: very large (> ca. 1 mm), large (ca. 0.5-1 mm), medium (ca. 0.25-0.5 mm), small (< ca. 0.25 mm, at the lower threshold of being resolvable as body), minute (present, though too small to resolve as body). 

The values registered for many of the attributes included in these characterizations are necessarily approximate.  The characterizations produced for different fabrics are accordingly checked against one another and adjusted so as to harmonize these.

2.6.3.2 Microscopic Characterization

The microscopic characterization describes a fabric or fabric variant as it appears when examined on a fresh fracture surface under medium magnification (ca. 20-50X).  It is composed on the basis of the set of photomicrographs that have been taken of examples of that fabric with the digital microscope at a magnification of 50X, as described in Section 2.6.2. 

The fabric is characterized for the following attributes:  general nature (carbonate or otherwise), texture, inclusions, and voids.  Inclusions are characterized for their type, abundance, condition, size, and sorting.  Voids are characterized for their abundance and size.  The methods employed for the characterization of these attributes and the set of values accepted for each are as follows:

Inclusion type: Brief characterization of nature of body, with assumed/possible identification following in parentheses based on knowledge of inclusions likely to occur in ceramic bodies and their general appearance (e.g., colorless grains (quartz); reddish bodies (claystone?)).

Nature: Determined impressionistically based on the visibility of carbonate material in the matrix.  Values: carbonate (substantial material visible), low calcium (some material visible), possibly carbonate (some material perhaps visible), non-carbonate (no material visible), indeterminate (matrix color or other condition precludes useful observation).

Texture: Determined impressionistically based on general definitions.  Values: very fine, very fine – fine, fine, fine – porphyritic, porphyritic, porphyritic – coarse, fine – gritty, gritty, gritty – coarse, coarse.

Inclusion/void abundance: Determined by reference to comparator charts.  Values: very abundant (> ca. 50 percent), abundant (ca. 30-50 percent), frequent (ca. 5-30 percent), sparse (ca. 3-5 percent), rare (< ca. 3 percent), absent.

Inclusion/void condition: Determined by reference to comparator charts.  Values: angular, subangular, subrounded, rounded, platy, irregular, indeterminate.

Inclusion/void size: Determined by reference to grid superimposed over photomicrograph.  Values: very large (>1000 microns), large (500-1000 microns), medium (200-500 microns), small (100-200 microns), minute (< 100 microns).

 

2.7 Pottery Groups

The set of fragments belonging to a specific form, form variant, or vessel part type (and thus all belonging to a single, specific class or sub-class) recovered in a specific context is referred to as a pottery group. Each pottery group is assigned an identification number composed of three parts that indicate the elements that define it, namely the number of the context in which it was recovered, the standard abbreviation for the class to which it belongs, and an abbreviation for the number of the form, form variant, or vessel part type that it represents (e.g., PEA012 AfrSig4 F2 for the fragments of African Sigillata 4 Form 2 recovered in context A012).

The fragments in each pottery group are subjected to two operations - quantification and the evaluation of depositional status.

2.7.1 Quantification

Each pottery group is quantified by four different measures: count (number of fragments), weight, EVREP (estimated number of vessels represented) for rims, bases, and handles, and EVE (estimated vessel equivalents) for rims, bases, and handles.  The employment of all four of these measures to quantify pottery groups is useful in that each has associated performance characteristics with regard to bias and, when bias is present, variability in this with variability in the degree of completeness and brokenness associated with each of the different groups of materials being quantified.  Each of the four measures is also more or less difficult and time-consuming to apply and generates results that differ in their degree of precision and accuracy.  The use of these four measures thus produces four related, though distinct datasets, each of which has associated strengths and limitations for purposes of analysis. (For a discussion of the quantification methods employed by PEPP and their effects on the resulting data see Peña and McCaw 2007.)

The sections that follow discuss the methods employed for the application of these four measures.

Before advancing to these discussions, however, it is important to address the issue of the methods employed for the collection of pottery during excavation operations at the Palatine East and the methods employed for the classification and quantification of pottery during the period prior to the initiation of PEPP.   With regard to the first of these issues, the excavators were instructed as a rule of thumb to collect only pottery fragments as large as or larger than a 100 lira coin (diameter 27.8 mm).  The project thus chose to forgo collecting a portion of the very small pottery fragments present in the various contexts excavated.  Pottery and the other classes of artifacts were for the most part collected by hand from loose soil, with sieving employed for only a limited number of contexts believed to represent cases of primary deposition.  As excavation operations mostly involved the moving of large amounts of earth by pick and shovel, it seems likely that the excavators also failed to recover some portion of the pottery fragments in the small size range (ca. 2-5 cm across) and even some larger fragments.  How thorough and consistent the collection of pottery fragments was from trench to trench and from season to season is not known.   In light of these observations, it can be assumed that there is some systematic under-representation in the pottery processed and made available for study of certain classes that have an elevated tendency (relative to other classes) to break up into small and, in particular, very small fragments, including the various thin-walled wares and probably also African Sigillata 3 (ARS C). 

With regard to the second of these issues, the methods employed for the classification  and quantification of the site pottery assemblage in the work done prior to the initiation of PEPP, the standard practice at that time was to assign body fragments to classes or class groupings without systematic scrutiny of fabric, and to then count and weigh the fragments by these categories.  In the interest of reducing the amount of materials requiring long-term storage the body fragments for some of the more abundant classes and class groupings (West-Central Italian Cookware; West-Central Italian Fineware, African Cookware; Keay 52 amphora and related amphora classes; Dressel 20 and 23 amphora; Kapitän 1 and 2 amphora; African amphoras) were then returned to the site, where they were used to backfill trenches.  Quantitative data for the body sherds belonging to these classes are thus available only in terms of these general categories.  These data may also be relatively inaccurate, as weighing operations during that period were carried out employing a mechanical kitchen scale that displayed weights in increments of 10 grams on a dial that was difficult to read with precision.

It should also be noted at this juncture that PEPP is carrying out work aimed at the development and application of two additional measures for the quantification of the site assemblage: 1) a transport amphora content measure; and 2) an economic value measure.  In regard to the first of these, the project is carrying out a program of research aimed at determining the mean capacity of the various classes of transport amphoras represented in the site assemblage with a view to developing the ability to quantify transport amphora pottery groups for both the amount of content that they represent.  In regard to the second, the project is carrying out various operations (the determination of the manufacturing sequence for each form; the determination of vessel weight; the evaluation of paste preparation practices through the program of petrographic analysis) with a view to applying a measure that estimates the economic value of the fragments belonging to a class or sub-class in a particular context in terms of the amounts of raw material labor involved in their manufacture.  (For these measures see Peña and McCaw 2007, 161-163; Peña and Martínez 2015.)

2.7.1.1 Count Measure

The application of the count measure involves simply counting the number of fragments present.  The values produced by this operation take the form of an integer indicating number of fragments.

In the application of the count measure no effort is made to take into account joining fragments, even in cases in which fragments display fresh breaks that indicate that breakage occurred either during or subsequent to excavation.

As no great effort is expended to assign body fragments to specific forms, with these in most cases attributed to one or more body types, body fragments will be largely or entirely unrepresented in the count data for forms.  The count data are for this reason likely to be meaningful at the level of classes rather than forms.

2.7.1.2 Weight Measure

The application of the measure involves weighing the fragments on a digital scale.  The values produced by this measure take the form of an integer indicating grams of pottery.

The fragments are weighed as they are encountered in the plastic trays in which they are stored, with no attempt made to standardize the amount of absorbed water present in the material from class to class, tray to tray, or year to year. 

In the rare instances in which a pottery group consists of a single fragment that is so small that it fails to register a value of 1 gram (thus far in every case either a fragment belonging to a class of thin-walled ware or a fragment of African Sigillata 3), a weight of 1 gram is recorded. 

As was the case with the count measure, the fact that no great effort is expended to assign body fragments to specific forms, with these in most cases attributed to one or more body types, body fragments will be largely or entirely unrepresented in the weight data for forms.  The weight data are for this reason likely to be meaningful at the level of classes rather than forms.

2.7.1.3 Estimated Vessels Represented (EVREP) Measure 

This is a complex measure that records an estimate for the minimum number of examples of a form present in a pottery group in terms of three vessel part categories - rim, base, and handle.  The values produced by this measure take the form of an integer representing the estimated minimum number of examples of a form present as determined on the basis of that category of vessel part.

To apply this measure the fragments assigned to each form, form variant, or rim, base, or handle type first are examined with a view to identifying fragment families – sets of joining fragments that belong to the same vessel – and then unjoining fragment families – sets of fragment families and individual fragments that belong to the same vessel but do not all join.  For the latter operation the fragments are scrutinized for their fabric, morphology, micromorphology, and use alteration.  The number of unjoining fragment families is then counted for each of the vessel part categories, with composite unjoining fragment families (unjoining fragment families that preserve any two of the three diagnostic vessel parts) counted once for each vessel part category represented.

In order to apply this measure to the handle category it is necessary to know whether the form in question has one or two handles.  In some cases this is not known with certainty, and it is thus necessary to make an assumption of uncertain validity on this question in order to apply this measure to that form.  It is also sometimes difficult to conclude with certainty whether or not two or more non-joining fragments derive from the same handle, and, for some classes, it is sometimes impossible to attribute a handle to a single specific form with certainty.  The application of the EVREP measure to the handle category is thus problematic and, for some classes and forms, yields data of uncertain and presumably to some extent limited precision and accuracy.

The decision to forgo collecting very small fragments at the time of their excavation described in Section 2.7.1 may have introduced some small bias against the representation of rims relative to handles and bases, as for forms with thin walls rims tend to break into substantially smaller pieces than do handles and, in particular, bases.

In instances in which two or more fragments of the same vessel were recovered in different contexts – termed extended fragment families - the fragments are quantified separately with their respective pottery groups.  On account of this practice, the total number of vessels recorded by this measure across all contexts exceeds the true number of vessels represented in the site assemblage as attested by the vessel part in question.  Although no regular or systematic effort is being made to identify extended fragment families, numerous cases have been recognized on a casual basis, and this information – potentially significant for the understanding of formation processes on the site - is recorded in a third worksheet that is added to the relevant class spreadsheet for this purpose.

2.7.1.4 Estimated Vessel Equivalents (EVE) Measure

This is a complex measure that builds on the results of the EVREP measure to calculate the number of vessel equivalents present for each of three vessel part categories – rim, base, and handle.  A vessel equivalent is the amount of rim, base, and handle represented when measured as a percent of a complete example of that vessel part.   The values produced by this measure take the form of a percentage figure.  These figures can be divided by 100 in order to arrive at the number of vessel equivalents present (e.g., 240 EVE = 2.4 vessels).

Each fragment family and individual fragment that preserves either a rim or a base has this vessel part aligned with the arc corresponding to its diameter on a diameter gauge that has been marked with rays emanating from its center at intervals of 1 percent (3.6 degrees) and the percentage of the element present is read off the gauge.  In some instances – particularly those involving a rim represented by a fragment family – there is a larger or smaller gap at one or more points in the preserved arc, and for purposes of applying this measure these lacunae are ignored and the full length of the arc recorded.

Performing this operation is time consuming and the results that it yields likely to be both somewhat imprecise and inaccurate, in that it is difficult to determine with certitude the exact diameter of rim and base fragments that preserve only a few degrees of their full circumference - say ca. 5 percent or less.

A file containing the diameter gauge employed for rim and base percent estimates is available for download on RES ROMANAE (http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/node/3577).

As there is no practical way to characterize the percent of a handle that is present (unless this is 100 percent), the approach employed for handle determinations is to assume that a handle is complete if any material portion of it is present, with the set of possible values accordingly limited to 0 or 100 in the case of forms that possess one handle, and 0, 50, or 100 in the case of forms that possess two handles.

The set of protocols adopted for the application of this measure will also introduce some degree of distortion into the rim and base data.  At the outset of PEPP in 2001 it was decided that, given the difficulties involved in matching rim and base fragments to arcs on the diameter gauge, measurements for rim and base fragments should be recorded in increments of 2.5 percent (rather than 1 percent), and that any fragment preserving an arc smaller than 2.5 percent should be attributed a value equal to the minimum value recognized  - 2.5 percent - regardless of the true size of the preserved arc.   As the project team gained more experience with applying this measure, however, it became clear that, given the high incidence of fragments that preserve arcs smaller than 2.5 percent, this set of protocol ran the risk of inflating – perhaps significantly - both individual measurements and the cumulative percentage figures obtained for pottery groups, and that the impact of this effect would presumably differ as a function of variation in the degree of brokenness that characterized different pottery groups.  At the same time, it also become clear that in most cases it was possible to record values in increments of 1 percent with a reasonable degree of confidence.  Following the end of the 2003 study season it was accordingly decided to revise the set of procedures employed for the application of this measure, instituting the practice of recording values in increments of 1 percent, as this would allow the project to obtain more accurate individual measurements while reducing the inflation of values produced by the practice of attributing a value equal to the minimum value recognized (now 1 percent instead of 2.5 percent) to fragments that preserve only a very small arc of rim or base.  For pottery groups for which this measure was carried out entirely before the end of the 2003 season the values reported are thus in increments of 2.5 percent beginning with 2.5 percent, while for those for which this measure was carried out after the 2003 season the values reported are in increments of 1 percent beginning with 1 percent.  In some cases data were recorded for a single class both before and after the end of the 2003 study season, and the values reported thus consist of a mixture of whole numbers and numbers ending on a half beginning with 1 percent.

2.7.2 Depositional Status

The fragments in each pottery group are evaluated for their depositional status, that is, whether they can be regarded as either contemporaneous or antecedent with respect to the deposition of the context in which they were recovered.  This represents an effort to operationalize in explicit and systematic terms the categories of residual and in phase, which are widely employed, though usually undefined.  Fragments that are regarded as contemporaneous are those that can be attributed to a form for which the estimated dates of manufacture allow for the possibility that they were being manufactured and used during the period when the context was being formed.  Fragments that are regarded as antecedent are those that can be attributed to a form for which the estimated dates of manufacture suggest that they were manufactured and used prior to the period when the context was being formed.

In order to perform this evaluation the chronology for the manufacture of the form in question must be compared with that for the deposition of the context in which the fragments were recovered.  As indicated in Section 2.5.6, PEPP accepts the most recent reliable chronology for the various forms represented in the site assemblage unless there is evidence from the site assemblage that improves or contradicts this.  With regard to the dating of the contexts on the site, during the early 2000s in connection with the preparation of the final stratigraphic report for the excavations presented in Palatine East I, JTP employed the evidence available to him at that time (numismatic, ceramic, architectural, complete Harris matrices for Sectors A and D and partial Harris matrices for Sector B) to estimate the range of dates during which each of the contexts documented by the project had been deposited.  (For the methods employed for this operation see Peña 2009B.)  As part of this work contexts that appeared likely to have been created in connection with the same event or process were grouped together as an operation.  The various operations and any contexts not assigned to an operation were then arranged into higher order groupings termed horizons, each representing the set of contexts deposited on a particular sector of the site over a particular span of time.  In this construction, the span of dates estimated for the deposition of a horizon also represents the best estimate for the span of dates for the deposition of the contexts and operations that constitute that horizon.

Most estimated end dates for a particular form that appear in the literature likely  represent a scholar’s best estimate of when examples of that form begin to disappear from archaeological deposits as a useful proxy for the end date of its manufacture, the assumption being that the use-life of pottery is so short and at the same time so variable from one vessel to the next and our capabilities of chronological resolution so limited that there is little if any effective difference between the two.  In the interest of adopting a conservative stance, however, it was decided that for the purposes of this operation it would be appropriate to add a set period of years to the accepted end date for each form with a view of arriving at an estimated use terminus, that is, a date by which it seems likely that all but extreme outlier examples of a form (e.g., heirlooms, vessels placed in storage and forgotten, and so forth) will have gone out of use and been discarded.  Since comprehensive and reliable vessel use-life evidence is lacking for the Roman world, comparative evidence was employed to posit general maximum use-life figures for each of the four functional categories - 5 years for cookwares and utilitarian wares, 10 years for tablewares, and 20 years for transport amphoras.

The beginning date and estimated use terminus for a form and the estimated beginning and ending dates of deposition for a context are then employed to rate the likelihood that examples of that form in that context are likely contemporary or antecedent, using the following set of values:

1: contemporary (form manufacture beginning date >/= to context deposition beginning date)

2: possibly contemporary/possibly antecedent (form manufacture beginning date < context deposition beginning data and form use ending date > context deposition beginning date)

3: antecedent (form use ending date < context deposition beginning date)

4: unknown (too little information regarding form chronology to determine status)

(For the application of an earlier version of this method to the pottery from context A105 at the Palatine East see Peña 1998.)  As both many horizon dates and form dates take the form of a date range, in many instances the result is ambiguous, yielding a rating of 1-2 (either contemporary or possibly contemporary/possibly antecedent) or 2-3 (either possibly contemporary/possibly antecedent or antecedent).  A rating of 5 is also included for the designation of fragments that are for some reason regarded as intrusive.

Once more pottery data have been presented on line it may well prove possible to revise the set of context deposition date ranges worked out during the early 2000s on the basis of more extensive and more accurate information than was available at that time.  On the basis of any such revisions it may also prove possible to modify the suggested dates for some pottery classes and/or forms, and, on the basis of revisions of these two kinds, to revise the contemporary/antecedent rating for some, and perhaps even many of the pottery groups.

 

2.8 Compositional Analysis

2.8.1 Petrographic Analysis

For each fabric and, in some cases, fabric variant one or more specimens judged to be representative is thin sectioned and subjected to petrographic analysis.  The aim of this program is to obtain more detailed information regarding the texture and mineralogical composition of each fabric with a view to better understanding the raw materials and paste preparation practices involved in its production, determining its likely point of origin, and identifying attributes that distinguish it from other, similar fabrics represented in the site assemblage.

The sampling procedure involves detaching either by breaking or sawing a fairly flat, roughly rectangular piece of the specimen measuring ca. 2 x 4 cm.  Where possible, this is taken from a portion of the specimen that is redundant, that is, from an area of the vessel’s profile that will still be represented after the sample has been removed.

The specimens are assigned a thin section number in a (non-continuous) series, and sent for thin sectioning to Quality Thin Sections, a commercial sample preparation service located in Tucson, Arizona.  In each case the preparation of the thin section has included the staining of carbonates, potassium feldspar, and plagioclase feldspar.  To date, 155 specimen samples have been thin sectioned and are available for analysis.

These thin sections are being analyzed by the JTP in the UC Berkeley Roman Material Culture Laboratory as the class to which they belong is being prepared for presentation.  This involves the evaluation of the thin section under both a Meiji ML9300 polarizing light (petrographic) microscope equipped with a mechanical stage and objectives offering magnifications of 40X, 100X and 400X and a Meiji trinocular stereo microscope equipped with objectives offering magnifications of 20X and 40X and capable of illuminating the section with transmitted light, incident light, or light of both kinds simultaneously.  The non-standard practice of evaluating the section under a stereo microscope has proven helpful, in that it brings out more clearly than does examination under the petrographic microscope the presence of certain opaque bodies, such as fragments of claystone.

The method employed for the characterization of thin sections is similar to that described and applied in Peña and Gallimore 2014, 190-203.  Each thin section is evaluated for the following attributes: ratio of the three phases present in the ceramic body (matrix [micromass], inclusions, and voids) expressed as estimated percentages of the surface; nature of the matrix; nature of the inclusion phase (types of inclusions, and, for each inclusion type, size range, condition, and abundance); and nature of the void phase (size range, shape, and abundance). 

The methods employed for the characterization of these attributes and the set of values accepted for each are as follows:

Matrix

Optical activity: active, partially active, inactive, undetermined.

Inclusions

Type: general description of type followed by suggested identification in parentheses.

Abundance: Determined by reference to comparator charts.  Values:  predominant (>70 percent), dominant (50-70 percent), frequent (30-50 percent), common (15-30 percent), few (5-15 percent), very few (3-5 percent), rare (0.5-3 percent), very rare (<0.5 percent).

Size: Determined by reference to grid in stereo microscope objective, displacement of mechanical stage on polarizing light microscope, and projection of grid onto photomicrographs in Photoshop.  Values: very coarse sand (>1000 microns), coarse sand (500-1000 microns), medium sand (200-500 microns), fine sand (100-200 microns), very fine sand (50-100 microns), silt (<50 microns).

Condition: Determined by reference to comparator charts.  Values: angular, subangular, subrounded, rounded, well rounded.

Voids

Size: As for inclusions.

Shape: Determined by reference to comparator charts.  Values: vesicle, vugh, channel, other.

Abundance: Determined by reference to comparator charts.  Values: macro (>500 microns); meso (200-500 microns); micro (<200 microns).

For purposes of documentation each thin section is photographed on the stereo microscope under a combination of transmitted and incident light at both 20X and 40X magnification using an OptixCam digital video/still camera interfaced with a desktop computer running OCView software.  This pairing of images provides a good idea of the general texture of the specimen and the main attributes of the inclusions and voids present in it.  In cases where a detailed image of a specific mineral grain, rock fragment, or void is useful the thin section is photographed on the petrographic microscope using the OptixCam camera under either plane polarized light or crossed polars as is most informative at a magnification of 40X, 100X and/or 400X.

The photomicrographs produced on the stereo microscope are processed using Photoshop (with the brightness, contrast, and sharpness increased by a uniform amount to enhance the visibility of inclusions and voids) and dropped into a frame file that includes a scale and a label that can be rewritten to indicate the specimen’s accession number, the sample’s thin section number, and indications of both the magnification and the nature of the light source ( TL for transmitted light, IL for incident light; TIL for the  combination of transmitted and incident light, PPL for plane polarized light, XPL for cross polarized light).

2.8.2 Neutron Activation Analysis

Two separate programs of NAA have been carried out on sets of specimens from the site assemblage, one at the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST)/Smithsonian Institution (SI) facility that involved specimens of various classes of glazed pottery, and one through the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign Department of Nuclear Engineering facility that involved specimens of various fine-bodied classes originating in west-central Italy.

2.8.2.1 NIST/SI Program of Analysis

In 1991 JTP undertook a program of compositional analysis in collaboration with Pamela Vandiver, then of the SI, that involved the analysis of 25 specimens of one or another of the classes of late imperial glazed ware or early imperial glazed ware and 4 specimens of two different classes of glazed fineware.  This project, which was concerned with elucidating the provenience and glaze technology of these classes, involved the NAA of all 29 specimens at the NIST/SI facility and the electron microscopy/microprobe analysis of the glazes of a small subset of these in the SI Department of Geology.

The protocols employed for the preparation of samples for NAA, the irradiation of these, and data reduction are identical to those reported on RES ROMANAE for the analysis of Italian clay specimens at the NIST/SI facility as part of the La Creta Fata Concreta project (http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/node/3701#h.2zbgiuw Section 3.1).  For a brief report on the results of this program of analysis see Peña and Vandiver 1991.  A full discussion of this project and the resulting data will be presented on line in connection with the presentation of the classes of late imperial glazed ware.

2.8.2.2 University of Illinois Program of Analysis

During the period 1993-1994 E. De Sena, S. Landsberger, S. Wisseman and JTP undertook a program of NAA involving 200 specimens. The aim of this project was to investigate the local and regional sources of the supply to Rome of regionally-produced fine-bodied pottery manufactured in marine and similar clays.  The bulk of the specimens analyzed accordingly consisted of examples of West-Central Italian Fineware and related classes, along with tiles manufactured from eight specimens of Rome-area clay and a small number of specimens of Italian Sigillata and Eastern Sigillata C included for comparative purposes.  The analyses were performed at the University of Illinois Department of Nuclear Engineering facility.

The protocols employed for the preparation of the samples for NAA, the irradiation of these, and data reduction are identical to those reported on RES ROMANAE for the analysis of Italian clay specimens at the University of Illinois facility as part of the La Creta Fata Concreta project (where Clays 086-093 correspond to the clay specimens included in the PEPP Illinois program of NAA). (http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/node/3701#h.2zbgiuw Section 3.4)  For publications that provide preliminary discussions of the results of this project see De Sena et al 1995; Wisseman et al 1995; Peña 1999, 158-161.  A full discussion of this project along with the resulting data will be presented on line in connection with the presentation of the classes of fineware.

 

2.9 Other Operations

2.9.1 Capacity Measurement

Since 2013 VMM has been carrying out a program of analysis directed at determining the range of capacities and the mean capacity of the various classes of Italian and Hispanic amphoras represented in the site assemblage with a view to estimating the content capacity represented by the pottery groups associated with these classes.  This builds on earlier work of this kind undertaken by JTP in connection with the publication of the materials from context A105, by James McCaw for PEPP during 2001-2002, and by Cody Gaynor for the Pompeii Artifact Life History Project during 2012-2013.  The underlying assumption is that data of this kind represent more economically meaningful information than other forms of quantitative data generally obtained for transport amphora assemblages.   This program involves both collecting vessel capacity data available in the literature and the determination of vessel capacity from published profile drawings.  The latter operation entails the use of an AutoCad routine that converts a profile drawing to a three-dimensional solid and then calculates the capacity of this in cubic centimeters.  A full discussion of this project along with the resulting data will be presented on line in connection with the presentation of the Italian and Hispanic amphoras.

A video tutorial that demonstrates the use of the AutoCad routine for converting a profile drawing of a vessel to a three-dimensional solid and calculating the capacity of this is available for viewing and download on RES ROMANAE (http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/node/3552).

2.9.2 X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis and Fabric Density Measurement

In 2015 JPI and VMM carried out a program of research that involved the XRF analysis and determination of fabric density for a set of 70 fragments of various classes of Hispanic and African transport amphoras that bear a maker’s stamp.  This project was undertaken with a view to investigating the extent to which it is possible to distinguish these classes and the discrete production groups subsumed under them on the basis of fabric chemistry as determined by XRF and/or fabric density.

The XRF component of the program employed a Bruker Tracer hand-held XRF spectrometer to assay the composition of the specimens.  For the fabric density component of the program a three-dimensional model of each fragment was produced by scanning with a Breuckmann SmartScan structured light scanner and the volume of this calculated using MeshLab software.  Each fragment was then weighed on a digital scale and the figure for its volume divided by that for its weight in order to determine density.  A full discussion of this project along with the resulting data will be presented on line in connection with the presentation of the Italian and Hispanic amphoras.

 

3. On-Line Presentation of Results

      

3.1 Overview

The results of PEPP’s description and quantification of the Palatine East pottery assemblage are being presented on-line on RES ROMANAE on a rolling basis as the individuals responsible for the study of the various pottery classes or sets of related classes complete the preparation of this material.  This will represent the sole form of publication for the project’s primary data.  A monograph-length publication consisting of synthesizing/interpretive essays will follow in on-line open source format.

The on-line presentation of the project data involves three different types of pages – class pages, databases, and project pages.  The class pages present the information relating to one specific class or to a set of related classes in the form of an extended text with links to the associated profile drawings, photographs, and photomicrographs.  The databases assemble data – some presented in the class pages, some not - for all of the classes, forms, specimens, fabrics, pottery groups, contexts, petrographic analyses, and neutron activation analyses in a format that allows the user to manipulate them by sorting and filtering.  The project pages present discussions of the various projects of compositional/volumetric analysis.

Versions of the completed class and project pages will be made available for download in pdf format, as will Excel spreadsheets that contain a subset of the data included in the databases.

At present the set of projected class pages and the authors of these are as follows:

Pre-Imperial Classes (JTP)

Italian Sigillatas (JTP)

Gallic and Hispanic Sigillatas (JTP)

Eastern Sigillatas (JTP)

African Sigillatas (JTP)

Late Imperial Glazed Wares (JTP)

Thin-Walled Wares (JTP)

West-Central Italian Finewares and Related Classes (JB)

West-Central Italian Utilitarian Wares (JTP)

African Utilitarian Wares (JPI)

Unguentaria (JTP)

West-Central Italian Cookwares (JPI)

Campanian Cookwares (JPI)

African Cookwares (JPI)

Aegean Cookware (JPI)

Hand-Built Cookwares (JPI)

Italian Amphoras (VMM) 

Hispanic Amphoras (VMM) 

Eastern Mediterranean Amphoras (JTP, VMM, and others to be determined)

African Amphoras (AD)

Unprovenienced and Unidentified Amphoras (VMM) 

Sherd Disks and Amphora Stoppers (JL)

The initial on-line presentation of PEPP data that occurred in March, 2017 includes a pilot presentation of a minor portion of the African Sigillatas class page consisting of the information for two minor classes, African Sigillata 2 (ARS A/D) and African Sigillata 4 (ARS E).  This is to be followed during the months of March through June, 2017 with the presentation of the information pertaining to the other classes of African sigillata in the site assemblage.  The presentation of the other class pages will follow after this.

The database component of the on-line presentation will ultimately consist of nine different databases that present information in both tabular and record format.  While some of the databases will contain information also presented (in a different format) in the class pages, others will contain information not reported in the class pages, and others still a mixture of information of both kinds.

The set of projected databases is as follows:

PEPP Class

PEPP Form

PEPP Specimen

PEPP Fabric

PEPP Pottery Group

PEPP Context

PEPP Petrographic Analysis

PEPP NAA Data (NIST/SI)

PEPP NAA Data (Illinois)

Of these nine databases, versions of seven - all except PEPP NAA Data (NIST/SI) and PEPP NAA Data (Illinois) - were presented in some more or less developed form as part of the initial on-line presentation of PEPP data that occurred in March, 2017.   All seven of these were designed and built by JTP.  As presented at this time these databases contain records pertaining to the materials belonging to African Sigillata 2 and African Sigillata 4.  They set of records that they contain will be expanded on an ongoing basis as additional classes are presented on line.

The set of projected project pages and the authors of these are as follows:

Program of NAA (NIST/SI) (JTP)

Program of NAA (Illinois) (JTP and JB)

Program of Volumetric Analysis (VMM)

Program of XRF and Density Analysis (JPI and VMM)

The following sections describe the format of the class pages and databases.  No description of the formats of the project pages is presented at this time as these have yet to be determined.  In these sections, the various attributes/fields mentioned, the values accepted for these, and the methods employed to obtain these values are those described in Section 2.

3.2. Class Pages

The class pages report the basic data pertaining to the pottery class or set of related pottery classes that they treat in the form of a continuous text.  They also provide links to the relevant profile drawings, form/profile drawing montages, photographs of fragments bearing features of interest, photomicrographs of fracture surfaces, montages of photomicrographs of fracture surfaces, and photomicrographs of thin sections.

In the case of class pages that treat multiple pottery classes (and/or sub-classes), these are presented class by class and sub-class by sub-class.  These pages begin with an introductory section that indicates the general nature of the classes as a group and lists the individual classes included on the page, indicating other names by which they are regularly referred to in the literature.

The section pertaining to each class (or sub-class) begins with an introduction that indicates the following:  the amount of material belonging to the class in the Palatine East assemblage; the terminology employed to refer to the class both by PEPP and in the literature; the class’s defining characteristics; the evidence for the class’s locus of production; the class’s general chronology; and the basic bibliography pertaining to the class, including the sources referenced on that page.

This is followed by a description of the class’s fabric, including both hand specimen and microscopic characterizations, with a link to the one or more photomicrograph montages for the fabric.

Next comes information regarding the petrographic analysis and NAA analysis of examples of the class, including an indication of the number of examples subjected to either form of analysis and, in the case of examples subjected to petrographic analysis, links to two photomicrographs of each of the relevant thin sections, one taken at a magnification of 20X and the other at a magnification of 40X.

There follows a listing of the forms represented, including the names by which these are referred to in the  literature, with a link to the one or more form/profile drawing montages for that class.  There are also comments regarding any noteworthy aspects of the representation of forms for that class in the Palatine East assemblage (e.g., forms attested for the class for the first time; forms assigned to the class that are normally assigned to a different class in the literature).

Next comes a summary of the quantitative data for the representation of the class in the site assemblage.

The introductory section concludes with comments regarding the evidence for the techniques employed for the manufacture of the class organized according to the principal operations involved in the order in which they occur: paste/surfacing preparation, forming, decoration, surfacing, drying, and firing.

The remainder of the section of the page pertaining to that class consists of descriptions of the various forms, form variants, and rim, base, handle, and body types represented.  This begins with Form 1 and works its way through the remaining forms and form variants in the order of the numbers applied to them, before then presenting the rim, base, handle, and body types in the order of the numbers applied to these.

The section pertaining to each form begins with an indication of the name employed to refer to it by PEPP – normally the most common, unproblematic name employed for it in the literature – and the form type to which PEPP assigns it.  This is followed by general information relating to the form independent of its representation in the site assemblage.  This includes a general description of the form that indicates its morphology, decoration, and surfacing, an indication of its size range - usually in terms of the range of rim diameters attested - its dates of manufacture, its assumed function, and the basic bibliography pertaining to it, including the sources referenced on that page.

The section that follows presents information pertaining to the representation of that form in the site assemblage.  This includes the following: a summary of the quantitative data for the form’s representation, including the count, weight, EVREP and EVE data; a listing of the complete vessel dimensions represented, including, as available, those for rim diameter, base diameter, vessel height, and combinations of these; information regarding the weight of examples of the form; a catalog description of one or more representative examples of the form; a reconstruction of the manufacturing sequence for the form; evidence for how examples of the form were actually used; and new evidence for the form’s chronology.

The catalog entries presented in this section are structured as follows:  The entry begins with the specimen’s accession number and an indication of the context in which it was recovered.  This is followed by a general characterization of the specimen, including the number of fragments represented, whether or not these join, and the parts of the vessel profile and portion of the vessel overall that these represent, along with a brief characterization of noteworthy elements of the specimen’s morphology and decoration.  Next come notations regarding the color of the ceramic body and a description of any surfacing, including color, glossiness, evenness, and area of coverage.  This is followed by a brief characterization of the specimen’s micromorphology, beginning with elements present on the exterior of the vessel and then moving to those present on its interior.  This is followed by a brief description of any use alterations present on the specimen.  The catalog entry concludes with information regarding the specimen’s complete and preserved dimensions and weight to the extent that these can be determined.

Each catalog entry is accompanied by links to the profile drawing of the specimen and the photomicrograph of the specimen’s ceramic body.

For specimens that were subjected to petrographic analysis, links are also provided for the same two photomicrographs provided with links in the petrographic analysis section.

Some catalog entries are also accompanied by a link to one or more photographs that detail noteworthy features of the specimen.

 

3.3. Databases

3.3.1 Introduction

The initial presentation of PEPP results that occurred in March, 2017 included a more or less developed version of seven of the nine databases planned for presentation.  The two exceptions were the databases for the presentation of the results of the two programs of NAA.  These two databases were not prepared for presentation at that time as no examples of the two classes for which data were being presented were implicated in either of these two programs of analysis.

Three of the databases - PEPP Class, PEPP Form, and PEPP Specimen - have been designed to present records for items relating to just three of the four functional categories of pottery – tablewares, utilitarian wares, and cookwares.  A variant of each of these databases designed to accommodate records relating to the fourth functional category - transport amphoras - is planned for the future.  These will contain additional fields for attributes relevant only to transport amphoras, such as content, capacity, stoppering, and tituli picti.

All seven of the databases currently available present the information that they contain in two different views - a tabular view and a record view.  The tabular view, which is the default view, consists of a table that contains a row for each record in the database and columns that represent a subset of the set of fields in the database.  The record view presents a view of a single record that includes what is generally an expanded selection of the fields in the database. 

For each of the databases the tabular view permits the user to sort (arrange in alphanumeric order and reverse alphanumeric order) the records in the database on certain of the columns/fields and to filter (select for instances that have a specified value or values) the records on certain of the columns/fields.   The fields selected for inclusion in the tabular view generally consist of those suitable for tabular presentation (i.e., fields for which the values consist of short, alphanumeric entries) and that promise to yield an informative result if they or one or more of the other fields included the table is subjected to a sort or filter.  In general, all columns/fields that can be enabled for sorting are so enabled.  (Fields that are enabled to contain two or more values cannot be enabled for sorting.)  The set of columns/fields enabled for filtering generally includes those that promise to yield an informative result if subjected to a filter.

Users can navigate from the tabular view to the form view for any of the records in the database by clicking on the cell for that record located in the table’s first column.

While the format of the form view is different for each database, in every case this employs a standard two-column format.  In this format, the left-hand column presents a general identification and description of the item, while the right-hand column is occupied by several headings that each indicates a set of several thematically-related fields presented in collapsed view.  Clicking on any of the headings exposes the set of fields placed under it, allowing the user to view the information in these, while clicking on the heading a second time returns the set of fields to collapsed view.  Although these headings and the sets of fields assigned to them differ very considerably from one database to the next, an effort has been made to build a substantial degree of uniformity into the nature and arrangement of these to facilitate navigation.  It is important to note that fields that contain no data and headings for sets of fields that contain data do not appear.  The headings and fields that appear and their arrangement on the page thus can thus differ, sometimes quite substantially, from one record to the next. (e.g. In some cases the fields assigned to the left-hand column currently contain no data, with the result that the headings and fields assigned to the right-hand column appear at the left of the view.)

The tabular view for each database is provided with a heading that furnishes detailed instructions for performing sorts and filters on that table and how to navigate from the tabular view to the record view.  As the form view does not provide for a heading, the heading on the tabular view also describes the layout of the form view for that database and indicates how to access the information that it contains.

The following sections present brief comments regarding each of the databases, indicating certain aspects of their format and content and the extent to which their content consists of information that does or does not also appear in the class pages.

3.3.2 PEPP Class

This database contains a record for each of the classes and sub-classes presented to date in the class pages.  The information that it contains also appears in the class page for the class in question.  Each record as presented in the record view contains links to one or more records in the following databases: PEPP Form, PEPP Specimen, PEPP Fabric, and, where relevant, PEPP Petrographic Analysis and either PEPP NAA (SI/NIST) or PEPP NAA (Illinois).

The version of this database currently available is designed for records pertaining to the tableware, utilitarian ware, and cookware functional categories, with a somewhat modified version to be introduced in the future for records pertaining to the transport amphora functional category.

3.3.3 PEPP Form

This database contains a record for each of the forms, form variants, and vessel part types presented to date in the class pages.  Most of the information that it contains also appears in the class page for the class to which the form in question belongs.  Each record as presented in the record view contains links to one or more records in the following databases: PEPP Class, PEPP Specimen, and PEPP Fabric.

The version of this database currently available is designed for records pertaining to the tableware, utilitarian ware, and cookware functional categories, with a somewhat modified version to be introduced in the future for records pertaining to the transport amphora functional category.

3.3.4 PEPP Specimen

This database contains a record for each of the specimens presented to date in the class pages.  The information that it contains also appears in the class page for the specimen in question.  Each record as presented in both the tabular and record views contains links to one or more records in the following databases: PEPP Class, PEPP Form, PEPP Fabric, PEPP Context, and, where relevant, PEPP Petrographic Analysis and either PEPP NAA (SI/NIST) or PEPP NAA (Illinois).

The version of this database currently available is designed for records pertaining to the tableware, utilitarian ware, and cookware functional categories, with a somewhat modified version to be introduced in the future for records pertaining to the transport amphora functional category.

3.3.5 PEPP Fabric

This database contains a record for each of the fabrics presented to date in the class pages.  It contains all of the information regarding the fabric in question that appears in the relevant class page.  It also contains additional information regarding the number of specimens evaluated for the composition of fabric descriptions, the compositional variability displayed by the set of fragments assigned to that fabric, and relationships between that fabric and other similar fabrics attested in the site assemblage and the characteristics that serve to distinguish it from these other fabrics.  Each record as presented in the record view contains links to one or more records in the following databases: PEPP Class, PEPP Form, PEPP Specimen, and, where relevant, PEPP Petrographic Analysis and either PEPP NAA (SI/NIST) or PEPP NAA (Illinois).

3.3.6 PEPP Context

This database will eventually contain a record for each context documented on the Palatine East site.  At present, records have been begun only for those contexts referenced in the records included in the PEPP Pottery Group database (which include all of the contexts referenced in the other databases).  These currently contain entries for only a small number of fields that present basic information (site sector, horizon, operation [for Sector D contexts only], and date range).  The full record will also include information regarding the type of context, its location on the site (including a site plan that indicates this) (For an example of this see the record for Context A104.), the circumstances of its deposition, the evidence for the formation processes involved in this, the amount of pottery that it contained, and the types of evaluation to which this material has been subjected.  The records in this database will not include links to any of the other databases.

3.3.7 PEPP Pottery Group

This database contains a record for each of the pottery groups represented among the classes and sub-classes presented to date in the class pages.  It presents the full set of quantitative data and the depositional status rating for each pottery group along with basic information regarding the context and form in question.   This information will not appear anywhere else in the PEPP on-line presentation.  Each record as presented in the tabular and record view contains a link to the relevant record in the following databases: PEPP Class, PEPP Form, and PEPP Context.

Users eventually will be able to navigate this database by means of a data visualization tool that PEPP has developed based on the Harris matrix for the relevant site sector.

3.3.8 PEPP Petrographic Analysis

This database contains a record for each of the petrographic analyses carried out for the specimens presented to date in the class pages.  It contains basic information about each of the specimens analyzed that is available on the relevant class page and the two photomicrographs of the relevant thin section that are presented on the class page.  It also presents a detailed analysis of the thin section not available on the class page and, in some cases, additional photomicrographs documenting specific features of the thin section (e.g., particular mineral grains and rock fragments) not available on the class page.  Each record as presented in the tabular and record view contains a link to the relevant record in the following databases: PEPP Specimen, PEPP Class, PEPP Form, PEPP Fabric., and, as relevant, either PEPP NAA Data (NIST) or PEPP NAA Data (Illinois).

3.3.9 PEPP NAA Data (SI/NIST)

This database will contain a record for each analysis carried out as part of the program of NAA performed at the Smithsonian Institution/National Institute for Standards and Technology analytical facility.  It has not been developed yet as none of the classes presented to date include a specimen included in this program of analysis.  When developed, each record will present basic background information pertaining to the specimen in question along with the NAA data for the specimen.  The NAA data will not appear anywhere else in the PEPP on-line presentation.  The format employed for the presentation of the NAA data will be effectively identical to that employed for the NAA data generated at this same facility as part of the Creta Fatta Concreta project and presented on one of this other project’s database pages.  (For this see http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/naa-data---smithsonian.)  Each record as presented in the tabular and record view will contains a link to the relevant record in the following databases: PEPP Specimen, PEPP Class, PEPP Form, PEPP Fabric, and, where relevant, PEPP Petrographic Analysis.

3.3.10 PEPP NAA Data (Illinois)

This database will contain a record for each analysis carried out as part of the program of NAA performed at the University of Illinois Department of Nuclear Engineering analytical facility.  It has not been developed yet as none of the classes presented to date include a specimen included in this program of analysis.  When developed, each record will present basic background information pertaining to the specimen in question along with the NAA data for the specimen.  The NAA data will not appear anywhere else in the PEPP on-line presentation.  The format employed for the presentation of the NAA data will be effectively identical to that employed for the NAA data generated at this same facility as part of the Creta Fatta Concreta project and presented on one of this other project’s database pages.  (For this see http://resromanae.berkeley.edu/naa-data---illinois.)  Each record as presented in the tabular and record view will contains a link to the relevant record in the following databases: PEPP Specimen, PEPP Class, PEPP Form, PEPP Fabric, and, where relevant, PEPP Petrographic Analysis.

 

4. List of Sources Cited

De Sena, E., Landsberger, S., Peña, J.T., and Wisseman, S. 1995. “Analysis of ancient pottery from the Palatine Hill in Rome.” Journal of radioanalytical and nuclear chemistry 192.2:223-234.

Munsell Soil Colors Charts. 2000. New Windsor, NY: Munsell Color Company.

Peña, J.T. 1998. “Aspects of residuality in the Palatine East pottery assemblage.” In Guidobaldi, F. et al. eds., I materiali residui nello scavo archeologico (Collection de l'École Française de Rome 249), 5-19, 290-291.

Peña, J.T. 1999. The urban economy during the early Dominate: pottery evidence from the Palatine Hill (British archaeological reports - international series 784).

Peña, J.T. 2009A. “The forming and slipping of African Sigillata: evidence from the Palatine East assemblage.” In Humphrey, J. ed. Studies on Roman pottery of the provinces of Africa Proconsularis and Byzacena (Tunisia):  Hommage à Michel Bonifay. Journal of Roman archaeology - supplementary monographs 76, 45-63.

Peña, J.T.  2009B.  “Use of ceramic and numismatic evidence in site chronology.” In Hostetter, E. and Brandt, J.R., The Palatine East Excavations.  Volume 1: Stratigraphy and Architecture.  De Luca, 261-264.

Peña, J.T., and Gallimore, S. 2014. “Black-Gloss Ware, North Etrurian Red-Slip Ware, and Italian Sigillata from Cetamura del Chianti: composition, provenance, supply and consumption.” HEROM - Journal on Hellenistic and Roman Material Culture 3: 71-224.

Peña, J.T., and Martínez, V. 2015. “The Palatine East Pottery Project: approaches to the dissemination of results.” Paper presented at A.I.A. Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA 1/9/2015.

Peña, J.T., and McCaw, J. 2007. “The quantitative analysis of Roman pottery: general problems and the methods employed for the analysis of the Palatine East assemblage.” In Papi, E. ed. Supplying Rome and the empire. Journal of Roman ArchaeologySupplementary Monographs 69, 153-172.

Peña, J.T., and Vandiver, P. 1991. “Continuity and discontinuity in central Italian glazed pottery manufacture: new evidence from the Palatine Hill in Rome.” Paper presented at the A.I.A. Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL 12/30/1991.

Wisseman, S, Peña, J.T., De Sena, E., and Landsberger, S. 1995. “Neutron activation analysis of Roman fineware pottery from the Palatine Hill, Rome.” In P. Vincenzini ed., The ceramics cultural heritage (Monographs in materials and society 2), 441-448.