A samian bowl from Topsham

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A samian bowl from Topsham

Prior to the construction of the M5 motorway in 1974-5 a small Roman farm was found at the Retreat, Topsham: the site is now entirely buried under the motorway. The main farm building was a rectangular structure in the Roman tradition, contrasting with the round houses of the native tradition.

In the rubbish pits adjacent to the farm much pottery was recovered including a range of imported table wares of the types brought in by the Roman army, including samian pottery such as this from southern Gaul. The decoration on this fragment is typical of the time of Nero (AD 54-68). Within the bowl with a small potter’s stamp indicating it was made in the workshop of Ardacus.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum

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