Open Context

Pottery Summary

T 19 North Extension


The two rooms of Tesoro Trench 19, north extension, produced a large amount of black pottery, true bucchero and buccheroid.  The majority of this pottery came from yellow and red earth (carbon and burnt plaster) stratum.  Several fine decorated sherds, however, were found in the dark brown II stratum.


Numerous cups on high feet were in evidence.  A conservative estimate, judging by the number of different feet, would be 15.  These included vessels with tall vertical rim, eg. No.     , P.     , sometimes decorated with two horizontal lines near the top edge of the rim (Nos.     , P.     ).  Also in evidence were "compotes" with various rims (Nos.     , P.     ), similiar to types found by J. Neils (Book II, 1972). A high rimmed, low footed small bowl (No.      , P.     ) is also worthy of note.

Cups with flat bases were not uncommon.  A particularly fine example is a shallow bowl with low offset vertical rim (19760152) .  Similiar but much larger is the bowl No.     , P.     .

Few bucchero handles for cups were found.  These consisted of either flat ribbon handles or thin cylindrical handles

Similiar to examples found by J. Neils in T 18 in 1972-3 are the small bowl with offset horizontal usually decorated with a guilloche pattern on the rim.


Several plates, a conservative estimate would be 6, were found.  Several of the plates were decorated with double lines.

Decorated Bucchero

Types of decoration:

Impressed fan pattern: 19760034


Stamped palmette: 19760048

, 19760066

Guilloche: 19760037


Bucchero sottile, rim sherd with knob.  No. 9, P. 61.

Incision: No. 4, P. 63, No. 3, P. 69.

Moulded bucchero sottile with palmette: No. 1, P. 67.

Stamped band of voluted palmettes: 19760144

, No. 1, P. 109

Bucchero sherd with stamped swastikas and stars: 19760102

, No. 8, P. 161

Bucchero sherd, stamped with horse and rider: No. 6, P. 222

Fragment with animal frieze: sphinx and deer: No. 1, P. 220

Impressed reticulate on rim: No. 3, p. 220.

Star pattern, impressed: Nos. 2 a-d, P. 220.



  • Find #1
  • L 39
  • Sherd with animal frieze: sphinx and deer

Bucchero profiles- cups



"Red ware" Numerous examples of well levigated impasto of red or red brown color were found.  The predominant shape was the "compote" a shape reminiscent of the pottery excavated by J. Neils in Trench 18.  No complete profiles of red ware compote was reconstructed, but the shape was obvious from numerous large fragments of body or foot.  The rims of the compotes are of two basic types: a turned in vertical rim with straight lip, and an everted rim with gently sloping exterior profile.

Also in evidence were several nearly complete oinochoai.  Notable are No. 3 P. 37, of friable red impasto, and No. 4, P. 99, now gray due to carbon and burning discoloration, but originally of a reddish impasto.  Other fragments of trefoil lip or flat base attest to the popularity of this shape.

Also worthy of note is the red impasto handle, probably belonging to a kyathos, with double finial.  The parallel with the elaborate handles found by J. Neils in Trench 18 should be noted.

Coarse Ware:  A vast quantity of coarse pottery was unearthed in both the middle and the eastern room.  The pottery in the middle room was badly smashed over the rocks that underlie the pavement level of the room.  This pottery which necessarily antedates the habitation level of the room consisted, with the exception of a few badly weathered "buccheroid" plates, entirely of coarse ware.  Unfortunately, due to the unfortunate state of

preservation, no complete profile was reconstructed.  Interesting, however, is the fragment of bucket handled straight lipped vase, of reddish coarse grained fabric, No.     , P.     .

A great deal of coarse pottery was found in the deep sounding in the southwestern corner of the middle room.  Due to the limitations of available excavation time and magazzino space, however, the entire pottery deposit was not excavated.  The excavated pottery from this cut has been boxed and awaits the excavation of its fellow sherds.

Of the large quantity of coarse pottery in the easternmost room the predominant shape was the lid or cooking bell with straight edged rim and single handle at the apex, eg. No. 6, P. 188.  Also in evidence were some large pots with heavy walls and simple semicircular rim, of which a few complete profiles were reconstructed, and a few smaller ovoid vases of the "bean pot" variety, eg. No. 7 P. 188.

"Compote Profiles"


Well levigated buff impasto, cream colored with a soapy feel.  Only occasional pieces were in evidence; no complete profile was reconstructed.

Numerous sherds preserved traces of paint, usually simple geometric patterns painted in red and white.  Of the profiles several plate rims deserve mention.  The characteristic types are the vertical rim which curves outward to form a hawksbeak, No. 1, P. 334; the double round, No. 2, P. 334., and the simple round, No. 2, P. 133.

While not to be considered "Italo-Corinthian" the yellow ware amphora painted with red and yellow designs, No. 5, P. 75, is to be noted.

[At this point page numbers skip to 334]

Pottery outside the north building:

Grids I 36-43 Material from outside the south wall

The majority of the pottery in this area was "Red Ware," made of friable well-levigated impasto of a reddish color.  While no single shape predominated, the majority of the material belonged to the following categories:

1) Oinochoai - At least three oinochoai, judging by the handle fragments, were contained in this area.  One complete handle, No. 4, P. 338, was assembled.  Several flat bases probably belonged to these oinochoai.

2) Bowls - While no complete profile, or even a large section thereof, was reconstructed, it is evident from foot and body fragments that at least 6 bowls, or parts thereof, are included in this assemblage.  The fragments seem to belong to two types of bowls, both with high vertical rims.  One type has the junction between rim and body articulated by a sharp ridge, No. 1, P. 338, while the other does not, No. 2 P. 338.

3) Wide bellied, small mouthed jar with vertical lip.  One example, No. 3, P. 338.

4) Coarse ware was not abundant.  The few sherds did not make up any complete profile or sizeable section thereof.  The shapes in evidence were similiar to the shapes found in the middle and eastern rooms.

5) "Guilloche Bowls" One fragment, found in the red stratum, provides evidence for this shape, paralleled in T 19, and in T 18 (J. Neils, 1972).

In general the pottery found south of the southern wall of our buildings is similiar to the pottery found inside the rooms.  However, the greater percentage of "red ware" as well as the unusually high incidence of terracotta eggs ( 19760112

, 19760134
, and No. 9, P. 192) differentiates this pottery assemblage from the pottery found within the middle and eastern rooms.

Material from the I grid

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Suggested Citation

Gregory Warden. "GW IV (1976-08-04):217-338; Pottery Summary from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 19 Extension/1976, ID:79". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <>

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