"As a Roman pottery specialist, I found this volume to be a very welcome study opening up new approaches to the analysis of ancient ceramics, or material culture in general. The non-specialist, or non-theoretical archaeologist, will need to concentrate to appreciate the complex ideas contained within the text, but it is worth the effort." - Victoria Leitch, University of Leicester, Journal of Roman Studies, 108 (2018)
"This study constitutes a highly theoretical, conceptual and, at the same time, detailed technical study of sigillata for the 21st century." - Martha W. Baldwin Bowsky, University of the Pacific, CA in Ancient West & East Volume 16, 2017
Bright red terra sigillata pots dating to the first three centuries CE can be found throughout the Western Roman provinces. The pots' widespread distribution and recognisability make them key evidence in the effort to reconstruct the Roman Empire's economy and society. Drawing on recent ideas in material culture, this book asks a radically new question: what was it about the pots themselves that allowed them to travel so widely and be integrated so quickly into a range of contexts and practices? To answer this question, Van Oyen offers a fresh analysis in which objects are no longer passive props, but rather they actively shape historical trajectories.
Astrid Van Oyen is Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cornell University. Her interests concern the archaeology and history of Roman Italy and the Western Provinces, with a focus on empire and imperialism, materiality, and socio-economics. She has written about post-colonialism, networks, Roman villas, and city-countryside relations. She is the PI of the Marzuolo Archaeological Project (MAP), investigating dynamics of rural innovation in Roman Italy.