The History of Leith

April 6, 2013

Terra sigillata

Terra sigillata is a term with at least three distinct meanings: as a description of medieval medicinal earth; in archaeology, as a general term for some of the fine red Ancient Roman pottery with glossy surface slips made in specific areas of the Roman Empire; and more recently, as a description of a contemporary studio pottery technique supposedly inspired by ancient pottery. Usually roughly translated as ‘sealed earth’, the meaning of ‘terra sigillata’ is ‘clay bearing little images’ (Latin sigilla), not ‘clay with a sealed (impervious) surface’. The archaeological term is applied, however, to plain-surfaced pots as well as those decorated with figures in relief. for more click here

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