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This volume presents a collection of more than 30 papers in hour of one of Europe's leading scholars on Roman pottery, Brenda Dickinson. Divided into thematic sections, papers are mostly concerned with her principal area of study, samian, but also touch on Brenda's other interests, with investigations into, for instance, the likely species of Lesbia's pet bird (Catullus) and language and style in the 'British' speeches in Tacitus. Papers in the section on potters and potteries examine the evidence for the work of a number of important samian potters; aspects of pottery production and its organisation; and, a potter's eye view of the approach to reproducing samian. Further papers are concerned with decoration, stamps and other marks, especially with evidence for previously unrecognised or little kwn potters, stamps and decorative features; the recognition of locally produced unguentaria from London; and, the existence of makers' marks on textiles. The final section considers the use of samian and other pottery in illuminating aspects of life and death, including consideration of the likely expenditure involved in the inclusion of samian in burials and what the pots actually meant to the people who used them; the possible use of old vessels by plate spinning entertainers; and, aspects of cooking methods and the composition and useage of possible dining services.
David Bird is a former Surrey County Archaeologist with a wide-ranging knowledge of the archaeology of Surrey and SE England and a particular interest in the Roman period, whose published work includes consideration of the countryside around Roman London, the 'invasion' of AD 43 and Roman gold-mining.