Ware/Ware Family: Eastern Sigillata A (ESA)

Name, Origin, Date

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Eastern Sigillata A (ESA)

Turkey/Eastern Mediter...

late 2nd century BCE -...

Hellenistic, Roman

General Information

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Eastern Sigillata A is a fine, red-slipped table ware first produced c. 140-135 BCE in the region of greater Antioch (modern Antakya), in the Hatay region of Turkey, the capital and heartland of the Seleucid empire (the discovery of very over-fired/misfired ESA vessels from Antioch itself offers circumstantial evidence for production in the near vicinity of the city; see photos below, in related images). ESA vessels were intended to satisfy a growing demand for elegant vessels for table service, drinking, and dining inspired by banquets given by royalty and elites.

ESA was not the first fine table ware made in this region. It is a further development of a ceramic industry established here at the start of the Seleucid era. It i...

Vessels  265

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Platter
Jerusalem, Western City
late 2nd c. BCE
Late Hellenistic


Bowl
Jerusalem, Western City
late 2nd c. BCE
Late Hellenistic


Cup
Caesarea Maritima
1st c. BCE
Late Hellenistic


Bowl, hemispherical
Caesarea Maritima
late 2nd - 1st century BCE
Late Hellenistic

Break Photos  92

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Plate
'Akko, Railway Station
Late Hellenistic


Plate
Sirkeli Höyük
Hellenistic


Fish plate
Sirkeli Höyük
Hellenistic


Bowl
Sirkeli Höyük
Hellenistic

Petrographic Samples  2




2nd century BCE - 2nd century CE
Hellenistic, Roman

Magnification:
Polarized Light?
XPL




150 BCE - 100 CE
Hellenistic, Early Roman

Magnification:
Polarized Light?
XPL

Description

Very clean, moderately hard, dense light pinkish brown (5YR 7/4-7.5YR 8/4) with no visible inclusions, fully fired. Semi lustrous to lustrous smooth red slip, applied by dipping vessels into vat of slip. Often a darker band of slip appears across the middle of the vessel, from that portion having been dipped into the slip twice.

Earlier/Alternative Names

Pergamene ware

ETS-I

Site Distribution

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Paphos/Nea Paphos (Cyprus/Western South Coast)

Associated Kilns/Workshops

Bibliography

  1. Hayes, J. W.. "Sigillate orientali" in Atlante delle forme ceramiche II. Ceramica fine romana nel bacino mediterraneo (tardo ellenismo e primo impero) , ed(s). A. Carandini. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica classica e orientale. Supp. 2 Rome: 1985, 1-96

Discussion/Acknowledgements