A fine ancient Roman red ware pyriform juglet, featuring an out-turned lip and standing on a flanged base. A handle extends from mid-way to the lower part of the body, decorated on the upper section with geometric design. The body has applied decoration comprising a gladiatorial scene: a figure with short, curly hair and dressed in a short tunic is shown advancing left, holding a shield on his right arm and a short-sword in his left hand. On the opposite side of the body, an animal, possibly a bear, is shown advancing left. Above each figure there is a victory wreath, and between the two figures are three regularly spaced palm fronds.
Period: Circa 3rd-4th century AD. Condition: Complete and intact with light earthy deposits.
This extremely fine artefact may have been produced to commemorate the triumph of a victor at the gladiatorial games.
This artefact is made of a specific type of high quality pottery, comprising a fine clay from central Tunisia. Although fine red slipware, so-called ‘Arretine ware’, was first produced in Italy, by the third century AD the African red slip ware had become the most popular type of tableware in the Roman Empire. Red ware pottery was made in Roman Africa from the first until the seventh century AD, with the largest areas of production being in Byzacena and Zeugitana (modern day Tunisia).
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