By: Maxine Anastasi
Much of what is known about Malta’s ancient material culture has come to light as a result of antiquarian research or early archaeological work – a time where little attention was paid to stratigraphic context. This situation has in part contributed to the problem of reliably sourcing and dating Maltese Roman-period pottery, particularly locally produced forms common on nearly all ancient Maltese sites. Pottery from Roman Malta presents a comprehensive study of Maltese pottery forms from key stratified deposits spanning the first century BC to mid-fourth century AD. Ceramic material from three Maltese sites was analysed and quantified in a bid to understand Maltese pottery production during the Roman period, and trace the type and volume of ceramic-borne goods that were circulating the central Mediterranean during the period. A short review of the islands’ recent literature on Roman pottery is discussed, followed by a detailed contextual summary of the archaeological contexts presented in this study. The work is supplemented by a detailed illustrated catalogue of all the forms identified within the assemblages, presenting the wide range of locally produced and imported pottery types typical of the Maltese Roman period.