Roman Terra Sigillata Fragment: Venator
An ancient Roman terra sigillata fragment depicting a venator, a hunter, advancing toward an animal with his spear.
Terra Sigillata Africana.
Ca. 3rd - 4th century AD.
Height: 2 1/4 in. (5.5 cm).
Venatores (hunters) specialized in animal hunts as well as circus tricks with ferocious animals during Roman gladiatorial games.
Terra Sigillata was initially an Italian ware, but in the first century AD production shifted to Gaul and later to the colonies along the German frontier.
From the 1st century AD onward, North African red-slip ware production expanded greatly and began to replace Italian Terra Sigillata pottery, and compete with Gallic wares in Southern France. Nova Karthago was the center of production but smaller factories soon cropped up throughout Numidia and Byzacena.
Formerly in the Cornelius Vermuele III, former curator of the MFA, Boston.