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Roberta S. Tomber

Photo: Sent by Berenike Project

  Roberta S. Tomber

Roberta S. Tomber (1954-01.05.2022)

        Roberta Tomber passed away on the evening of 1 May 2022. She had been battling cancer for many years until she could fight no more. She was 68. We had a long conversation via the internet just a few months ago, I brought her up-to-date on the most recent discoveries, the publication so long in the coming, the newest interpretations… She looked well and sounded optimistic, happy the doctors didn’t want to see her again for some time….

        An archaeologist specializing in ceramics, she had been an Honorary Visiting Researcher in the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research at the British Museum in London for the past 20 years (from 2002). Before that, she worked for the Museum of London archaeology service ever since completing her dissertation in 1988. There was also a brief deployment at the University of Southampton in 2002–2004. Her research interests focused on Mediterranean, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean contacts and exchange between the 1st century BCE and 6th century CE. Her seminal articles as well as her book, Indo-Roman trade: from pots to pepper, published in 2008 within the Duckworth Debates in Archaeology series in London, are well known to researchers and informed amateurs on all the shores of these seas.

        For the Berenike Project, she was the chief pottery specialist, for the Dutch-American project as well as for the Polish-American one, which I co-directed with Steve Sidebotham from 2008 to 2020. I gratefully “inherited” her, and happily followed her lead—she shaped the pottery research strategies of the project firmly but kindly, setting very high professional standards for her team, a whole string of pottery assistants and documentalists, budding specialists in their field – Ula, Monika, Aga, Sonali, Teresa. She was always happy to share her immense knowledge, consulting archaeologists in their site reports and book publications. Her view, from the perspective of the pottery evidence, was often instrumental in shaping their interpretations, sometimes turning “field” ideas upside down. That was how I met her, in 2001. Digging a burial during my first season at Berenike I needed her opinion on a sherd, which had a textile stuck to it, so we had to wait for the textile expert to arrive for a joint examination to be made. I had pretty much completed my field report when I learned that Roberta agreed with the textile specialist’s dating of the fabric, but my interpretation went haywire with the 5th century AD dating they gave. Seeing my scientific distress, Roberta took the time to re-check her findings and came back with a final verdict: “it could be the second half of the 4th century, but not earlier”. In the end, I reworked my report, thankful for her guidance.

        Roberta’s role in the Berenike Project and the projected cooperation led to an official MoU between the British Museum and the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw for work in Berenike. She acted as Honorary Chair of a session on “Enlightened analyses” (May 7, 2017) in Warsaw. It was at her invitation that I participated as a speaker at the “Ports of the Periplus: recent archaeological fieldwork in the Erythraean Sea” session of the RAC/TRAC conference at the La Sapienza University of Rome in March 2016, presenting the Project’s recent discoveries. There were other conferences and seminars, not to mention an eye-opening on-site seminar on pottery for the team during one of the seasons. As her illness made inroads, she had to slow down, but she missed those Januaries in Berenike, which have been so important for so many of us for so long. Celebrating her birthday on January 20 was always a high point of social life in the camp.

        Life in a desert camp can be trying and certainly, there were difficult times but there was never a better trooper than Roberta. Her gentle smile, good humor, and kindness will be remembered by the foreigners on the team as well as the Egyptian camp staff, who have received news of her passing with sadness. Not the least are the good memories of good times and good discussions, shared over an enjoyable meal, whether in Berenike, in Rome or in London...

        Roberta, there must be some fine ceramics up there for you to have left us like this. You will be remembered every season, every day.

Iwona Zych (GB)
and the greater Berenike Project family

Ninina Cuomo di Caprio

Photo: Sent by Philip Kenrick

  Ninina Cuomo di Caprio

Ninina Cuomo di Caprio (10.12.1930–19.11.2019)

        Ninina Cuomo di Caprio was a member of the RCRF between 1973 and 1996 and attended several congresses in the 1970s and in 1990. She wrote much about her personal history in her last work, Ceramics in Archaeology. She described how she had taken a first university degree in economics at Genoa, with a view to becoming a journalist, but that her interest was then caught by seeing Greek painted vases in the museums of Puglia. She then did post-graduate study in archaeology in Milan and became involved in fieldwork (particularly where it involved kilns). In 1972 she published a first attempt to classify the structures of ancient pottery- and brick-kilns in Italy. She also, unlike many of us who have written about ancient pottery, determined to learn and experience for herself how to handle clay and throw pots; in addition, she visited potteries (again in Puglia) which were still firing their wares in the way that it had been done in antiquity, and picked the brains of the potters in order to understand their skills. She reported her observations in an important ethnographic work, Ceramica rustica tradizionale in Puglia (Galatina, Lecce, 1982).

        These studies led to a job in the Dipartimento di Scienze storico-archeologiche e orientalistiche of the University of Venice, when the head of the Department, Prof. Gustavo Traversari, came to appreciate the importance of the new discipline which called itself ‘Archaeometry’ – the application of specific scientific techniques (and the development of new ones) in the service of archaeology. She therefore found herself teaching classes on ceramic technology, at which she would invite her students to look out of the window at the red roofs of Venice, and to give some thought to the tiles with which they were covered – how and where they were made, and why they were that colour. Before long, these lectures were formed into a book, La ceramica in archeologia: antiche techniche di lavorazione e moderni metodi d’indagine (Rome 1985). The book was in three parts, treating (1) how the potter chooses and manages his clay in order to make fired vessels, (2) how various scientific techniques can be recruited to establish the source of a vessel or its age, and (3) what the (very limited) ancient sources tell us about pottery production and distribution. The author thus straddled the literary tradition, elements of geology and the formation of clays, practical understanding of manual skills, the interpretation of ancient pottery in the light of these, and some high-level physics in regard to instrumentation at the disposal of the archaeologist which may help to answer historical questions – an impressive range.

        Over the years, Cuomo di Caprio published many articles on both analytical techniques and ancient pottery kilns, of which probably the most important derived from her participation in the American excavations at Morgantina in Sicily (Morgantina Studies III, Fornaci e officine da vasaio tardo-ellenistiche = Late Hellenistic potters’ kilns and workshops, Princeton 1992).

        Over the course of a generation, both the instrumentation available and, to some extent, our knowledge of ancient kilns, moved on, and a second edition of La ceramica in archeologia, published in 2007 was substantially expanded (364 pages had become 752). As that second edition was completed, Cuomo di Caprio felt that publication in Italian was too restrictive for the readership that she wished to reach. She wished her work to be a textbook for students everywhere (constantly referring during discussions to the needs of the ‘studentessa di Kentucky’). To that end, she resolved to translate it into English. She had consulted me over certain points in the second edition, and soon asked me for support: she had a translator, but the translator was not an archaeologist and she would be grateful for the eye of an English-speaking scholar who understood the field. Out of this grew a close collaboration over more years than either of us had anticipated. She realised that it was not just a matter of translation. The book had been written within the context of Italian archaeological studies. There were some battles to be fought with Italian tradition which would not be relevant elsewhere, and conversely there would be matters of English terminology, previously untreated, which would call for careful discussion and evaluation. In this way, the English edition (Ceramics in Archaeology, from prehistoric to medieval times in Europe and the Mediterranean: ancient craftsmanship and modern laboratory techniques, Rome 2017) grew and evolved yet again. I was anxious that a student textbook should not be too huge or expensive, but she was determined that it should be both easy to use and, as far as possible, self-sufficient. Hence, the many references to other writers were supported by reproduction in full of the relevant passages.

        The work was still Ninina’s, but it was not done by her alone or by the two of us: younger scholars and friends (Andrea Arcari, Walter Caponi, Daniele Maras, Tiziana Marinig) were roped in to help with bibliographic research, presentation, and particularly the expanding armoury of scientific analytical apparatus, in order to ensure that the work was as rigorous and as comprehensive as possible. The completion of this project really exhausted her, and now the two-volume work (running to 664 pages, but in a much larger format than before) stands as a monument to her contribution to archaeology. The preface, written in 2014 by David Peacock, another pioneer of scientific and ethnographic approaches to pottery studies, is also a fitting tribute to the author.

        Ninina Cuomo di Caprio lived in some comfort, which derived from the employment of her husband Francesco Cuomo by a Swiss pharmaceutical company. He died in 1998. Her independent means allowed her to subsidise, quite heavily, the production of her later volumes, and this was responsible for the relatively modest price at which they came on the market. But her interests were by no means limited to archaeology: her mother had been an accomplished pianist and piano teacher, and in her memory Ninina sponsored an annual scholarship for piano in Venice, named the Borsa di Studio “Anita Rossi di Caprio.”

        The accompanying photograph, taken in 2014, is not a particularly flattering one, but shows her characteristically debating the text of her book. Her colourful personality will be widely missed.

Philip Kenrick,
Abingdon, GB


Photo: Sent by Viorica Rusu-Bolindeț

  Nicolae Gudea

Nicolae Gudea (17.10.1941–05.07.2019)

        Nicolae Gudea was born in Deva in 1941 but grew up in Crasna and Zalău, in the vicinity of Porolissum and the limes sector stretching along the Meseș Mountains, the area which would eventually constitute the subject of his most prolific work, being indefinitely associated with his name. He graduated at the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj in 1968 specializing in Roman archaeology. By then he had already participated at a number of important fort excavations, such as Buciumi, Bologa, both on the north-western frontier of Roman Dacia, but also Râșnov and Feldioara on the south-eastern sector of the Roman limes. Besides the archaeological reports concerning these excavations, among his first publications we find the analysis of the handmade pottery assemblages from Bologa (ActaMN 6, 1969) and Buciumi (SCIV 21, 1970). He was subsequently employed as a researcher at the Institute of Archaeology of the Romanian Academy of Science from Cluj, a position he held until his retirement in 2006. During the next period he redirected his attention towards the research of the Banat region (south-western Romania). In fact his doctoral dissertation, which he elaborated between 1974 and 1978 under the supervision of Professor Kurt Horedt was aimed at achieving a better understanding of the archaeology and history of the aforementioned region during the Roman period. The next chapter, and probably the most prolific one in Nicolae Gudea’s scientific career was marked by the three decade long research work carried out at Porolissum starting from 1977. As the director of the site, he transformed Porolissum into one of the best known and most attractive Roman archaeological sites in the country. It is fair to say that Nicolae Gudea was one of the most important authorities regarding the Roman army and the defensive system of the Roman Empire. Accordingly, his prolific field research activity focused on Roman forts and other military installations, through which he managed to outline a large portion of the limes in Dacia. His work on the Meseș limes and especially Porolissum was a decisive factor in the decision of organizing the 17th Congress of Roman Frontier Studies at Zalău in September 1997 for which he was the main organizer and editor of the proceedings. Almost ten years later he would go on to organize the Congress of the International Lychological Association in 2006.

        Nicolae Gudea’s university teaching career is equally important, especially through his work as a PhD supervisor starting from 1990, becoming the mentor to numerous young and talented archaeologists throughout the years. Besides being a member of Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores, he was also a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute (Berlin), of the Romanian Society of Classical Studies, of Societe Internationale d`Epigraphie Grecque et Latine, as well as of Association die Storici Europaei (Roma).
        Nicolae Gudea has constantly entertained a vivid interest in the research and publication of Roman pottery, as shown by his numerous monographic works on Roman forts which all contain reports on this finds category, by which he actively contributed to the popularization of this research domain. Moreover, he also supervised a number of PhD theses on Roman pottery, inspiring young researchers to engage with the difficult but fascinating world of Roman pottery studies. We pay tribute to Professor Nicolae Gudea for his impressive scholarly accomplishments and constant support offered to his students, for which he will never be forgotten.

                                                                                                                      Dr. Dávid Petruț
Faculty of History and Philosophy
Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
, Romania


Doina Benea
Photo: Sent by Viorica Rusu-Bolindeț

  Doina Benea

Doina Benea (08.06.1944-16.03.2019)

        Professor emeritus Dr. Doina Benea was a remarkable personality of the Romanian scientific life, an outstanding professor, archaeologist and researcher, who dedicated her entire life to the study of the Roman age.

        Born on the 8th of June 1944 in Moldova-Veche, she studied at the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, from which she graduated in 1968. Between 1972 and 1978 she elaborated her doctoral thesis on the subject of The history of the legions VII Claudia and IIII Flavia Felix (published in Cluj-Napoca in 1983 with the title Din istoria militară a Moesiei Superior și a Daciei; Legiunile a VII-a Claudia Pia Fidelis si a IIII Flavia Felix / ‘From the Military History of Upper Moesia and Dacia: The legions VII Claudia Pia Fidelis and IIII Flavia Felix’). This moment marked her specialisation in the field of Roman provincial archaeology, with a particular interest in military history.

        Between 1968 and 1990 she worked as curator - archaeologist at the Museum of the Iron Gates at Drobeta and the Museum of Banat at Timișoara. This activity was extremely beneficial in enabling her to carry out archaeological research in the area of Banat and to study the Roman material culture of the area. After gaining this experience, she took the next step in her career, in 1990 becoming associated lecturer and in 1991 lecturer of the Department of History of the Faculty of Letters, History and Philosophy of the Western University at Timișoara. Beginning with 1996 she became doctoral supervisor, first at the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca and afterwards (2002) at the Western University of Timișoara, having a decisive contribution in the creation of the doctoral school of the latter university.

         Starting with 1978, Doina Benea became the coordinator of the archaeological site at Tibiscum, which she transformed (together with the one at Mehadia) in an archaeological field school for the students of the Western University of Timișoara. Throughout her teaching career and her life she was surrounded by students and young collaborators to whom she instilled love for the profession of archaeologist, offered guidance in their professional careers and made an enormous emotional investment to help and form them.

        In 2001, under the aegis of the Western University, she founded the ‘Constantin Daicoviciu’ Centre for Ancient History and Archaeology, where she advanced the studies concerned with the research of the antiquity and medieval period of the Banat area. This was also materialised by editing the series Bibliotheca Historica et Archaeologica Universitatis Timisiensis (BHAUT) in two sets, Archaeology (volumes I-X) and Medieval History (volumes I-II).

        Apart from her multiple research interests related to the provincial archaeology of Dacia and of the Danube provinces, Doina Benea also took an interest in the study of the Roman pottery from our province. To her early preoccupation in the various categories of Roman pottery or in the local workshops at Tibiscum, she later added synthesis studies (included in some of the BHAUT volumes). These were written in collaboration with the team she formed and were concerned with the economic life of Roman Dacia, the local pottery production being carefully studied and the knowledge updated.

        Undoubtedly, we will not forget the courage and dedication she showed when organising the first RCRF Congress in Romania, given that our country was only taking her first steps towards democracy. The example she offered in the way she took on and carried out such a difficult task, with excellent results, gave me the courage to commit myself, together with the institutions involved, to repeating this event in 2018 at Cluj-Napoca. This was intended precisely to make a connection between the state of research of Roman pottery from Romania in 1994 and the current state. Mrs Benea constantly supported me and this last RCRF Congress was dedicated to her.

        She established a professional and human relationship with each generation of bachelor, master and doctoral students and invested her knowledge and feelings in each of her collaborators and friends or colleagues whom she worked with or had the chance to be around her.

        Her collaborators, friends and many generation of graduates of all academic levels from Romania and abroad had the opportunity to celebrate her in November 2017 at the Western University of Timișoara through a conference and an honorary volume. We hope that the joy of those moments, when Professor Doina Benea felt all the appreciation, gratitude and love of those whom she gave so much during her entire life will not be overshadowed by her untimely passing.


Dr. Viorica Rusu-Bolindeţ
National History Museum of Transylvania
Cluj-Napoca, Romania


The members of the "Constantin Daicoviciu" Center for Studies in History and Archaeology of the West University from Timişoara announce with profound regret the passing of Professor emeritus Dr. Doina Benea, a remarkable personality of the Romanian scientific life, an outstanding professor, archaeologist and researcher, who dedicated her entire life to the study of the Roman age.

She was a Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology at the West University in Timișoara, coordinator of the same University's Doctoral School, member of several international and Romanian societies (Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores (RCRF), German Institute of Archaeology from Berlin, International Association “Étude sur le Verre”, National Archaeology Commission, CNCSIS, ARACIS). In 1994, she organized at Timișoara the first RCRF Congress held in Romania.

Doina Benea, the Lady of Romanian archaeology, has been a mentor for many generations of students, striving for the formation of new archaeologists, teachers and researchers, but especially for building characters. Her entire scientific work remains as reference for the next generations to come.
Many of our achievements are due to our LADY PROFESSOR!


Members of the "Constantin Daicoviciu" Center
for Studies in History and Archaeology
of the West University from Timişoara, Romania

Doina Benea 2017

2017. Photo: Sent by Gerda von Bülow


Photo: Sent by F.-K. Bittner

  Friedrich-Karl Bittner

Friedrich-Karl Bittner  (02.08.1928 - 28.12.2018)


Alain Vernhet
Photo: SFECAG Congrès Millau 1994


Alain Vernhet

Alain Vernhet (1941-2018)

Alain Vernhet combined an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Roman terra-sigillata production centre of la Graufesenque with a self-effacing  modesty and great charm.

Born in Millau (Aveyron) in 1941, he remained  a proud son of his city and took immense pleasure in welcoming colleagues  to its archaeology.  He was introduced to the subject in  1957 by the late Louis Balsan, and having studied Classics, Alain then taught at Montpellier, Marvejols and Millau, before being  attached to the CNRS in 1971 as first professional archaeologist in the Aveyron.

From then onwards he worked ceaselessly to promote the study of la Graufesenque and its products, undertaking a number of excavations himself, together with a devoted local group of colleagues. In 1980 he was heavily involved in the RCRF conference in Millau.  He wrote the section describing the sigillata of la Graufesenqe in Documents d'archéologie Française (Paris, 1986), where he set out a clear description of the dish services introduced in the Flavian period to the repertoire.

He was instrumental in facilitating scholars not only from France, like the scientists Maurice Picon and Philippe Sciau,  but also those from Britain, Germany and the Netherlands to share in his enterprises. Seminal publications by Jan-Kees Haalebos, describing the group known as Cluzel 15 (RCRF, 1979), the completion of Names on Terra Sigillata (London, 2008-20012) by Brian Hartley and Brenda Dickinson, and Modelsignierte  Dekorationen auf südgallischer Terra Sigillata (Stuttgar, 1995) by Allard Mees, could not have been possible without his enthusiasm and co-operation. He also worked to ensure that the knowledge gained from modern work reached a wide audience through the SFÉCAG conference of 1994 held in Millau, and with the late Bettina Hoffman in the short-lived, but essential,  publication  Pegasus, which reported work between 1990-1996, including new two potters' 'accounts', with Colette Bémont.

The museum of Millau was an equally important part of his work and for a long time he was its acting director, fulfilling his wish to  promote and explain the complete history of the city, including its renowned reputation for glove-making. He was responsible for many of its displays.

In 1991, he led an extraordinary archaeological experiment to convey roofing tiles by road from Millau to the Maison Carré in Nîmes, using donkeys, and carts pulled by donkeys and oxen, to examine the difficulty of the route by which pottery was take to the Via Domitiana. He also encouraged a number of kiln experiments to prove Roman technologies. In the succeeding years he carried out a series of excavations in Tunisia.

Alain was a fierce defender of cultural affairs in Millau, which led to his appointment as adjoint mayor in 1995. The post took much of his time and considerable concern as support for the archaeological site and historical monuments  ebbed and flowed.

While perhaps he published less than many would have wished, he inspired others to do so, and that was his greatest pleasure and achievement. After retirement in the early part of the new millenium, administrative changes progressively and regrettably cut Alain off from day-to-day involvement with the site, but he continued to be active in local cultural groups, such as the Société d’Etude Millavoise.

Cruelly, Alain developed Alzheimer's disease, and he passed away in tragic circumstances in 2018, having lost his way from  a village fête at nearby Aguessac.

Geoffrey Dannell FSA, October 2019

Alain Vernhet
Photo: Millavois (27.8.2018)

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Christian Goudineau

Photo: Sent by L. Rivet

  Christian Goudineau

Christian Goudineau (05.04.1939 - 09.05.2018)

Puisque Christian Goudineau est dans un état d’esprit à soulever régulièrement des remises en cause de connaissances établies, sa plume devient magique pour rétablir les données à leur place et dans le bon ordre.
Après l’École Normale Supérieure et son cursus universitaire en Lettres Classiques (agrégation en 1962), il bascule vers l’Histoire et se confronte très tôt à l’Archéologie ; il plonge dans une archéologie qu’il dynamise, sur le terrain comme dans sa gestion, à la base – il est Directeur des Antiquités Historiques de Côte d’Azur (1969-1982) – mais aussi au sommet – au Conseil Supérieur de la Recherche Archéologique (1978-1989) – où ses responsabilités le conduisent à présenter au Premier Ministre, à travers son « Rapport sur l’Archéologie Nationale », des pistes pour organiser et régénérer les recherches en cette période où explosent les destructions de sites ; alors que l’archéologie préventive cherche sa voie, il est l’un des artisans majeurs de l’archéologie actuelle.
Ces implications sont loin d’être suffisantes pour lui ressembler et le définir.
Il est, avant tout, doué d’une pédagogie qu’il met au service de l’enseignement dans les espaces de l’Université de Provence (1968-1984). à Aix, il a formé nombre d’étudiants, y compris et même, surtout, sur le terrain, sur l’oppidum de Taradeau (dominant des vignobles …), et à Fréjus où il met en évidence le camp de la Flotte (le mot est mal choisi …). Toute sa vie, il accompagne ses étudiants, se préoccupe de leur devenir ; beaucoup sont devenus des amis.
Quand il en vient à occuper la place de Camille Jullian, sur la chaire d’Antiquités Nationales, le Collège de France (1985-2010 : ses cours sont consultables sur le site) ne transforme pas ses préoccupations humaines mais libère ses bouillonnements d’idées sur les Gaules, sur César, sur le bouleversement des sociétés antiques qui se percutent et que le XIXe siècle avait réduit à des clichés baignés dans un nationalisme en recherche de construction. Il se met aux côtés d’une Gaule chevelue qui, pour exister face aux écrits convenus du chef de guerre, doit imposer ses découvertes de vestiges et ses mobiliers archéologiques. En quête d’une Histoire qui tend vers l’objectivité, il transmet les résultats de ses recherches profondément novatrices dans différentes publications scientifiques avec un style à nul autre pareil et qui mêle aux démonstrations limpides un vocabulaire de tous les jours : c’est le plaisir de lire des textes savants, avec délectation ! C’est le sésame pour captiver et rallier au savoir. Mais il a également le don de transcrire l’ambiance de ses avancées en connaissances dans des romans historiques à intrigues sous la Rome impériale (2000, 2004 et 2011). Il est à l’aise dans ces exercices de style car il est conduit par la conviction de voir juste et d’être dans la bonne voie en utilisant différentes formes d’expression. Il se régale à générer la publication d’un faux (L’Archéologue, juillet-août1996, Lettre de Caius à Lucius) pour proclamer le vrai !
Comme il a vu juste dans ses premiers travaux, sur Bolsena. Il est membre de l’École Française de Rome (1965-1968) et son ouvrage sur la sigillée italique qui, basé sur la stratigraphie, lui permet de dresser une typo-chronologie (1968), reste incontournable tant pour l’histoire des recherches que pour la chronologie ; parallèlement est publiée une étude sur la production moulée puis d’autres encore sur cette vaisselle (1971 et 1980). Sans oublier son classement de la céramique à engobe interne rouge pompéien (1970) ni le regard qu’il porte sur les coupes de type Sarius (1968) ou encore ses deux articles successifs sur les productions de céramique à pâte grise kaolinitique des environs de Vaison-la-Romaine (1977 et 1978).
Sur tous ces sujets, il doit prendre du recul et abandonner, au bord du chemin professionnel qu’il emprunte – jalonné d’enseignements, de recherches et de responsabilités – de nombreux tessons ; mais il n’y a aucun doute, ceux-ci lui restent chers.
La question se pose : pourquoi s’être impliqué, au départ, dans le domaine céramique ? Pourquoi y être resté attentif par la suite, tout au long de sa vie ? Probablement parce qu’aucun site archéologique, aucune écriture de l’Histoire ne peuvent se comprendre ni s’élaborer sans les informations précises et précieuses que procurent les études céramiques en de multiples domaines ; des indications toujours largement perfectibles.

Lucien RIVET


Bibliographie céramique
- 1968 : La céramique arétine lisse, Fouilles de l'École Française de Rome à Bolsena (Poggio Moscini), IV, (1962-1967), École Française de Rome (Publications de l'École française de Rome, 6-4).
- 1968 : Céramique arétine à reliefs de Bolsena, dans Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 80, n°1, p. 167-200.
- 1968 : Un nouveau vase de L. Sarius Surus, dans Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 80, n°2, p. 527-545.
- 1970 : Note sur la céramique à engobe interne rouge-pompéien («Pompejanisch-Roten Platten»), dans Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 82, n°1, p. 159-186.
- 1971 : La céramique arétine : nouvelles données, Études classiques, p. 181-204.
- 1977 : Note sur la céramique commune grise gallo-romaine de Vaison-la-Romaine, dans Revue archéologique de Narbonnaise, 10, p. 153-169.
- 1978 : (avec René Gras) : La céramique grise gallo-romaine. Note complémentaire, dans Revue archéologique de Narbonnaise, 11, p. 195-212.
- 1980 : La céramique arétine, dans Céramiques hellénistiques et romaines, Tome 1, Besançon : Université de Franche-Comté, p. 123-134 (Annales littéraires de l'Université de Besançon, 242).

Bibliographie littéraire
- 2000 : Le voyage de Marcus, Paris, Actes Sud-Errance (édition poche : Babel, 2005).
- 2004 : L'enquête de Lucius Valérius Priscus, Paris, Actes Sud-Errance, 2004 (Prix du Roman Historique, Blois, 2005).
- 2011 : Le procès de Valérius Asiaticus, Paris, Actes Sud-Errance.

Ludwig Berger

Photo: Donald Offers

  Ludwig Berger

Ludwig Berger (22. Januar 1933 – 16. Oktober 2017)

Im letzten Herbst verstarb Ludwig Berger nach langer, geduldig ertragener Krankheit. Ludwig Berger wuchs in Basel auf, wo er seine Schul- und Universitätsjahre verbrachte. Mit seiner Dissertation über das römische Glas von Vindonissa schuf er 1960 ein Standardwerk und die Beschäftigung mit antikem Glas war fortan einer seiner vielen Forschungsschwerpunkte. Mit seiner Habilitationsschrift über die Ausgrabungen am Petersberg in Basel erwies er sich als Forscher mit einem breit gefächerten Wissen in verschiedenen Epochen. 1962 wurde Ludwig Berger zum ersten Kantonsarchäologen von Basel-Stadt berufen, 1964 erwarb er sich weitere praktische Erfahrungen als Grabungsleiter in der Römerstadt Augusta Raurica in einer Zeit, in der viele Notgrabungen unter Zeitdruck anstanden. Mit diesem Rüstzeug in Theorie und Praxis war Ludwig Berger bestens ausgewiesen, die akademische Laufbahn einzuschlagen und 1968 erfolgte seine Ernennung zum ausserordentlichen, 1972 zum ordentlichen Professor an der Alma Mater Basiliensis. Zu Beginn seiner Vorlesungstätigkeit war er als Generalist gefragt, denn damals war es noch üblich, sämtliche Epochen vom Neolithikum bis in die Spätantike zu unterrichten. Die Ausbildung von wissenschaftlichem Nachwuchs hatte bei ihm erste Priorität und verantwortungsbewusst liess er seinen Studierenden viel Raum, um ihre eigene Kritikfähigkeit zu entwickeln, erwartete aber auch wissenschaftlichen Diskurs auf hohem Niveau. Ein Anliegen war ihm auch die interdisziplinäre Forschung, welche in Basel seit der Gründung des Labors für Urgeschichte durch Elisabeth Schmid Tradition hat.

Die intensive Verbundenheit mit Augusta Raurica seit seiner Tätigkeit als Grabungsleiter schlug sich in vielen Publikationen und in Übungen und Seminaren am Originalmaterial nieder. Bedeutend sind seine akribischen Forschungen über jüdische Zeugnisse in den nördlichen Provinzen des römischen Reichs, welche ausgehend von einem wichtigen Neufund eines Fingerrings mit Darstellung einer Menora in Augst zu einem wichtigen Standardwerk führten. Noch kurz vor seinem Tod konnte Ludwig Berger seine gross angelegte Arbeit über die Brücken von Augusta Raurica beenden; deren Drucklegung erlebte er leider allerdings nicht mehr.

Ludwig Berger war von 1962 bis 1998 Mitglied der Fautores und auch wenn sein Forschungsschwerpunkt  nicht primär der Keramik galt, so verfolgte er doch mit Interesse die Ergebnisse dieser Disziplin und nicht selten beauftragte er bei seinen eigenen Arbeiten ehemalige Schüler und Schülerinnen, welche sich auf die Keramik oder auch auf andere Themen spezialisiert hatten, diesen Part zu übernehmen. So entstand über all die Jahre immer wieder eine fruchtbare Zusammenarbeit, an die sich alle Mitbeteiligten mit grosser Wertschätzung und Dankbarkeit an ihren liebenswürdigen Lehrer erinnern.

Christine Meyer-Freuler

Cor Kalee and Ina Isings  

Cor Kalee

with Ina (Clasina) Isings

Cor Kalee (1937 - 09.05.2017)

On May 9, 2017 our Dutch colleague Cor Kalee passed away, at the age of eighty. Although he does not seem to have attended many RCRF congresses, he has been a member for some fifty years.

Due to severe asthma Cor had a difficult start in life, and he did not have a regular school career. As a teenager he developed an interest in ethnology and archaeology, and in the early 1960s short papers on finds and excavations demonstrate his growing dedication to the archaeology of the city of Utrecht and its surroundings. Cor started working as an administrative assistant and librarian, initially at the public health service, but soon at the Ethnological Institute of Utrecht University. In 1963-1965 he attended practical courses at the University of Amsterdam in the identification of archaeological objects from Valkenburg, under the guidance of Professor W. Glasbergen, responsible for the excavations at this famous auxiliarary fort. Glasbergen was a terra sigillata expert, and undoubtedly increased Cor’s interest in this class of pottery. When Cor acquired a position as a librarian and technical assistant at the Archaeological Institute of Utrecht University in 1967, this must have felt as a reward for his efforts.

For nearly twenty years Cor worked under the supervision of glass expert Professor C. Isings. Cor published a long series of papers on finds from the Utrecht area, and on the institute’s excavations in the auxiliary fort at De Meern. He never denied his roots as a hobby archaeologist, and in 1977-1987 he was editor and chief editor of Westerheem, the national journal of hobby archaeologists. Through this network he had good access to private collections, amongst others of thousands of finds collected in the 1970s from the silted-up Roman Rhine bed in front of the fort at Vechten. A considerable number of papers are dedicated to finds from De Meern and Vechten, not only to terra sigillata, but also to coins and military equipment, in which he also developed an expertise, and to various other small finds.

In 1986 the Utrecht institute was closed down, much to his frustration. Shortly before a heart dysfunction had manifested itself, and Cor was never able to resume his professional career. Since 1990 only a few papers and contributions to monographies saw the light, but in 2001, 2013 and 2016 he privately published three booklets of up to 125 pages, dedicated to terra sigillata found along the Dutch limes, to sigillata from a private collection of Vechten finds, and to the Trier mould-maker M. Viccius Afer. They are witnesses of a lifelong passion for terra sigillata, and of his meticulous working method.

Regrettably, nearly all his publications were written in Dutch. For that reason Cor is not well known abroad, but among Roman archaeologists in the Netherlands he was considered as an expert in terra sigillata, coins and military equipment. It is a pity that much of his work remains unpublished, including a large collection of decorated terra sigillata from the Marktveld area south of the fort at Valkenburg.

Marinus Polak (Radboud University, Nijmegen NL)
using notes kindly provided by Arjan and Sven Kalee (son and grandson of Cor)

Anna Marguerite McCann  (11.05.1933 - 12.02.2017)

A.M. McCann, Namur 2004


Anna Marguerite McCann
At the RCRF congress Namur 2004.

Photo: Susanne Zabehlicky-Scheffenegger

Anna Marguerite McCann died on 12 February 2017 at the age of 83. She was elected an honorary member of the RCRF in 2006 and was active in our association for years before that. Not only did she contribute as a scholar but was also supportive in many ways. Her aid was decisive particularly for the RCRF Congress in Rome in 2002.
Although she has works on other subjects to her credit, Anna Marguerite will be remembered and indeed thought of herself primarily as an underwater archaeologist, and it was through her underwater investigations that she came to pottery studies. She also liked to tell of her friendship with Howard Comfort, our founding president and like her a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, who lived with his wife in the same retirement home as Anna Marguerite’s mother – in the evenings, after the other two had gone to bed, they would sit up chatting. The Howard Comfort FAAR ’29 Summer School in Roman Pottery was set up at the American Academy in Rome at her initiative to commemorate him.
Anna Marguerite took her BA at Wellesley College in 1954, her MA at the Institute of Fine Arts in 1957 and her PhD at the University of Indiana in 1965. She was at the American School for Classical Studies in Athens in 1954-55 and at the American Academy in Rome in 1965-1966. From 1966 to 1971, she taught at the University of Missouri. Afterwards she held visiting or adjunct positions at many institutions in the United States. For more than 20 years, she directed a research project on the Roman harbor of Cosa on the coast of Tuscany, finally published in 1987. The major endeavor of her later years was the deep-sea investigation by robotic means of Skerki Bank off Sicily.
Anna Marguerite McCann was a scholar of note, the recipient in 1998 of the Gold Medal of the Archaeological Institute of America. More than that, she was a warm-hearted and generous person, of whom all who knew her among the Fautores and in the wider archaeological community cultivate fond memories.

Archer Martin

Anna Marguerite first attended an RCRF Congress in 1984, when the association met in Oxford and London. She gave a paper on her excavations in the harbour of Cosa (RCRF Acta 25/26, 1987, 21-70), complemented by a paper by her friend Letty Will on the amphora trade (ibid., 71-77). She next joined us, if I remember correctly, in York in 1996. She was a fervent supporter of the RCRF and of pottery studies and was already by then, with her husband Bob, making substantial contributions to the costs of my work on the second edition of the Oxé-Comfort catalogue of stamps on Italian Sigillata. At York she pressed for the setting up of a regular fund to provide travel grants for attendance at RCRF congresses, and this resulted in the creation of the RCRF Trust in the following year. She herself contributed funds to this trust for many years, and while the trust itself no longer exists in the same form, the funds which we still set aside for travel grants owe their origin to her initiative. Archer has already alluded to her generosity, and to her underwriting of much of the Rome congress in 2002; members of the RCRF have good reason to remember her with affection and gratitude.

Philip Kenrick

McCAnn_Portus Cosanus 1987   From:
A.M. McCann, The Portus Cosanus, a center of trade in the late republic (1987).

IN MEMORIAM    Dr. Anna Marguerite McCann Taggart (May 11, 1933 - February 12, 2017)

Anna Marguerite McCann Taggart died peacefully in the presence of family on February 12, 2017, in Sleepy Hollow, New York. She was 83 years old.
Dr. McCann (as she was professionally known) was the first American woman underwater archaeologist. She was a scuba diver who participated in and led underwater archaeological expeditions in the Mediterranean Sea, especially off the coast of Italy. She specialized in the study of ancient Roman harbors, and she was also noted for her deep-sea explorations using advanced robotic technology.
Born on May 11, 1933, in Mamaroneck, New York, to Richard and Dorothy McCann, she grew up in Rye, New York, and attended the Rye Country Day School and Wellesley College. After graduating from Wellesley with honors in art history and a minor in classical Greek, she received a Fulbright fellowship to study at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Her experience in Greece deepened her interest in the ancient world. Anna received her master's degree at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 1957, and obtained her doctorate from the University of Indiana in 1965. She married her childhood sweetheart, Robert D. Taggart, in 1973, and they were happily married until her husband's death last year. Anna and Bob divided their time between an apartment on the Upper East Side of New York City and a farm in Pawlet, Vermont, where they enjoyed gardening, hiking, skiing, and swimming. They were both noted for their great generosity to educational and charitable causes.
When Anna McCann entered the profession in the early 1960s, underwater archaeology was in its infancy and was an entirely male-dominated field. Her first professional diving experiences were with Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team exploring two ancient Roman shipwrecks by the Grand Congloué, a rock off Marseilles harbor, in France. The team brought up a clay jar still full of wine, 2,200 years old, and tasted it-the world's oldest vintage. (Anna recalled that the wine turned out to be cheap-tasting "retsina" and was a bit of a disappointment.) In 1961-62, she was a diver and team member with the National Geographic/University of Pennsylvania excavation of the Yassi Ada shipwreck, a seventh-century C.E. wreck at a depth of 125 feet off Yassi Ada island in Turkey.
In 1964, she was awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship in Classical Studies by the American Academy in Rome. At the ancient site of Cosa, (modern day Ansedonia), on the coast of Tuscany, Italy, while she was working as a photographer for land excavations at the hilltop ruins of Cosa, she discovered an ancient, half-buried underwater pier in the sea below the hilltop. Her find was initially dismissed as unimportant by the director of the American Academy, but she raised funds to press forward with mapping and underwater excavation of the port area of Cosa; it had flourished during the period of the Roman Republic, when it was an important trading port in Italy. She directed the work herself, using grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Missouri, and she would go on to direct underwater and land excavations of the port and fishery of Cosa for twenty-two years. This resulted in a monumental work, with the contributions of several dozen collaborators, entitled The Roman Port and Fishery of Cosa: A Center of Ancient Trade, which was published in 1987 by Princeton University Press.
In 1973, Anna McCann and her team from the American Academy in Rome formed a collaboration with the Istituto Internazionali di Studi Liguri to map and explore the ancient harbor at Populonia, Italy, where they found the only known remains of an Etruscan ship. At the coastal site of Pyrgi (Santa Severa), in Italy, Dr. McCann and the team discovered part of an ancient Roman city that had subsided into the sea during earthquakes, including roads and broken columns; this mysterious underwater site remains unexcavated since its discovery.
Dr. McCann taught art history and archaeology at the University of Missouri and at the University of California at Berkeley, as well as at Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1974, she joined the curatorial staff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in order to catalog its Roman sculptures. She published that research in her book, Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which received the National Outstanding Book Award in 1978 from the American Association of University Presses.
Another significant archeological project undertaken by Dr. McCann was in collaboration with Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts. She became the Archeological Director of the JASON Project, in 1989, which was established to help educate children in technology and the sciences. Dr. McCann and Ballard utilized the same ROV technology Ballard had used to discover the Titanic to explore the deep Mediterranean sea-bed along ancient trade routes between Carthage and Rome. She and their team discovered and surveyed many previously unknown ancient shipwrecks lying in extremely deep water in the Mediterranean Basin, using real time technology, with the images of the discoveries being broadcast live to students in the U.S.
In 1998 Dr. McCann was awarded the first Gold Medal of the Archaeological Institute of America for her lifetime achievements in archaeology.
Anna McCann Taggart is survived by her loving sister, Dorothy M. Preston, and her three devoted nephews, Richard, Douglas, and David Preston, as well as grand-nieces and nephews.

Douglas Preston



Sara Santoro (28.08.1950 - 22.09.2016)

Sara santoro
Sara Santoro


Sara Santoro passed away suddenly on 22 September 2016, leaving her beloved family and her very many friends and students in great sorrow. She began her career at the University of Bologna, then taught in Parma for a long time, and finally at the University of Chieti, as Full Professor of Classical Archaeology.
Her research interests were numerous (Greek and Roman town planning, Roman art, craft production, ceramology with particular regard for the archaeometric aspects) and in all of them her contribution was extremely innovative. Sara was among the founders of the Italian Association for the study and conservation of mosaics (AISCOM), just as her studies of ancient settlements (Castelraimondo in Friuli, Bliesbruck/Reinheim, France/Germany) were very important and have become familiar in archaeological literature, precisely because of her methodological rigour and her treatment of complex aspects.
As for ceramology, she was among the first in Italy to pay systematic attention to the archaeometric aspects, working in an integrated way with Italian and foreign Laboratories. She was a long-standing member of the RCRF, in whose congresses she participated actively, as well as a member of the Standing Committee of the international network of LRCW research. In the field of ceramology, her project on Pantellerian wares was of particular importance since it meant that these ceramics began to be identified commonly along the Italian and the western Mediterranean coasts.
Sara organized numerous conferences and exhibitions, as well as her ongoing excavation projects: in fact, she directed the excavations of Corfino in Abruzzo, the amphitheatre of Durazzo in Albania, as well as those of the above-mentioned vicus of Bliesbruck. Equally important were her ongoing international projects, with Balkan and Central Asian universities, for training and the enhancement of archaeology.
As well as a great scholar, Sara was an excellent teacher, much loved by her students, to whom she was able to convey her passion for the discipline, despite the difficult economic prospects of young archaeologists in Italy.
Therefore, the scientific community mourns Sara for her high scholarly value, and her friends suffer the loss of a woman of great humanity, culture and interests, open and generous, ready to participate in any project as long as it was conducted seriously, a woman who knew about and loved all the beauty of life.

Simonetta Menchelli
Università di Pisa   

Gheorghe Popilian (28.10.1927 -10.02.2016)

Gheorghe Popilian
Gheorghe Popilian


Gheorghe Popilian was a significant personality of the Classical Romanian Archaeology. He was born at 28th of October 1926 in Godeni village, Dolj County. He graduated in 1951 the University of Bucharest, Faculty of History and became archaeologist at the Iron Gates’ Museum (Muzeul Portilor de Fier) from Drobeta Turnu Severin, where since 1952 until 1956 was also the general manager of the institution. Between 1956 to 1959 he was researcher and chief of department at Museum of Oltenia from Craiova. His strong personality and scientifical prestige brought him not only professional satisfaction, but also suffering. So, in 1959 he was arrested by the former Communist regime from Romania and kept in prison till 1963. After he was released from the political detention, for years he was followed, harassed and marginalized. This was the reason, why Gheorghe Popilian remained a non-Communist till the end of his life. He never spoke to us about that period, probably because of his interior desire to forget the nightmare he lived in that atrocious terror.
After that time, in 1975, he continued his activity at Museum of Oltenia, Craiova. Starting with 1980 became Senior Researcher at the Institute of the Socio-Humanistic Studies of the Romanian Academy, Craiova branch, where he was the general manager of the institution from 1990 to 1998, until his retirement.
Professor Gheorghe Popilian became a member of RCRF in 1981 and he participated in a few of the congresses of our association. In 1994 he was the Honorary President of the RCRF Congress organized at Timișoara, Romania.
His most significant work, actually his PhD titled Ceramica romană din Oltenia / The Roman Pottery from Oltenia (Craiova, 1976), was for a long time the only synthesis on the import and local production of the southern part of the Roman province Dacia. This work brought him the national and international scientific recognition as specialist in Roman pottery. He had also several articles about imported terra sigillata and local pottery production. In a particular way, the Roman pottery was his main field work.
But his studies were not restricted only to pottery. He published articles and studies about monetary circulation, jewelery and vestimentary accessories, political and military events, religious cults and beliefs etc. Like archaeologist, he was in charge of the excavations at Locusteni, Daneţi, Leu, Craiova, Gropşani, Dioşti and Romula and also collaborated at the excavations that uncovered the settlements from Orşova, Slăveni, Sucidava, Cioroiu Nou. The results of these researches where published in more than one hundred studies, articles and reports and also in seven archaeological monographs, related to Roman fortifications (Castrul roman de la Slăveni. Încercare de monografie arheologică / The Roman fort from Slăveni. Archaeological monograph attempt, Cluj Napoca, 2011, in collaboration); Daco-Roman settlements (Gropşani. Monografie arheologică / Gropșani. Archaeological monograph, Bucureşti, 1998; Aşezările daco-romane de la Locusteni / The Daco-Roman settlements from Locusteni, Craiova, 2014, in collab. with Dorel Bondoc); necropolis (Necropola daco-romană de la Locusteni / The Daco-Roman necropol from Locusteni, Craiova, 1980; The Roman and Late Roman cemetery of Sucidava-Celei. The excavations from 1969-1983, Craiova 2012, in collab. with Dorel Bondoc; Necropola daco-romană de la Dioşti (judeţul Dolj)/The Daco-Roman necropol from Dioști (Dolj county), Craiova 2012).
His numerous, long and exhausting archaeological excavations gave him the opportunity to accumulate a vast experience, which he shared with his pupils and collaborators.
Even though he passed away at a venerable age, he would have had more to say in the field of Romanian and European Archaeology. From this point of view, it is our duty to continue his work of research and publication. The Museum of Oltenia Craiova, as an institution that was dear and close to Mr. Popilian, now houses several thousand archaeological artefacts, thanks to his archaeological excavations. Many of them have already been published; others will be published due to the efforts of our institution.
He was for all of us a moral and professional role model and his scientific contribution to the field of ancient history and archaeology is undisputable. Now, when he passed away, we, who were close to him - colleagues, friends, former PhD candidates - we express our gratitude for his kindness, professional advices and generosity.

Dorel Bondoc
Museum of Oltenia, Craiova,

Hans-Jörg Kellner  (03.12.1920 – 25.06.2015)

Jans-Jörg Kellner
Foto: St. Friedrich (Archäol. Staatsslg. München)
Our President  
from 1980 until 1990


In seinem 95. Lebensjahr ist Hans-Jörg Kellner am 25. Juni „friedlich eingeschlafen“, wie seine Familie mitteilt.

Nach einer Tätigkeit in der bayerischen Bodendenkmalpflege war der Verstorbene von 1960 bis 1984 Direktor der Prähistorischen (heute: Archäologischen) Staatssamlung in München; er hat in seinen Ämtern der Bayrischen Archäologie wichtige Impulse gegeben. Ein Schwerpunkt seiner Forschungstätigkeit lag in der Numismatik, doch widmete er sich auch der römerzeitlichen Keramik. Bis heute ist seine Erschließung und Vorlage der Terra Sigillata-Produktion von Westerndorf und Pfaffenhofen Grundlage einer Beschäftigung mit dieser Ware.

Seit 1960 war Hans-Jörg Kellner Mitglied in unserem Verein, dem er bis zu seinem Tode angehörte. Von 1966-1971 amtierte er als Sekretär, von 1971-1980 als Vizepräsident; von 1966-1974 gab er die Communicationes heraus. Er blieb er noch bis 1992 Mitglied des Vorstandes, nachdem er den Fautores von 1980-1990 als Präsident vorgestanden hatte. In dieser Zeit richtete er 1982 an seinem Museum in München den 13. Kongress der RCRF aus. Hans-Jörg Kellner war also über 25 Jahre lang in leitender Position für die RCRF tätig! Dafür gilt ihm noch heute unser aller Dank; wir werden ihn in ehrender Erinnerung behalten.

Pia Eschbaumer, Secretary


Am 25. Juni 2015 verstarb im 95. Lebensjahr Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Kellner. Von 1966 bis 1992 hat er die RCRF in unterschiedlichen Vorstandspositionen aktiv gefördert, geprägt und vertreten. So war er Sekretär (1966-71), Vizepräsident (1971-80), schließlich Präsident der RCRF (1980-90) sowie anschließend noch zwei Jahre Mitglied des Vorstands. Im September 1982 richtete Kellner als Direktor der Prähistorischen Staatssammlung den 13. Internationalen Kongress der RCRF in München aus. Unvergessen ist die aus diesem Anlass in „seinem“ Museum von ihm und J. Garbsch konzipierte Ausstellung „Terra Sigillata. Ein Weltreich im Spiegel seines Luxusgeschirrs“ (mit Katalog), die anhand der eigenen Studiensammlung einen vorzüglichen Überblick auch über die damals noch weniger bekannten Produktionen etwa der ostmediterranen und nordafrikanischen Sigillatatöpfereien der frühen bis späten Kaiserzeit gab, die Kellner mit dem ihm eigenen Weitblick größtenteils in den 60er und 70er Jahren zusammengetragen hatte bzw. für das Haus erwerben konnte. Herausgestellt wurde in der spektakulären Ausstellung die Bedeutung dieser Feinkeramik nicht nur für die Chronologie der Sachkultur, sondern auch für wirtschafts- und handelsgeschichtliche Fragestellungen. Diese thematiserte Kellner immer wieder selbst in einer Reihe von Studien zu den ostraetischen Sigillatatöpfereien von Westerndorf und Pfaffenhoffen. In Pfaffenhofen und Mühltal initiierte er auch umfangreiche Ausgrabungen (1967-74, 1978-80).

Nach mehrjähriger Kriegsgefangenschaft in Russland begann Kellner 1949 das Studium der Vor- und Frühgeschichte an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München und wurde von Joachim Werner mit der grundlegenden Dissertation „Die römischen Fundmünzen des nördlichen Teils der Provinz Raetien“ promoviert. Nach einigen Jahren in der bayerischen Bodendenkmalpflege wurde Kellner Direktor der Prähistorischen Staatssammlung München (1960-84), deren Neubau als (Landes-)Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte er durchsetzte. Kurz vor seiner Pensionierung wurde er von der Universität Passau zum Honorarprofessor ernannt, wo er dann noch ca. ein Jahrzehnt mit Begeisterung lehrte.

Von Anfang an galt Kellners wissenschaftliches Interesse der keltischen und römischen, aber auch der mittelalterlichen und neuzeitlichen Numismatik sowie der Provinzialrömischen Archäologie, in der Regel auf Bayern bzw. die Provinz Raetia und die angrenzenden Regionen ausgerichtet. Ein äußerst umfangreiches und vielfältiges Schrifttum gibt davon beredtes Zeugnis. Gerade die Verbindung der beiden Disziplinen und die äußerst kompetente, verlässliche Analyse römischer Fundmünzen(reihen) und Münzschatzfunde waren für Kellner von eminenter Bedeutung. Wichtige historische Aussagen für die Provinzgeschichte Raetiens erzielte er durch die umfassende Auswertung numismatischer und epigraphischer Quellen sowie von Ausgrabungsbefunden.

Kellner war nicht nur Schriftleiter der RCRF Communicationes (1966-73), sondern auch des Jahrbuchs für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte (1961-74) und der Bayerischen Vorgeschichtsblätter (1961-90) sowie der Ausstellungskataloge der Prähistorischen Staatssammlung (1973-83). Zu seinem 70. und 80. Geburtstag dedizierten ihm seine Kollegen in besonderer Wertschätzung seiner großen Leistungen für Museum und Wissenschaft jeweils eine Festschrift (Spurensuche [1991]; Bayerische Vorgeschichtsblätter 65, 2000).

Kellner war nicht nur während seiner aktiven Dienstzeit Mitglied zahlreicher Gremien, sondern nahm auch bis ins hohe Alter regelmäßig an Sitzungen der Kommission für Bayer. Landesgeschichte und der Kommission zur vergleichenden Archäologie römischer Alpen- und Donauländer der Bayer. Akademie der Wissenschaften teil. Zudem veröffentlichte er in den letzten Jahren numismatische Studien und beobachtete mit Interesse die (universitäre) Entwicklung der Numismatik und der Provinzialrömischen Archäologie.
Sein kritisches Urteil und seine klare Analyse werden uns fehlen. Die Fautores werden ihm ein ehrendes Gedenken bewahren und ihn in dankbarer Erinnerung behalten.

M. Mackensen  

(from RCRF Communicationes 57, 2015)

David Peacock (14.1.1939 - 15.03.2015)

David Peacock



For ceramologists, particularly of the Roman period, it can truly be said that David Peacock was a man of his time; not only did he contribute to Roman pottery studies, but he was influential in moving the whole character of the discipline forward into a new era.

His initial university studies at the University of St. Andrews (including a Bsc and a PhD) had been in geology, but he then obtained a research fellowship in archaeology at the University of Birmingham (1965-68) before moving to the Department of Archaeology at Southampton University, where he spent the remainder of his professional career. His geological background led him into the examination of thin sections of coarse pottery fabrics under the microscope, with a view to establishing the potential sources of the clays from which they had been made. This was a time when others (amongst whom Maurice Picon was prominent) were investigating a range of (generally more expensive) analytical techniques which could be applied to fine wares with the same end in view. It was also a time when computers - at that time, large university main-frame installations - were beginning to be widely available to researchers, followed in the late 1970s by the first portable computers.

Roman pottery studies in Britain at this period could be described as relatively advanced with comparison to many other (particularly Mediterranean) countries, with a well-established tradition of typological and chronological study. But with the growth of urban development and of rescue archaeology, there were increasing quantities of material to be ‘processed’. Peacock’s involvement in the 1970s with the British team working at Carthage (his first venture outside the UK) brought him into contact with an altogether new scale of operation and the urgent need to devise a uniform and rigorous approach to the cataloguing and study of Roman pottery. The 1977 volume of collected papers Pottery and Early Commerce, edited by Peacock, contains a number of articles which illustrate the utility of studying thin sections when classifying coarse wares; but it also includes as chapter 2, ‘Ceramics in Roman and Medieval Archaeology’, a mission statement by Peacock himself in which he set out his vision of how the discipline should move away from being dominated by the chronological questions posed by the excavator to much wider issues of trade and of the functional and social implications of the distribution of different types of pottery within the excavated site. He also insisted on the importance of numerical data when recording pottery as a basis for these wider studies. (The advent of computing power, of course, soon made possible all kinds of numerical and spatial analysis.)

In 1982, Peacock published another seminal volume, Pottery in the Roman World: an Ethnoarchaeological Approach. In this he argued that the study of potteries still functioning in various parts of the world, using non-mechanised methods and wood-fired kilns, could provide valid parallels for the interpretation of ancient workshops and production practices. The book concludes with another demonstration of the breadth of information which can be derived from an excavated Roman pottery assemblage, appropriately studied, and an appeal for scholars not to become so absorbed in their own specialisation that they lose sight of the broader historical conclusions which, alone, justify the study.

Amphorae and the Roman Economy: an Introductory Guide, written jointly with David Williams and published in 1986, was intended - as the title indicates - as a guide rather than as an exhaustive reference work. It has served nonetheless as an important synthesis of the point which studies of these widely-traded containers had reached at the time, and as a stimulus to a field of study which has continued to develop exponentially.

In addition to his pottery studies at Carthage, Peacock subsequently turned to other aspects of archaeology which appealed to his background in geology. He conducted major survey and excavation projects at two of the most important quarries of the Roman Empire, at Mons Claudianus (1987-93) and Mons Porphyrites (1994-98), both in the Egyptian desert. He also pursued the archaeology of Rome’s trade, through ports on the Red Sea coast, with India. His last publication turned to another class of artefacts that he considered to have been woefully under-studied: The Stone of Life: the Archaeology of Querns, Mills and Flour Production in Europe up to c AD 500 (2013).

Peacock’s achievements were recognized in the award of the Kenyon Medal by the British Academy in 2011 and by the Pomerance Award bestowed by the Archaeological Institute of America in 2012. To students and colleagues he was always a lively, generous and supportive presence with a sharp and receptive mind. His writings were always lucid and stimulating. In October 2012, an event at Southampton, Insights through innovation: a conference in honour of Prof. David Peacock, brought together numerous former pupils and colleagues, both to honour the influence he had had upon their careers and interests and to report new studies and techniques. The occasion brought him great pleasure and the resulting papers are being prepared for publication.

Though he was never a member of the RCRF, his influence amongst us has surely been widespread and he will be greatly missed.

Philip Kenrick

cf. also the obituary of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton

Hugues Vertet (02.04.1921 - 11.03.2015)

Hughes Vertet   Hughes Vertet au congrès de la Sfécag à Arles, 4 juin 2011 (90 ans !).
(Cliché Xavier Chadefaux)

Hugues Vertet, fouilleur de Lezoux et ancien président de la SFECAG

Né le 2 avril 1921, Hugues Vertet a exercé de nombreuses fonctions en rapport avec l'archéologie. Professeur de lettres classiques dans l'Allier, il fut ensuite conservateur du musée de Philippeville en Algérie. A son retour en France, parrainé entre autres par Jean-Jacques Hatt avec lequel il travailla longtemps (il a fouillé par exemple avec lui sur le site de Gergovie dans les années 40 et a suivi ses cours sur la céramologie), il entre, en 1959,  au CNRS sur un programme de recherches concernant les ateliers du centre de la Gaule et notamment celui de Lezoux. Pour continuer l'œuvre de Jean-Jacques Hatt il accepta la présidence de la SFECAG en 1978 qu'il transmit à Lucien Rivet en 1984.

Il fit toute sa carrière au CNRS. En 1974, il reçoit la médaille de bronze du CNRS pour ses travaux.

Ses recherches portaient sur les productions des ateliers de potiers du centre de la Gaule à l'époque romaine : les influences reçues et exercées par ces ateliers,  l'organisation du travail, l'évolution de l'art populaire...

Il a toujours été passionné par la place que l'homme a pu occuper. Pour les travaux d'aménagement du musée de la céramique à Lezoux (dont il était le conservateur bénévole de 1966 jusqu'aux années 90), il disait qu'il fallait certes regarder les objets, les tessons mais que c'était les hommes qui étaient importants et aurait préférer que le musée se nomme « musée des potiers ».

Il a toujours cherché l'homme du quotidien, celui qui se révèle grâce à des fragments de poteries, de figurines. C'était un archéologue humaniste qui voulait aider les hommes « cassés » comme il disait lui-même (il était également aumônier à la prison d'Yzeure, Allier).

Fabienne Gateau
Directrice du Musée départemental
de la Céramique à Lezoux

(from: )

Maurice Picon (1930 - 16.11.2014)

Maurice Picon  Maurice Picon at Mandeure-Mathay 1990 (Sfécag congress)

Un grand scientifique et un ami fidèle

L'Association Internationale pour l’Etude de la Céramique Médiévale en Méditerranée, devenue AIECM3, et le LA3M ont la tristesse de vous annoncer le décès de Maurice Picon survenu dimanche 16 novembre à Lyon.

Dès la création officielle de l'Association en 1992, il a fait partie du comité international et était devenu conseiller scientifique de l'AIECM2 depuis 1996.

A partir des années 70, Maurice Picon, alors directeur du Laboratoire de Céramologie de Lyon (URA 3 du Centre de Recherches Archéologiques), a été associé aux recherches céramologiques du Laboratoire d'Archéologie Médiévale Méditerranéenne d'Aix-en-Provence, (URA 6 du Centre de Recherches Archéologiques), fondé par Gabrielle Démians d'Archimbaud pour ses travaux pionniers sur le castrum de Rougiers (Var). 

Comme le soulignait déjà Michel de Bouärd, lors de l’allocution d’ouverture du premier colloque  sur la Céramique Médiévale en Méditerranée, organisé conjointement par Gabrielle d’Archimbaud et Maurice Picon, à Valbonne en 1978,  leur coopération étroite et interdisciplinaire fut tout à fait exemplaire. Et il ajoutait « Bien entendu, collaboration n’est pas confusion. Les sciences physiques, chimiques et autres, lorsqu’elles s’intéressent aux problèmes archéologiques, n’en conservent pas moins leur spécificité et réciproquement d’ailleurs. Mais on peut souhaiter que chacun des partenaires, l’archéologue et le scientifique, soit capables de comprendre, au moins sommairement, les méthodes et le langage de l’autre ».  C’est en fait dans ce dialogue permanent, instauré entre archéométrie et archéologie historique qu’ont pu émerger de nombreuses recherches donnant lieu à plusieurs publications collectives sur les productions de céramiques locales ou importées de Méditerranée, les enquêtes ethnoarchéologiques, les recherches d’ateliers, l’analyse des structures de cuisson, pour une période entre Antiquité tardive, Moyen Âge et époque moderne encore mal documentée.

L’ouverture d’esprit de ce scientifique, dont le nom et l’œuvre font autorité, se doublait d’une grande humanité, tissant des liens amicaux indéfectibles avec nombre de chercheurs de l’association et du Laboratoire d’Archéologie Médiévale et Moderne en Méditerranée.

Sa vision fondamentale de la céramique fut essentielle pour la connaissance de l’histoire des sociétés techniques et artisanales et a guidé et guidera encore de nombreuses générations d'archéologues de toutes périodes et de nombreux pays.

Henri Amouric, directeur du LA3M
Jacques Thiriot, secrétaire de l’AIECM3
Lucy Vallauri, chercheur associé au LA3M

(from: )


Dans l’évolution des méthodes d’étude sur les céramiques antiques, ou médiévales, au cours des années 1960-70 s’est fait jour le besoin d’asseoir les recherches sur des certitudes, en particulier en termes de provenances de ces produits de l’artisanat, toujours porteurs d’informations sur le commerce et les échanges. Les analyses scientifiques de pâtes participent de ces attentes et le processus ne pouvait naître qu’en abordant le sujet par une approche objective de cette matière, par la physique, la chimie et les identifications minéralogiques. La démarche supposait des protocoles élaborées par l’expérimentation et des comparaisons de résultats obtenus à partir d’échantillons passés en machines, généralement coûteuses ; il s’agissait toutefois d’obtenir, par une tenace persuasion, leurs acquisitions par l’administration ... et de constituer une équipe de laborantins spécialisés Alors étaient obtenus des résultats prometteurs qui, peu à peu et à force de redondances, devenaient des bases de références. La science donnait des preuves aux pâtes des céramiques et ouvrait donc aux certitudes.

Maurice Picon accompagna l’émergence et les différents stades de ces recherches. En outre et surtout, il sut communiquer ces avancées et ces résultats; il le fit, toutefois, avec la prudence qui s’imposait, et il le fit, surtout, et malgré l’aridité de la discipline – de sa discipline – avec le sens aigu d’une solide pédagogie.

Lucien Rivet, président de la Sfécag


Maurice Picon - a personal recollection

When I was engaged in the 1970s upon my doctoral research on Hellenistic and Roman fine wares from Benghazi, Libya, there were probably three figures who, more than any other, influenced my approach to the work. One was John Hayes, who is still with us and who calls for no introduction from me. His publications, with their neat drawings and exemplary descriptions of fabrics and forms, were a model to be emulated. The second was David Peacock (see the obituary on these pages) who, while working primarily with coarse wares, was nonetheless hugely stimulating in his approach to pottery, and particularly important for his new emphasis on the recording of quantitative data. The third was Maurice Picon, who established the Laboratoire de Céramologie at Lyon and published pioneering analytical work which showed us how to distinguish the terra sigillata of Arezzo from that made at Lyon (see Archaeometry 13, 1971, 191-208 and RCRF Acta 14/15, 1972/73, 128-35). This was enormously exciting in opening up all sorts of potential new avenues of research, amply realised over subsequent years by himself and others (notably by Gerwulf Schneider and his colleagues in Berlin). I also found his Introduction à l'étude technique des céramiques sigillées de Lezoux (Centre de recherches sur les techniques gréco-romaines, Dijon 1973) enormously helpful in explaining the physics and chemistry of making fine pottery; these technical aspects need to be understood if one is to write about pottery without making a fool of oneself. He received me courteously at Lyon in 1976 in order to discuss the potential for analytical projects on the Benghazi material: these were subsequently carried out in Oxford and Manchester.

Maurice Picon was physically large and was also a large personality. At the General Meeting of the RCRF in October 2004, he and Gerwulf Schneider were both unanimously elected Honorary Members of the association for their contributions to our field of interest; while we recollect his contributions to the study of Roman pottery, we recognize also (see the other obituaries here) that his interests and scholarly contributions to pottery studies extended to a far wider chronological range.

Philip Kenrick


Nachruf/Obituary  Maurice Picon
Maurice Picon ist im November letzten Jahres im Alter von 83 Jahren verstorben. Er hinterlässt uns eine schmerzhafte Lücke aber auch ein reiches Erbe. Er hat sein ganzes wissenschaftliches Leben der chemischen Analyse von archäologischen Artefakten gewidmet. Von seinen über 300 Publikationen befassen sich nicht wenige mit Fragen der kritischen Interpretation der Daten bei Herkunftsbestimmungen. Dazu gehört auch die oft diskutierte Frage des möglichen Transports von Rohton und auch das Problem der möglichen chemischen Veränderungen der Keramik bei der Bodenlagerung, auf das er schon bei seinen Analysen von Keramik aus Neuss und Haltern gestoßen war (in: S. v.Schnurbein, Die unverzierte Terra Sigillata aus Haltern. Bodenalt. Westfalens 19/1 [Münster 1982] 6-21; 140-183). Die große technologische Bedeutung der Tonzusammensetzung zeigte er am Beispiel der Sigillata und der übrigen Keramik in Lezoux.

Seine Zusammenarbeit mit Kulturwissenschaftlern begann er bereits in den 60er Jahren des letzten Jahrhunderts mit der Analyse von Metallen. Seit 1970 war sein Hauptthema jedoch, neben Glas und zuletzt auch Alaun, vor allem die Keramik. Er gründete in Lyon das Laboratoire de Céramologie, das er 30 Jahre leitete, und er war 1976 Mitbegründer der Groupe des Methodes Physico-chemiques Contribuant à l'Archéologie (GMPCA), als in Europa die Zusammenarbeit von Physikern und Chemikern mit Archäologen noch nicht selbstverständlich war. Für unsere Arbeitsgruppe Archäometrie im Institut für Chemie an der FU Berlin war er 1975 das Vorbild. Seine Projekte zur Keramik spannen den Bogen von hellenistisch-römischer und mittelalterlicher Keramik bis zu Fayence der Renaissance und zu ethnoarchäologischen Untersuchungen. Die geographischen Schwerpunkte lagen dabei vor allem in Frankreich, Nordafrika, Italien, Griechenland, Spanien. Mehr als 50 Publikationen befassen sich mit Sigillata oder schwarzer Glanztonkeramik (vernis noir), mehr als 30 mit antiken Amphoren. Vor allem an seinen Analysen römischer Keramik in Frankreich und Italien kommt niemand vorbei, der auf diesem Gebiet arbeitet. Die Referenzgruppen Lezoux, Lyon und La Graufesenque beruhen auf seinen Untersuchungen. Schon vorher hatte er die Idee, von allen bekannten Sigillatatöpfereien in Gallien und Germanien mit wenigsten jeweils zehn Analysen mittels wellenlängendispersiver Röntgenfluoreszenz (WD-XRF) die lokalen chemischen Elementmuster festzulegen, mit dem (damals) überraschenden Ergebnis, dass er diese auch mit nur acht chemischen Hauptelementen charakterisieren konnte (ab Ende der 70er Jahre bestimmte er mit einem neuen Gerät dann über zwanzig Elemente in einer Keramikprobe). Während in den USA chemische Analysen archäologischer Keramik fast immer mit Neutronenaktivierung (NAA) erfolgten, ist Maurice Picon der Pionier für solche Analysen mit der wesentlich einfacheren Methode der WD-XRF. Er verglich auch kritisch die Nützlichkeit der beiden Methoden, indem er die am besten trennenden Elemente ermittelte und die Vorteile seiner Methode am Beispiel der Unterscheidung der Sigillata von Arezzo und Pisa herausstellte. Die WD-XRF Analysen aus Lyon bieten heute zusammen mit denen der Arbeitsgruppen in Fribourg und in Berlin eine riesige, einheitliche und vergleichbare Datenbasis für römische Keramik.

Von 1972 bis vor etwa zehn Jahren war Maurice Picon, wenn auch nicht regelmäßig, so doch sehr oft bei den Kongressen der Fautores (deren Ehrenmitglied er war) und bei den Tagungen der SFECAG (Société Française d’Étude de la Céramique Antique en Gaule). Auch auf vielen anderen Tagungen, vor allem in Italien oder Frankreich, konnte man mit ihm diskutieren, und er gab seine Erfahrungen auch in zahlreichen Kursen z.B. in Lyon und Fribourg weiter. Da er nicht immer die der Interpretation zugrunde liegenden originalen Analysendaten publiziert hatte, war der persönliche Kontakt sehr wichtig, und er hat immer großzügig seine Tabellen für Vergleiche zur Verfügung gestellt. In dieser Tradition für den Datenaustausch wird sein wissenschaftliches Erbe unvergänglich sein.

G. Schneider   

(from RCRF Communicationes 57, 2015)

Donald Michael Bailey (6.6.1931 – 15.8.2014)

Donald Bailey      Don Bailey at Luxor 2007 (Photo by Catherine Johns)

Donald (Don) Bailey is a name that is widely known amongst students of Roman pottery, and which will long be remembered and cited. From humble beginnings, he became the world’s foremost expert on Roman lamps and his catalogues of the collection in the British Museum (A Catalogue of the Lamps in the British Museum, 4 volumes, 1975-1996) are universally respected and cited works of reference. His expertise was, however, by no means restricted to lamps: he also reported on pottery, glass and terracottas and was deeply involved in the study of Roman Egypt (through the excavations undertaken by the British Museum at El-Ashmunein in the 1980s and many subsequent projects, extending into the 2000s). Don was until recent years a member of the RCRF and together with his second wife, Catherine Johns, attended several congresses in the 1970s and 1980s – at which he was always easily recognised by his bushy hair and voluminous beard. Two early but important studies by him of Knidian Relief Ware appeared in the Acta of the RCRF, in 1973 and 1979.

Don came from a family with no academic background or pretensions, and the possibility that he might go to university when he left school was never considered. However, he had already shown an interest in archaeology when he was at school, participating in various excavations. During his National Service, in 1951-53, he served in the Parachute Regiment, stationed in the Canal Zone in Egypt; this gave him limited opportunities to get to know Egypt itself, but did provide him with leave-time in Cyprus, with its wealth of visible antiquities. In 1955, while working in a London public library, he applied for and obtained a post as a Museum Assistant at the British Museum. Here, he was mentored and vigorously encouraged by another recent recruit to the Museum (at a more senior level), Donald Strong (who died at the tragically young age of 46 in 1973). Strong encouraged him to publish, and it was through Don’s dedication and practical experience in the Museum that he progressed to higher grades and became the scholar that we now salute. Modest and diffident in manner, he was generous with his knowledge and immensely helpful to anyone who came to consult the collections in the Greek and Roman Department: he always knew what there was and where it was. (When John Hayes suggested to me that there might be Pontic Sigillata at Benghazi, it was Don who showed me drawers of potsherds in the British Museum which had been collected by British Officers serving at Sebastopol during the Crimean War in 1854.)

In 1992 he was encouraged by a friend to submit a portfolio of his published work to a scheme run by the Council for National Academic Awards, which resulted in the award of a D.Litt. - a richly-deserved but remarkable accolade for a scholar who had no prior university qualification. Don retired from his post in 1996, though he continued to write and his last publication (completed in 2010) is expected to be published before the end of 2014. He will be most fondly remembered.

Philip Kenrick


Salon's editor is very grateful to Fellow Catherine Johns for the following tribute to her late husband, Donald Bailey, who died on 15 August 2014, at the age of eighty-three.

‘Donald was an internationally respected scholar of classical archaeology, especially in the field of Roman ceramic studies. He combined meticulous curatorial work with research and publication of the highest quality, inspired by, but by no means confined to, the unrivalled collections of the British Museum, where he was a curator from 1955 until his retirement in 1996.

‘His work made accessible large and important areas of the collections and will have laid the foundation for research projects by archaeologists and historians in the future. He also published widely, and wrote the exhaustive four-volume A Catalogue of the Lamps in the British Museum (1975—96).

‘Donald and his twin brother, Ray, were born in London in 1931, so they were eight years old when the Second World War broke out and fourteen when it came to an end. This guaranteed maximum disruption to both their primary and secondary education. Don was twice evacuated out of London in the early part of the war, first to Northampton and later to Colesbourne in Gloucestershire, but he came back to London and attended the William Ellis School in Highgate, though during part of the time he was a pupil there, it was known as the North London Emergency Secondary School for Boys, a name that conveys the conditions of the time. His interest in archaeology started as a pupil there and he first became involved in fieldwork while still a teenager, taking part in Pat Collins’s 1947—9 excavations of the Iron Age hillfort of Blewburton Hill, and also in Fellow Ivor Noël Hume's pioneering urban archaeology work in post-war London.

‘National Service in 1951—3, served in the Parachute Regiment stationed in the Canal Zone of Egypt, gave Don his first introduction to Egypt and to Cyprus, with its wealth of ancient sites, where he went on leave. As there was no academic or professional tradition in Don’s family, the possibility of a university education never even occurred to him. Instead, after National Service, he started work in Paddington public library. It was there, in 1955, that he saw a newspaper advertisement for museum assistant posts in the British Museum, and decided to apply.

‘Working in the museum was a joy to him from the very beginning, with the opportunities it afforded for handling and studying one of the world’s finest collections of Classical antiquities. Soon after he started work there, our late Fellow Donald Strong was appointed Assistant Keeper. Like my Don, he was not only an exceptional scholar, but also a warm and generous person who spread light. He became Don’s principal mentor, and it was undoubtedly his influence that encouraged this modest and diffident young Museum Assistant to start writing articles and submitting them for publication. His succinct yet elegant and erudite note entitled “A false Roman lamp”, which appeared in the journal Archaeology in 1958, was the first, and possibly the shortest, of several hundred publications which eventually included some of the finest major British Museum catalogues published in the last fifty years.

‘Don, in his own turn, supported and encouraged younger colleagues, as many of us know at first hand.  My own debt to him as a scholar is infinite, and his immense knowledge was always at the disposal of anyone who asked.  He believed that knowledge should be shared freely.

‘From the mid-1970s he regularly took part in fieldwork in Libya, Greece, Italy and, above all, in Egypt — including the British Museum’s work at El Ashmunein in the 1980s, the 1990s excavations at Mons Porphyrites and field-survey work carried out in the Fayum. He soon became recognised as one of the leading scholars in the formerly somewhat neglected field of Romano-Egyptian archaeology. His expertise included not only ceramic studies, including lamps and terracottas, but also many other aspects of classical art and architecture in Egypt and elsewhere. His final publication, a report on the pottery from several seasons of field-survey work in the Faiyum oasis in Egypt by a German papyrologist, Cornelia Römer, is due to be published later this year.

‘His achievements were recognised within the museum by his promotion into curatorial grades that were not normally open to non-graduates, but in 1992, he actually became a graduate when he was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree, based on examination of his formidable body of published work. He owed the impetus to submit work for that DLitt to our friend Bill Manning. He was also deeply gratified by the Festschrift presented jointly to him and me by our colleagues in 2005. He was so modest that any reminder of the esteem in which he was held always came as a delightful surprise to him.’

Catherine Johns

(This last obituary originally appeared in no 326 of SALON, the Society of Antiquaries of London's online newsletter, and the editor of SALON, Christopher Catling, is very happy for us to use it.)

Hans Ulrich Nuber (13.11.1940 - 28.07.2014)

Hans Ulrich Nuber

Am 28. Juli 2014 verstarb nach kurzer schwerer Krankheit mit nur 73 Jahren der international bekannte und renommierte provinzialrömische Archäologe Prof. Dr. Hans Ulrich Nuber in Freiburg im Breisgau. Nuber vertrat bis zu seiner Pensionierung im Jahre 2008 über 30 Jahre lang den Lehrstuhl für Provinzialrömische Archäologie an der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg. In dieser Zeit gelang es ihm, die Abteilung zu einem wichtigen Institut für die Erforschung der Römerzeit in den Nordwestprovinzen aufzubauen. Für die Landesarchäologie bedeutend sind unter anderem die unter seiner Leitung und in enger Abstimmung mit der Landesdenkmalpflege durchgeführten Ausgrabungen in Walldürn-Reinhardsachsen, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Sontheim a.d. Brenz, Heitersheim, Badenweiler oder Breisach am Rhein. Für die Öffentlichkeit sind die Früchte seiner Tätigkeit nicht nur in zahlreichen Publikationen, sondern auch in musealen Freilichtanlagen an fast allen seinen Grabungsorten fassbar, vor allem aber in der Villa urbana von Heitersheim, die ihm besonders am Herzen lag.

Bei vielen Vorlesungen, Seminaren, Exkursionen und Vorträgen gelang es Nuber, sowohl Studierende als auch interessierte Laien für die provinzial-römische Archäologie zu begeistern. Groß ist daher auch die Zahl der von ihm betreuten universitären Abschlussarbeiten; in über 50 wurden römische Siedlungsplätze im Land oder von dort stammendes Fundmaterial aufgearbeitet. Viele seiner
ehemaligen Schüler bekleiden heute Stellen in der Landesdenkmalpflege, in Museen oder an Universitäten in und außerhalb Baden-Württembergs.
Nuber wirkte darüber hinaus viele Jahre als Vorsitzender des Alemannischen Instituts in Freiburg und als stellvertretender Vorsitzender des Förderkreises Archäologie in Baden; beide Ehrenämter hat er mit viel Kompetenz, Leidenschaft und Umsicht ausgeführt.

Mit Nuber verliert die Römerforschung einen vielseitig gebildeten Fachmann, dessen Tod einen sehr großen Verlust an Wissen und Fürsprache bedeutet.

Marcus G. Meyer/ Klaus Kortüm

aus: Denkmalpflege in Baden-Württemberg 4, 2014, 279.


Hans Ulrich Nuber war langjähriges Mitglied des Förderkreises Archäologie in Baden e.V. Seit 2006 lenkte er als stellvertretender Vorsitzender maßgeblich die Geschicke der Archäologie im badischen Landesteil. Er hat mit viel Kompetenz und Engagement dieses Ehrenamt ausgefüllt und gleichzeitig innovative Impulse gesetzt.

In Schwerin/Mecklenburg geboren, verbrachte Nuber Kindheit und Jugend in Schwäbisch Gmünd, was ihn von klein auf mit den archäologischen Hinterlassenschaften der römischen Welt in Berührung brachte. Nach dem Wehrdienst nahm er 1962 in Frankfurt am Main zunächst das Studium der Betriebswirtschaft auf, das bereits im darauf folgenden Jahr zugunsten eines Promotionsstudiengangs in Provinzialrömischer Archäologie, Alter Geschichte, Klassischer Archäologie und Vor- und Frühgeschichte eingetauscht wurde. Nach einem Studienaufenthalt in München, wo Nuber seine spätere Frau Elisabeth kennen lernte, kehrte er nach Frankfurt zurück, wo er 1968 von Aladár Radnóti über „Kanne und Griffschale“ promoviert wurde. Eine Arbeit auf dem Feld der antiken Toreutik, die ihn als fundierten Kenner dieser Materialgattung auswies und bis heute als Grundlagenforschung anerkannt ist. Als wissenschaftlicher Assistent in Frankfurt mit zusätzlichen Lehraufträgen in Heidelberg wurde er 1972 zum Professor ernannt, und folgte zum Wintersemester 1978/79 einem Ruf an die Albert-Ludwigs-Universität nach Freiburg.

Hier übernahm Nuber die Leitung der Abteilung für Provinzialrömische Archäologie, die er bis zu seiner Emeritierung 2008 exakt 30 Jahre lang innehatte. Diese drei Dezennien waren geprägt von verschiedenartigen, langjährigen archäologischen Großgrabungen im In- und Ausland, welche der umfassenden Erforschung von Militärlagern, Kur- und Heilbädern, einer Straßenstation und einem bislang einzigartigen Siedlungsplatz im Rechtsrheinischen dienten. Seine Leidenschaft für effizient betriebene Feldarchäologie wirkte ansteckend auf alle seine Schülerinnen und Schüler, die oftmals bei ihren Berufsstart unter Beweis stellen konnten, „vom Nuber das Graben gelernt“ zu haben. Die über Drittmittel geförderten Ausgrabungen verhalfen zudem, die provinzialrömische Abteilungsbibliothek aufzubauen und hervorragend auszustatten, was dem Alleinstellungsmerkmal seines Faches im universitären Baden-Württemberg geschuldet war.

Das archäologische Wirken Nubers ist vielerorts an obertägig sichtbar gemachten Kulturdenkmalen erlebbar. Die wohl weithin am besten bekannte Einrichtung stellt das ‚Römermuseum Villa urbana’ in Heitersheim dar, das neben didaktischen Lehrangeboten für Studierende der Provinzialrömischen Archäologie auch ein historisch geprägtes Freizeitangebot für das gesamte Markgräflerland bietet. Nubers Verdienste in diesem seit 20 Jahren betriebenem Forschungsprojekt würdigte die Stadt Heitersheim anlässlich ihres 200jährigen Stadtjubiläums mit der Errichtung einer „Amorsäule“, auf der sein Namen aufgeführt ist.

Nubers Wissensdurst zeigte sich auf seinen legendären Exkursionen, die von den schottischen Highlands bis in die libysche Wüste führten. Von dieser Reisefreudigkeit profitierten auch die Mitglieder des Förderkreises Archäologie in Baden, die er noch vor einem Jahr auf den Spuren Kaiser Caracallas an die Donau führte. Er schaffte sich so über den Kreis der universitären Absolventinnen und Absolventen eine Klientel, die seine Dynamik, seinen Wissensdurst und seine Fähigkeit archäologisch komplizierte Zusammenhänge leicht verständlich auch Nicht-Archäologen zu vermitteln, sehr vermissen wird.

Sein Tod hat uns tief getroffen. Der Förderkreis Archäologe in Baden würdigt die Verdienste des Verstorbenen um die Archäologie in Baden und wird Hans Ulrich Nuber in dankbarer Erinnerung behalten.

Dr. Bianca Lang
Dr. Renate Ludwig


Vgl. auch G. Seitz, Archäologe, Ausgräber und Vermittler. Zum Gedenken an Prof. Dr. Hans Ulrich Nuber, in: Archäologische Nachrichten aus Baden Heft 88/89, 2014, 68-70 (mit einer Liste weiterer Nachrufe am Ende).

Ingeborg Huld-Zetsche (11.10.1934 – 18.10.2013)

Zetsche-mit-Roth-Rubi  Huld-Zetsche-mit-Lampe

Ingeborg Huld-Zetsche,
discussing a Sigillata sherd with Katrin Roth-Rubi (1)
and showing a lamp (2)
(Photos from Manuel Thomas)

Ingeborg Huld-Zetsche wurde am 11. Oktober 1934 in Berlin geboren. Diese Herkunft spiegelte sich auch nach den vielen Jahrzehnten, die sie im hessischen Frankfurt lebte, noch deutlich, nicht nur in ihrem Akzent. Immer war sie direkt heraus, nahm kein Blatt vor den Mund, wirkte dadurch manchmal schroff und abweisend. Wer sie nicht kannte, war von dieser direkten Art oft erst einmal irritiert; doch bald merkte man, dass sie stets offen und interessiert war und keine Dünkel kannte. Mit großer Begeisterung berichtete sie uns von ihren Projekten, denen sie sich mit Hingabe widmete.

Ihre Studienzeit führte sie u.a. nach Freiburg und Zürich; an der Universität Mainz wurde sie dann 1968 bei Hans Klumbach und Rafael von Uslar mit einem Thema promoviert, das sie die nächsten Jahrzehnte über begleiten sollte: die Reliefsigillata aus den Werkstätten von Trier. Materialstudien führten sie dazu natürlich nach Trier, auf die Saalburg, aber wohl auch in fast jede Sammlung im Verbreitungsgebiet dieser Ware. So trug sie nicht nur eine große Materialsammlung zur Trierer und zu verwandten Produktionen zusammen, sondern wurde auch wie niemand anderer mit dieser Keramik vertraut. Die Fülle des Material war so groß, dass sie in ihrer Dissertation „Trierer Reliefsigillata, Werkstatt I“, die 1972 als Heft 9 der Materialen zur römisch-germanischen Keramik erschien, nur einen Teil davon vorlegen konnte. Dieser Band war und ist grundlegend für die Beschäftigung mit dieser Ware. Gut zwei Jahrzehnte später erschien dann in der gleichen Reihe, als Heft 12, ihre Bearbeitung der „Werkstatt II“. Pläne zur Aufarbeitung der jüngeren Trierer Werkstätten, die sie mit großem Einsatz vorantrieb, konnten leider nicht verwirklicht werden. Doch publizierte sie zahlreiche Aufsätze auch zu anderen ostgallischen Sigillata-Manufakturen im Umkreis der Trierer Werkstätten.

All dies geschah sozusagen im Nebenberuf. Denn im Oktober 1972 trat Ingeborg Huld-Zetsche eine Stelle am Frankfurter Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte an, deren umfang-reiche römische Abteilung, basierend auf den Funden aus der römischen Siedlung Nida im Frankfurter Stadtteil Heddernheim, mit ihr erstmals von einer Fachwissenschaftlerin betreut wurde. Bis zu ihrer Pensionierung blieb sie Leiterin dieser Abteilung und nahm zudem von 1980 bis 1992 die Stellvertretung des Direktors wahr.

Bei ihrem Amtsantritt hatte sich die Stadtarchäologie zwar bereits unter der Leitung von Ulrich Fischer etabliert, aber an eine angemessene Archivierung und Präsentation der Befunde aus langjähriger Grabungstätigkeit war im Holzhausen-Schlösschen, dem damaligen Sitz des Museums, nicht zu denken. Dazu kam, dass die Magazinbestände nach den Zerstörungen des Krieges auf mehrere Stationen im Stadtgebiet verteilt waren. Für die große römische Abteilung hatte man eine Unterkunft im Souterrain eines Mietshauses gefunden! Wer diese finsteren Räumlichkeiten, vollgestellt mit Regalen und Arbeitstischen, je besucht hat, konnte Frau Zetsche nur bewundern, die sich natürlich, wie es ihre Art war, von diesen Umständen nicht von der Arbeit abhalten ließ. Erst einmal ging es vor allem darum, die umfangreichen römischen Bestände, die in dieser Örtlichkeit „Hinter der Schönen Aussicht“ (sic!) versammelt waren, zu sichten, zu ordnen und zu inventarisieren. Neben den bis weit ins 19. Jahrhundert zurück reichenden Altbeständen stammten die Funde zum einen aus den Altgrabungen Georg Wolffs und Karl Woelckes, vor allem aber aus den Plangrabungen Ulrich Fischers, zum anderen von privater Seite. Denn bei Planung und Bau der „Nordweststadt“ in Heddernheim hatte die Stadtregierung keine Rücksicht auf die antike Substanz der Römerstadt Nida genommen, die dabei, oft unbeobachtet, fast vollständig zerstört wurde. Frau Zetsche ging in penibler Kleinarbeit daran, eine Sachkartei verschiedener Materialgruppen zu erstellen, die sich für spätere Bearbeitungen als sehr nützlich erweisen sollte. Hier wurde die Basis für eine wissenschaftliche Bearbeitung und Vorlage der Gläser, der Terrakotten, der Wetterauer Ware, der Beinfunde, der Bronzen und der Steindenkmäler gelegt. Und so stand Frau Zetsche einer ganzen Reihe von jungen Forschern zur Seite, die über Material aus Nida ihre Magisterarbeiten und Dissertationen verfassten (Elisabeth Rüger, Vera Rupp, Jürgen Obmann, Susanne Biegert, Markus Scholz, Lydia Berta). Außerdem oblag ihr die redaktionelle Betreuung zahlreicher Publikationen, die das Museum während ihrer Amtszeit herausgab. Sie selbst verfasste 1994 eine zusammenfassende Stadtgeschichte von Nida, nachdem sie unter Mitarbeit von Vera Rupp bereits 1988 einen „Gesamtplan des römischen Areals in Frankfurt am Main-Heddernheim und Praunheim erstellt hatte.

Bereits 1976 trug ihre Archivarbeit mit der Ausstellung „Nida -Heddernheim“ Früchte, in der zum ersten Mal, wenn auch auf begrenzter Fläche, im Frankfurter Deutschordenshaus ein Überblick über Funde und Befunde aus Nida angeboten werden konnte. Damit war auch die Gliederung einer zukünftigen römischen Abteilung erstellt, die schließlich 1989 realisiert wurde, als das Museum endlich ein neues, festes Domizil im Karmeliterkloster erhielt. Während Verwaltung und Depot in ein neu errichtetes Gebäude zogen, wurden die römischen, prähistorischen und frühmittelalterlichen Funde im gotischen Kirchenraum präsentiert. Geprägt war und ist dieses Konzept der Dauerausstellung vom „Freskenraum“, in dem nach einem langjährigen Restaurierungsprojekt die Wandmalerei eines römischen Zimmers wieder-hergestellt wurde, sowie von den zahlreichen Steindenkmälern – allen voran Weihesteine für Mithras und mehrere Jupitersäulen – aus Nida. Ihnen galt Frau Zetsches besonderes Augenmerk: waren diese zuvor auf mehreren Lagerorte in Frankfurt verteilt und z.T. Wind und Wetter ausgesetzt, gelang es ihr, sie 1981/82 in einer alten Fabrikhalle alle unter einem Dach zu versammeln. Dort konnte 1984 auch eine Werkstatt für einen Steinrestaurator ein-gerichtet werden, der sich seit dieser Zeit um den reichen Bestand konservatorisch kümmern kann und die wichtigsten Denkmäler für die Dauerausstellung restauratorisch vorbereitet.
Ausgehend von den bedeutenden Mithrasdenkmälern aus Nida entwickelte Frau Zetsche eine besondere Leidenschaft für den Mithraskult. Die bunt bemalte Kopie des drehbaren Kultbildes aus dem Mithräum I von Nida geht auf ihre intensive Auseinandersetzung mit der Materie zurück, die 1998 mit der von ihr angeregten Übersetzung der Publikation von David Ulansey „The Origins oft the Mithraic Mysteries“ einen vorläufigen Höhepunkt fand. Noch während ihres Ruhestandes ließ sie das Thema nicht los und so konnte sie 2008 ihre Arbeit über das Mithräum am Ballplatz und den Mithraskult in Mainz vorlegen.

Auch ihr letztes Projekt hatte seine Wurzeln in Funden aus dem Frankfurter Stadtgebiet: die Produktion von „Wetterauer Lampen“ in der römischen Töpferei von Frankfurt-Nied. Hierfür trug sie auf vielen Reisen und mit der Unterstützung von vielen mit ihr verbundenen Kollegen eine umfangreiche Materialsammlung zusammen. Leider hinderte ihre Erkrankung sie daran, diese Untersuchung selbst abzuschließen. „Ihr“ Museum kümmerte sich darum, dass das unfertige Manuskript bearbeitet und für den Druck vorbereitet wurde; es ist, leider erst nach ihrem Tod, im Frühjahr 2014 erschienen.

Wir verlieren mit Ingeborg Huld-Zetsche eine engagierte und inspirierende Kollegin, deren zahlreiche Publikationen auch in Zukunft weiter wirken werden.

Peter Fasold / Pia Eschbaumer

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Aurel Dan Isac (18.7.1946 - 24.7.2013)

Aurel Dan Isac
Aurel Dan Isac


The archaeological community in Romania deeply regrets the premature death of Professor Dan Isac, on July 24, 2013. He was only 67 years old.
An acknowledged specialist in the field of military history and Roman pottery in Dacia, Dan Isac was one of the most important representatives of Roman provincial archaeology in Romania.

Dan Isac was born on June 18th 1946 in Cluj, where in 1969 he graduated from the Archaeology Department of the History Faculty, “Babeş-Bolyai” University. In the same year he started his academic career at the university, reaching the position of lecturer in the Ancient History and Archaeology Department of the Alma Mater Napocensis. In 1985 he defended his doctoral dissertation entitled Terra sigillata din Dacia romană [Terra sigillata in Roman Dacia]at the “Babeş-Bolyai” University, the only work of synthesis on the imports and local production of luxury pottery in the province.
His teaching activity included courses on Roman provincial archaeology, with a special interest in the history of the Roman army, the planimetry and archaeology of Roman forts, but also Roman pottery, religion, and provincial art. He published significant works on these topics, in which he employed the results of the archaeological excavations he coordinated, until his death, in the auxiliary forts from Gilău and Căşeiu (Cluj County). Among his books one can mention Die Kohorten- und Alenkastelle von Gilău (Zalău 1997); Viaţă cotidiană în castrele Daciei Porolissensis [Daily Life in the Forts of Dacia Porolissensis] (Cluj-Napoca 2001); Castrul roman de la SAMVM – Căşeiu. The Roman Auxiliary Fort SAMVM – Căşeiu (Cluj-Napoca 2003). He also published studies and articles in prestigious foreign periodicals, focusing on the above mentioned fields of study, but also on Roman pottery in Dacia. He became member of the Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores in 1994, taking part in some of the international congresses organized by the institution.

Professor Dan Isac intended to publish his conclusions on many of his field researches and on discovered artifacts (mainly terra sigillata) during the subsequent years, but his premature death prevented him from reaching his goal. We deeply regret his loss.

Dr. Viorica Rusu-Bolindeţ
National History Museum of Transylvania
Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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Alexandru Suceveanu (11.3.1940 - 23.5.2013)

Alexandru Suceveanu
Alexandru Suceveanu


Professor Alexandru Suceveanu died during the first months of 2013, aged only 73.
Classicist by formation, he made a fundamental contribution to the development of the classical archaeology of Scythia Minor, being its foremost representative.

Alexandru Suceveanu was born on March 11 1940, in Bucharest. He graduated in 1961 from the University of Bucharest, college of Philology, department of classical languages. From 1965, he worked as a researcher at the “Vasile Pârvan” Institute of Archaeology (subordinated to the Romanian Academy), until 2010, when he retired. During 1997 and 2004 he was deputy manager of the mentioned institute. He was in charge of the excavations at Histria for 20 years (1990–2010) and led the excavations that uncovered the rural settlement of Fântânele (Constanţa county) (1973–1983) and the Roman fortification of Halmyris (Murighiol, Tulcea county) (1981–1992). He was associate professor of the History Faculty at Bucharest University, of the Academy for the Study of Culture and Religions and of the History Faculty at the “Ovidius” University of Constanţa. He was the chairman of the National Archaeological Commission (under the direction of the Ministry of Culture) for several years. He was a member of the Association Internationale pour l’Epigraphie Grecque et Latine (since 1993), of the International Association for the Study of the Ancient Baths (since 1995) and of the DAI (corresponding member since 1999).
His scientific work is diverse, being focused on publishing the monographs of the excavated sites, as well as on various matters of interest. Thus, his PhD thesis Viaţa economică în Dobrogea romană. Secolele I-III e.n. [Economic life in Roman Dobrogea. 1st-3rd centuries] (Bucharest 1977) came as the first synthesis regarding the economic relations of the Greek cities and of the whole western shore of the Black Sea, during the early Roman period. To Histria, the site that was entangled with his whole professional and even personal life, he dedicated 3 monographs: Histria VI. Les thermes romaines (Bucharest – Paris 1982); Histria X. La céramique romaine des Ier-IIIe siècles ap. J.-C. (Bucharest 2000); Histria XIII. La basilique épiscopale (Bucharest 2007). He also published monographs on Fântânele – Fântânele. Contribuţii la studiul vieţii rurale în Dobrogea romană [Fântânele. Contributions to the study of rural life in Roman Dobrogea] (Bucharest 1998) and Halmyris – Halmyris. Monografie arheologică I [Halmyris. Archaeological monograph I] (Cluj-Napoca 2003). Other research interests were connected to urbanism, administrative organization, political history of the Roman cities on the shore of the Black Sea during the early Roman period, epigraphy, Roman pottery. He became a member of RCRF in 1994, during the Congress that took place in Timişoara.

But most of all, Professor Alexandru Suceveanu gathered around him many young specialists, training them in the fields of classical archaeology and epigraphy, sharing his dedication and passion with them. All that knew him and grew around him are deeply touched by his untimely loss. Sit tibi terra levis, Magistre!

Dr. Viorica Rusu-Bolindeţ
National History Museum of Transylvania
Regional Museum of Kranj, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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Iva Mikl Curk (1935-2013)

Iva Curk
Iva Mikl Curk


We have lost Iva Mikl Curk, who joined our society in 1962 and remained a member until a few years ago. She was a well-known specialist in Roman ceramics and dedicated herself especially to the pottery of her Slovenian homeland.

She achieved her diploma in 1957 and graduated in 1964 in Ljubljana; from 1965 onwards she worked in the Slovenian Department for Historic Monuments, then as a curator in the Pokrajinski muzej Ptuj. She was the organizer of the 9th Congress of the RCRF, held in Ljubljana in 1973. She was also highly active in ICOMOS (The International Council on Museums and Sites): she was the last President of the branch in Yugoslavia and then negotiated equal status for a new branch in Slovenia. Among her best known publications are "Terra sigillata in sorodne vrste keramike iz Poetovione" (Beograd/Ljubljana 1969), and "Poetovio I" (Ljubljana 1976). More recent publications included a useful handbook on Roman pottery in Slovenia ("Rimska lončena posoda na Slovenskem" [Ljubljana 1987]) and (with S. Ciglinečki and D. Vuga) an illustrated guide ("Po poteh rimskih vojakov v Sloveniji/In the Footsteps of Roman Soldiers in Slovenia" [Ljubljana 1993]).

Dr. Pia Eschbaumer
Fautores Secretary


Dr. Iva Mikl Curk was born into a Ljubljana middle class family and received a classical education. She belonged to one of the first post-war generations of archaeologists who completed their studies at the Archaeology Department of the University of Ljubljana. Iva introduced into archaeology a broad holistic view of the cultural heritage, which is very relevant today, and applied it in her excavations, topographic work, research into the material culture and in conservation. She led numerous excavations and carried out extensive topographic surveys, most importantly in the town of Ptuj and its surroundings. Moreover, she was the first in Slovenia to include modern geophysical research in archaeological excavations, in Vrhnika.

Iva published a great many studies on river and road transport routes, the economy, topography and urbanism. Sometimes her findings were included in the international ICOMOS conventions. Just before the break up of Yugoslavia, as a leading conservationist, she became the president of the Yugoslav ICOMOS committee. After Slovenia’s independence she used her reputation and personally intervened to facilitate the founding of the Slovene ICOMOS committee.

In spite of all this, Iva remained foremost a researcher into the Roman period. During her first employment in Ptuj she produced her fundamental study – the doctoral thesis Terra sigillata and Similar Types of Ceramics from Poetovio, which was published in Vukovar in 1969. The study was the result of Iva’s organisation and revision of an extensive museum collection and her inventory of the older archaeological material in the depositories. During that time she also carried out some excavations in Ptuj, as well as a thorough topographic survey of the town and its surroundings. For the rest of her life this work remained the fundamental source of all her scientific findings about Poetovio and enabled her to fully understand the importance of the hinterland and economic sources for a Roman town. Her great familiarity with the Roman army, the related economy and trade was based on this knowledge, which she conscientiously kept updating throughout her life. Her studies on the economic importance of the Ptuj plain for the appearance of a legionary fortress in Poetovio serve as a valuable foundation for further research.

For many years, Iva was a member of the RCRF and in 1973, together with Ljudmila Plesničar Gec, she organised a well-received conference in Ljubljana. She was friendly with many eminent RCRF members, such as Eva Bónis, Olga Brukner and Clara Poczy, to mention but a few. Iva was renowned as a good listener and for her critical thinking, as well as for holding confident discussions with what are today legendary experts, such as the cosmopolitan Howard Comfort, the renowned Maria Schindler, the friendly but very meticulous Elisabeth Ettlinger, the always jokey Hans-Jörg Kellner, the critical Collet Bémont and other authors of the studies about Roman ceramics that still constitute the very foundations of this field. Iva’s articles on ceramics, published in the RCRF’s Acta, Arheološki vestnik and elsewhere, showed her original approach, in which her exceptional familiarity with the area and her research intuition really came to the fore. In contrast to the established typological and strictly chronological approach, she treated ceramics from a wider viewpoint, taking into account the context of the place of origin and a deeper understanding of the Roman political economy. Needless to say, her great familiarity with all the Slovenian sites and studies, which she learned about through her everyday work as the head of the cultural heritage team at the Institute of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia for the Protection of the Natural and Cultural Heritage in Ljubljana, was of particular value in all this. In spite of the pioneering work Iva carried out with regard to research into the terra sigillata, her name cannot be found among the Conspectus group of authors. Different opinions are not always desired and all too often knowledge is a concealed form of power. Iva knew this very well from her local situation and she followed with dignity the path that was to a large extent dictated (to us) by the then social and political situation. As a very knowledgeable expert about the classical world, she knew that power remains a constant, only its forms change. But a wise person always seeks ways of enacting the Good.

Dr. Iva Curk dedicated a great proportion of her professional efforts to the preservation of archaeological heritage, which was beginning to be irretrievably eaten away by the accelerated economic growth of the 1970s and later, and the industrial, construction and agricultural interventions this growth involved. With her extensive professional knowledge and great wisdom she dedicated herself to issues relating to the inclusion of archaeological monuments in the urban environment. The numerous examples of good practice in Ljubljana, Kranj, Ajdovščina, Hrušica, etc. are a direct and indirect result of her wide understanding of the archaeological field as an important social force.
With Iva’s departure many doors have been closed to the remote past and to what is perhaps the even more valuable recent past, which helps us understand not only heritage policies, but also our complicated modern society. We have lost an expert who was extremely knowledgeable about the Roman period, a renowned conservator with an international reputation and an honorary Icomos member. A Vesta of the Slovenian archaeological heritage has departed. We wish to express to her our most heartfelt gratitude.

Dr. Verena Perko
Regional Museum of Kranj; University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
28 October 2013

Iva Mikl Curk
Iva Mikl Curk


Iva Mikl Curk, PhD (1935–2013), archaeologist and conservationist

With no small amount of sadness, we report that Iva Mikl Curk, PhD (1935-2013), archaeologist and conservator, organizer and senior advisor, an honorary member of the ICOMOS/SI association has left the ranks of Slovene conservators. She was a true professional, who was extremely knowledgeable on a broad range of subjects, chief amongst which was archaeology. Many high-profile projects and restorations were brought to the fore by her keen instincts, which she also used to bring the traps of careless modern development that prey on heritage and conservator alike, to the fore. Her sizeable bibliography offers plenty of proof of her commitment to Slovenian immovable, movable and spiritual heritage.

(Roman) antiquity was her main and biggest passion, especially the archaeological, historical and urban heritage of Ptuj/Poetovio. During the current interventions into the Dominican monastery and its lapidarium, she addressed her colleagues with an analytical letter, thoroughly thought out, with a clearly expressed personal view, in which she called for conscientious conduct that is mindful of the future.
She was the last president of the ICOMOS NC in former Yugoslavia and endeavoured to maintain the international connections she had fostered during her work, which is why she attended the ICOMOS general assembly at Sri Lanka in 1993 and paved the road for the acceptance of the Slovenian ICOMOS as an equal member of the national committees. This was realized under new leadership the following year.
With her status as an honorary member of the Slovenian ICOMOS, she constructively followed the workings of the NGO and its members, being overjoyed by any and all of the assorted successes of the organization and its colleagues, whether at home or abroad.
To the intellectual that unceasingly strived to perfect and broaden her knowledge, who, despite her illness, still managed to meet with her colleagues and discuss various matters, we declare our gratitude for her work and commit her name to memory as an indelible part of the Slovenian cultural sphere.

Ljubljana, February 2013

Jovo Grobovšek

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Elisabeth Ettlinger (14.7.1915 - 21.3.2012)

Elissabeth Ettlinger
Elisabeth Ettlinger


Europaweit gibt es wohl kaum Forschende und Studierende der Römischen Archäologie, denen der Name Elisabeth Ettlinger unbekannt ist. Generationen umspannend hat sie während ihrer fast 60-jährigen Tätigkeit in Forschung und Lehre Meilensteine gesetzt und damit Wege vorgespurt, die noch heute – weiter ausgebaut und verzweigter – die Forschungslandschaft prägen und über ihren Tod am 21. März 2012 hinaus prägen werden.

In Breslau und Berlin aufgewachsen, studierte sie nach der Emigration aus dem nationalsozialistischen Deutschland in Basel Klassische Archäologie, Alte Geschichte und Kunstgeschichte. Schon früh konzentrierte sie sich aber mit Unterstützung der Professoren Rudolf Laur-Belart und Emil Vogt, Leiter der ur- und frühgeschichtlichen Seminare der Universitäten in Basel und Zürich, auf die Bodenquellen der provinzialrömischen Archäologie. Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs promovierte sie in Basel (1942) mit einer  Arbeit über die Keramik der Augster Thermen. Nur wenige Jahre später (1952) erschien ihr Werk über die Keramik aus dem Schutthügel von Vindonissa, in der sie mit Statistiken und Horizontalstratigraphie zu heute immer noch gültigen Ergebnissen der Chronologie gelangte, und auf die sie – als 83-Jährige – in ihrem letzten, 1998 publizierten Artikel, nochmals zurückgriff. Als 1950 an der Universität Bern das Seminar für Urgeschichte gegründet wurde, dessen erster Leiter Professor Hans-Georg Bandi war, intensivierten sich die Kontakte zu Bern. 1952 begann Elisabeth Ettlinger mit der finanziellen Unterstützung des SNF mit der Bearbeitung des Fundmaterials der keltisch-römischen Siedlung auf der Engehalbinsel bei Bern. Ihren internationalen Ruf begründete sie 1957 als spiritus rector bei der Gründung der Rei Cretariae Fautores, der internationalen Vereinigung zur Erforschung römischer Keramik. Ihre Studien zu den Fibeln, höchst aussagekräftigen Bestandteilen der Kleidung in römischer Zeit, führten zu einer Studieneinladung nach Amerika. «Es wäre ein grosser Vorteil für unsere Universität, wenn wir sie gewinnen könnten», schrieb 1964 der damalige Dekan an den Berner Regierungsrat. Die beiden damaligen Berner Professoren Hans-Georg Bandi, Urgeschichte, und Hans Jucker, Klassische Archäologie, hatten sich bei der Fakultät für einen mehrjährigen Lehrauftrag für Elisabeth Ettlinger eingesetzt. Damit war der Grundstein für das Fach «Archäologie der Römischen Provinzen» an der Universität Bern, der einzigen deutschschweizerischen Universität, an der heute dieses Fach als eigene Disziplin studiert werden kann, gelegt.
1969 habilitierte sich Elisabeth Ettlinger bei Professor Bandi, ein Jahr später wurde sie zur ausserordentlichen Professorin ernannt. Doch noch weit über ihren Ruhestand im Jahre 1977 hinaus blieb sie für fast drei Generationen von Studierenden und Forschenden wissenschaftlicher Angelpunkt in einem weitgespannten Netzwerk.

Prof. Christa Ebnöther
Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften
der Universität Bern

Elisabeth Ettlinger und Howard Comfort
Elisabeth Ettlinger and Howard Comfort
at Le Rozier, Millau congress 1980

Philip Kenrick

Elisabeth Ettlinger: a personal recollection

Others have written, or surely will write, full academic accounts of Elisabeth Ettlinger and her contribution to Roman archaeology. Since these are likely to be in German, a very brief résumé in English may not, however, be out of place.

            Elisabeth was born on 14 July 1915 (Bastille Day, as she often pointed out) in Breslau, into an academic family. Being of Jewish descent, her family (by then living in Berlin) felt obliged in 1935 to leave Germany for Zürich, where she took up the study of archaeology. She completed her doctorate in 1942; this was published in 1949 as Die Keramik der Augster Thermen and was followed in 1952 by her still-important work on the Roman pottery from the Schutthügel at Vindonissa. Her other major monographs were Die römischen Fibeln in der Schweiz (1972) and Die italische Sigillata von Novaesium (1983). Having married her husband Leopold (a botanist) in 1940, her research was combined with the demands of bringing up their two children, Peter and Michael. In 1964, after a visiting fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, she obtained a teaching post in Roman provincial archaeology at the University of Bern; she was promoted to the position of Professor in 1970 and taught there until her retirement in 1977. Upon the occasion of her retirement, the RCRF reprinted a collection of her Kleine Schriften: Keramik as its second volume in the collection of Acta Supplementa, but she continued to study and to publish until 1998. She and her husband remained in Zürich (where he taught and researched at the ETH – the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) until his death in 2008. By then very frail, Elisabeth spent her last years in a nursing home until she too died in March 2012.
The part played by Elisabeth, together with Howard Comfort, in the foundation of the RCRF is well known. It is fully set out, together with her own reminiscences, in Communicationes 39 (1997) 58–67. She was Secretary of the association from 1957 to 1966, and President from 1971 to 1980. I met her for the first time myself at the Augst congress in 1975 and was immediately encouraged by her warmth and generosity (also by her excellent English, as I have always struggled with German!). When we next met, at Metz/Nancy in 1977 I was composing the text of my doctoral thesis on the fine wares from Benghazi and I asked her if she would look at what I had written about the Italian Sigillata. The relevant section was by no means short, but she invited me to sit with her on the coach on one of the excursions, and for that period I had her full attention and interest, which was of enormous value. (I was studying in Oxford and my supervisor, an expert on Greek sculpture, was in no position to give me such informed guidance.)
            In 1986, Howard Comfort proposed at the Worms congress a table-ronde to discuss the compilation of a new typology for Italian Sigillata, and out of this grew the Conspectus formarum terrae sigilatae italico modo confectae, published in 1990. There were seven of us at the heart of this project; while Siegmar von Schnurbein of the Römisch-Germanische Kommission in Frankfurt became responsible for the mechanics of publication, this really was a collegial effort between equals and one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things that I have ever done. We divided up the tasks between us, prepared our texts and then sent them to one another for consideration. Every six to nine months, we would meet for a working week-end, discuss and dissect everything that had been written and so move forward to the next stage. Elisabeth was our senior member and it is a happy chance that by alphabetical priority the work is often referred to as “Ettlinger et al. 1990.”
            When the Conspectus was presented at the Pavia congress in 1990, the question was raised as to what would become of the proposed supplement to the Oxé-Comfort catalogue of stamps on Italian Sigillata, which Howard Comfort had been working on for so many years. I was not in archaeological (or secure) employment at the time and it was suggested that I should take on the responsibility of completing it. I was agreeable to this, and so was Howard, but it was evident that it would be a major task for which a five-year research post would need to be funded. Once again, Elisabeth (and others) plunged into this with zeal: funding was secured from a wide variety of sources (including the Ceramica Stiftung of Basel and the Swiss Academy of Sciences) and the project went ahead, resulting in 2000 in the second edition of the Oxé–Comfort catalogue.
            Elisabeth was a scholar of great kindness and generosity, and her impact upon the scholarly community and her chosen field of study will long be felt; she and her husband Leopold had fallen in love at first sight and evidently remained so throughout their lives. He too was a gentle and cultured person and a visit to their home in Zürich was always an enjoyable and affirming experience. When I last visited them there on the occasion of Elisabeth’s ninetieth birthday, a friend remarked (with some justice) that they were not unlike the elderly Philemon and Baucis in Ovid’s fable. Elisabeth last attended one of our congresses in 1990 and will not, therefore, have been known to our more recent members; there will be many, however, who will remember her with great affection.

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Giovanna Bermond Montanari (26.1.1924 - 25.11.2011)

Giovanna Bermond Montanari
 Giovanna Bermond Montanari

An obituary notice may be found

on the website of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Emilia-Romagna at


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Alexandru Matei (23.11.1950 - 4.9.2010)

Alexandru Matei       Alexandru Matei.  Lyon 2000


The following words are written under the strong impression left by the early disappearance of the archaeologist and friend Alexandru V. Matei. His extraordinary lust for life (even if he was suffering of a severe heart disease) never made anyone around him suspect that he won’t overcome his 60th anniversary. Still, the inevitable happened and Alexandru was not able to enjoy the celebrations prepared in his honour with the occasion of reaching such a fine age and the highest point of a successful professional career.

Alexandru V. Matei graduated in 1973 the History and Philosophy Faculty belonging to the “Babeş-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, with a specialisation in classical archaeology. After graduating he began his career at the History and Art County Museum, Zalău where he served as an archaeologist his entire life, out of which more than 20 years as director of the institution (1983-2000, 2008-2010). He earned his PhD in ancient history and archaeology at “Babeş-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca in 1999 with the thesis: Dacians and Romans in the north-western part of Dacia: the result of more than 25 years of archaeological research in this region. He was a member of the National Archaeological Commission (2000-2003) and vice-president of the North-Western Regional Commission belonging to the National Commission of Historical Monuments (2003-2010).

At an international level, Alexandru V. Matei (known in his circle of friend as Mateo) was member of the international association Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores starting with 1994, when the 19th RCRF Congress was organized by Prof. Doina Benea at Timişoara. Ever since, together with Alexandru V. Matei, we started a close friendship with some of the personalities of the association: Jan K. Haalebos, Tineke B. Volkers (Netherlands), Vivien Swan, Philip Kenrick (United Kingdom), Susanne Zabehlicky-Scheffenegger (Austria), Archer Martin, Eric de Sena (Italy) etc., friendship which continued over the years and was also materialized on scientific grounds, through common international projects. He took part sequentially at the RCRF Congresses from Newcastle, United Kingdom (1996); Ephesus/Pergamum, Turkey (1998); Lyon, France (2000), Rome, Italy (2002), Namur/Louvain, Belgium (2004), Cadiz, Spain (2008). The papers and poster presentations given with these occasions focused on the pottery workshops from Porolissum: special finds, the major and characteristic pottery production of this site (stamped pottery firstly and local pottery from the early Roman time). He presented the results of the magnetometric survey undertaken with an international team and also the archaeological research carried out, based on the results of the survey, on a series of pottery kilns from Porolissum.

Full of vivacity and spirit, intellectually curious, Alexandru V. Matei didn’t hesitate to express his opinions throughout the discussions carried at these international meetings. His relevant observations and questions addressed during the visits to different archaeological sites, organized with these occasions, completed the known data about them, proving his passion and experience in this field. With his proverbial humor, he managed to include in our Romanian group some of the most prestigious specialists on Roman pottery, who enjoyed above all our cheerfulness and optimism. In this way our group of friends enlarged from one congress to the other.

Alexandru V. Matei was also a prominent member of the international association for studying the Roman frontiers (Roman Frontier Studies). As such, he took part at the Congresses from Rolduc, Netherlands (1995), Aman, Jordan (2000), Pécs, Hungary (2003), Léon, Spain (2006), Newcastle, United Kingdom (2009). The presented papers made known the archaeological research carried out at Porolissum and in the auxiliary forts from Dacia Porolissensis, but also the possibility of the existence of a second Roman limes, attested by the recent field walks and excavations. These contributions to the study of the north-western Roman limes of Dacia were doubled in 1997, when the 17th International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies was organized, at the highest international standards, at Zalău.

Moreover, Alexandru V. Matei started a series of international projects: the first one together with the University from Nijmegen, Netherlands, through Prof. Jan K. Haalebos and his team, which focused on the magnetometric surveying of the area situated east from the fort from Pomet Hill at Porolissum and of the fort at Tihău (1998-1999). The measurements ended due to the unexpected death of Jan K. Haalebos in 2000. They were continued as part of the Porolissum Forum Project: collaboration with “John Cabot” University, Rome and Saint Mary’s College for Academic Innovation (Notre Dame, Indiana). The archaeological research undertaken in the forum of the municipium from Porolissum was developed during six excavation seasons, starting with 2004 (2004, 2006-2010).
We all know his merits, from the scientific (he was an exceptional field archaeologist, always looking for new challenges) to the organizational (he created a cultural institution: The History and Art County Museum, Zalău and a team of young specialists to whom he offered his unconditional support) and human ones (he was a generous and optimistic person, a true fighter who always found a solution to succeed). The institution where he worked was the centre of his professional and even personal life. The archaeological park from Porolissum was his second home and all the projects carried in the last years focused on transforming this site in one of international recognition not only from a scientific point of view, but also from a touristic one. He will always be with us, all his friends, at the Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores congresses and I will certainly stand for the organisation of one of the following meetings of the association, so that one of his last wishes, that of bringing once again the scientific community at Zalău, like in 1997, can be fulfilled.

All of us who knew Mateo, when we will say his name or when we will think at him, we will have a warm smile across our lips like his warm soul and bright image. This will be the proof that he didn’t leave us too early and remained here with us!

Alexandru Matei + others
Dario Bernal Casasola, Alexandru Matei,
Robin and Cecilia Symonds, Viorica Rusu-
Bolindeţ at Cadiz 2008

Dr. Viorica Rusu-Bolindeţ
National History Museum of Transylvania
Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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Colin Wells (15.11.1933 – 11.3.2010)

Colin Wells
      Colin Wells.
      Lyon 2000


Members will have learned with sadness, on receiving their copies of Acta 41, that our former President died on 11 March 2010 following a stroke. He had concluded his presidency of the RCRF with an address to the congress at Cadiz in 2008, printed in the Acta (41,V-VIII), reviewing the evolution of the association and of Roman pottery studies over the preceding fifty years.

Colin Wells was trained as a classicist at Oxford, and spent his teaching career at the University of Ottawa (1960–1988) and subsequently at the University of San Antonio, Texas (1988–2005). While at Ottawa, he completed an Oxford doctorate under the supervision of Prof. Ian Richmond, which gave rise to his best-remembered work, The German Policy of Augustus: an Examination of the Archaeological Evidence (1972). He also wrote an elegant introductory work on The Roman Empire (1984; 1995). He had a passion for Roman frontier studies and from 1976 onwards was involved in Canadian excavations at Carthage. His interest in Roman pottery sprang naturally from his studies of the Rhine frontier, where its interpretation and dating had a crucial role to play in disentangling Augustan history, primarily, of course, through the presence of terra sigillata. In understanding this material, he was greatly assisted by the founders of the RCRF, Howard Comfort and Elisabeth Ettlinger; I have been unable to determine precisely when he himself joined the association, but it must have been only a few years after its foundation in 1957. His was a regular and genial, but discreet, presence: only four papers in his name have appeared in the entire run of Acta to date (vols. 17/18, 31/32, 36, 41). The first of these, a paper presented at Augst in 1975 (‘Manufacture, distribution and date: some methodological considerations on the dating of Augustan terra sigillata’) was a masterly review of the assumptions which had hitherto served students of sigillata well, but which were now being seriously called into question. The new evidence came from the discovery of new production sites (Lyon, Pisa), and through the development of scientific techniques (most notably by Maurice Picon at Lyon) which were capable of distinguishing products from different sources. This rigorously analytical approach was later applied to the compilation of the Conspectus Formarum Terrae Sigillatae Italico Modo Confectae (1990). The creation of the Conspectus was an aim proposed by Howard Comfort at a table ronde within the RCRF congress at Worms in 1986, and I have little doubt that the other participants in that project shared my opinion that it was one of the most satisfying and fruitful collaborations of our careers: despite the fact that different sections of the text are attributed to individual authors, it was a truly collegiate work, with every element subjected to joint scrutiny and discussion.

Wells was deeply devoted to the aims of the RCRF. He was delighted when, for the first time (in 1998) we were invited to meet outside Europe, at Ephesos in Turkey, and was correspondingly exasperated when his university (Trinity) would not let him attend, because the congress fell after the beginning of the autumn semester. Likewise, in view of his lengthy involvement at Carthage, he did try strenuously but unsuccessfully to find ways of holding an RCRF congress in Tunisia. A meeting in North Africa – so important for its pottery exports in the Roman period – still eludes us, but when we manage to bring it about we shall have renewed occasion to think of Colin’s contribution to our field of study and of his sympathetic personality.

Philip Kenrick

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Vivien G. Swan (12.1.1943 – 1.1.2009)

Vivien Swan
 Vivien G. Swan.
Lyon 2000

Vivien Swan was a striking presence at RCRF congresses, always dressed with style and never hesitant to express an opinion and to contribute to a debate. Her absence will certainly be noticed, and many of our members will have cause to remember with gratitude the extent to which she assisted or encouraged them in their researches.

Vivien’s early archaeological career was spent with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, working first at Salisbury and later at York. During this period, her interest in Roman pottery production in the New Forest led to a wider study, supported by the Commission and published in due course as The Pottery Kilns of Roman Britain (RCHM 1984). This is an enormous scholarly resource, listing in 1,383 entries details of every Roman kiln known in Britain at the time, together with its known output; it still has no counterpart in other provinces. In the same year, the RCRF met for the first time in Britain, at Oxford and London. Vivien attended that congress and joined the Fautores, becoming a regular participant thereafter and herself organizing the next British congress, held at York and Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1996.
The York congress was impeccably organized (as we might have expected) and marked for the RCRF a new departure, inasmuch as each participant was issued with a congress handbook of 103 pages. This contained not only the programme and basic instructions, but extended essays on the sites to be visited on the various excursions, and, for the first time, a list of abstracts of the papers to be presented. This was also the first occasion (if my own memory serves me correctly) when posters became part of the formal programme. The following note on one of the opening pages is very characteristic of Vivien’s principles and her attention to detail:
“USED POSTAGE STAMPS: Fautores may be interested to know that all the foreign stamps on your envelopes have been given to an international aid charity (Oxfam).”Alongside the stress of organizing this congress, Vivien had to cope at the same time with the personal stress of an imminent reorganization of the Royal Commission offices, and her potential transfer to Swindon, which she regarded with horror. In the event, her decision to leave the Commission and to work as a freelance pottery specialist proved to be a watershed. Discoveries in York had demonstrated the presence of potters working locally in a ceramic tradition whose home was in Tunisia; this provided the theme for much of her future research, tracing the ethnicity of military forces in the Roman Empire through their ceramic traditions and culinary practices. It is a commonplace of modern times that American forces across the world cannot function without their burgers, and it is now recognized that Roman troops also took their local traditions with them wherever they went.
Vivien’s horizons and experience, initially confined to Britain and its immediate neighbours, were widened by attendance at the Timişoara (Romania) congress in 1994 and then by participation in the excavations of Andrew Poulter at Dichin in Bulgaria from 1998 onwards. Not only did this draw her into wider fields of study, but it also placed her in contact with a very much wider range of scholars, often working in environments very much less advantaged than her own. To these she was unstintingly supportive and encouraging. Her dedication to the field of Roman pottery studies was expressed equally effectively through the (British) Study Group for Roman Pottery, of which she was a founder member in 1971 and President from 1985 to 1990; she was also for many years a co-convenor of the Roman Northern Frontiers Seminar, an important forum in Britain for the discussion and dissemination of ideas. Within the RCRF, she served as a trustee of the UK-based RCRF Trust, a separate entity set up to manage funds set aside for congress travel grants, from its inception in 1997 until her death. Her wide knowledge of many applicants and their work was of great assistance to her fellow trustees. Vivien’s contribution to Roman pottery studies was given public recognition in 2001 when she was awarded an honorary D.Litt. by the University of Wales.
Vivien was found to have breast cancer in 1998, but made a very successful recovery following surgery: the experience must have been gruelling, but there were too many things of greater importance to her (such as the Dichin project) for her to become dominated by it. In the same way, she faced its return in 2007 with great fortitude. This time, it was clear that it could not ultimately be overcome; there were, nonetheless, commitments to be met and projects and ideas to be put into writing. Her determination to complete these and to continue to play as full a part as possible in Roman pottery studies undoubtedly prolonged her life, and those who saw her at the Late Roman Coarse Ware congress in Parma and Pisa in the spring of 2008, or at the RCRF congress in Cádiz in the autumn cannot have failed to be impressed by her.
Vivien was utterly rigorous in her own writing and was intolerant of what she saw as sloppy work (or personal sloppiness) in others. Her opinions could be expressed with alarming vigour (which occasionally masked a lack of foundation), but this did not prevent her from countless acts of generosity. Her two last papers on ethnicity and troop movements were accepted, to her delight, for publication as a monograph in the JRA Supplementary Series.* Following Vivien’s death the publisher, John Humphrey, has taken the opportunity of including in the volume both tributes to the author and a bibliography of her published works: it stands as a fitting memorial to a remarkable intellect.

Philip Kenrick

* Vivien Swan†, Ethnicity, Conquest and Recruitment: Two Case Studies from the Northern Military Provinces. Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplementary Series no. 72 (Portsmouth, Rhode Island 2009).

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Elizabeth L. Will  (27.4.1924 - 19.8.2009)

Elizabeth L. Will
     Elizabeth L. Will


Elizabeth Lydian Will

Elizabeth Lyding Will, Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Massachusetts and Amherst College, died peacefully on August 19, at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst, she was 85 years old. If Virginia Grace was the expert in the Athenian Agora on Greek amphoras, the Roman amphora guru was Letty Will. She started to work on the material in Athens in 1949, and continued to do so until the end of her life. She travelled widely and published on amphoras from many parts of the Mediterranean World and beyond, including India: both Arikamedu on the east coast of India and Cosa in Tuscany figure largely in her list of publications, though her long-awaited volume on the Roman amphoras from the Athenian Agora remained uncompleted at the time of her death. She spent most of her professional career as a teacher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and played a variety of prominent roles in the Archaeological Institute of America. She was a loyal member of the RCRF, which she joined in 1960, though she was rarely seen at our congresses. She was last with us at Rome in 2002.

Philip Kenrick

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Gillian (Jill) Braithwaite (15.9.1937 - 10.11.2008)

Gillian Braithwaite
Gillian Braithwaite.


Gillian Braithwaite came to archaeology – and to Roman pottery – when she was already in her forties.

She developed an interest in those curious anthropomorphic vessels known as face-pots, which she pursued with great diligence and tenacity through an undergraduate dissertation and then a PhD, to eventual publication in 2007 as Faces From the Past: A study of Roman Face Pots from Italy and the Western Provinces of the Roman Empire (Oxford 2007). This was a remarkable achievement for a woman who started her career as a diplomat and then married a colleague and supported him through a demanding and distinguished career, culminating in his ambassadorship in Moscow in 1988-92. Archaeology therefore had to find space along-side marital and parental responsibilities and vigorous engagement in charitable work which also grew out of the Moscow years. The charm which made her such a success in diplomatic circles was felt also by her archaeological friends and colleagues, and she will be much missed.

Philip Kenrick

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Klára Póczy (6.2.1923 - 16.10.2008)

Klára Póczy
     Klára Póczy.
  Budapest 2003


Im Herbst 2008 ist mit Klára Póczy eine bedeutende Forscherin der römischen Vergangenheit von Ungarns Hauptstadt Budapest und der Pannonienforschung insgesamt von uns gegangen.

Klára Póczy wurde 1923 in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca in Siebenbürgen/Rumänien geboren. Nach ihrer Abiturprüfung 1942 begann sie ihr Studium an der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universität in Budapest zunächst mit den Fächern Geschichte, Kunstgeschichte und Italienisch, wechselte aber bald zu Andreas Alföldi (Archaeologia Terrae Hungaricae – Geschichte und Archäologie des Karpatenbeckens) im Hauptfach und zu Franz von Tompa bzw. zu János Banner (Prähistorie) über.
Die seinerzeit international renommierte Alföldi-Schule bestimmte fortan den weiteren Weg der angehenden Forscherin. Alföldis Forderung an seine Schüler und Schülerinnen war, kurz zusammengefasst, diese: Man sollte mindestens eine der zahlreichen unterschiedlichen Quellen so gut beherrschen, dass man sie zu edieren vermag. Alle anderen aber sollte man so weit kennen, dass man sie jederzeit kritisch prüfen und der Fragestellung entsprechend heranziehen kann. Das vornehmste Ziel für diese Forschungsrichtung blieb stets die Geschichte, das Ganze dürfe man niemals aus dem Blickfeld verlieren; eine zu starke Spezialisierung wurde entschieden abgelehnt.
Die vorrangige Quelle in diesem Sinne war für Klára Póczy zunächst die Keramik der Römerzeit. Sie schrieb ihre Dissertation über die Keramik am Legionsstandort Brigetio (Szöny) an der Donau. Bald folgten weitere Untersuchungen zur pannonischen Keramik-Produktion und auch zu Fragen der Keramik-Importe.
Ab 1950 arbeitete Klára Póczy im Historischen Museum Budapest, ab 1953 als stellvertretende Leiterin der Archäologischen Abteilung. 1973 übernahm sie die Leitung der großflächigen Grabungen im Stadtteil Óbuda und die Eingliederung der dort freigelegten Denkmäler des römischen Aquincum in das Stadtbild. Daran arbeitete sie bis 1981, wirkte dann als Fachberaterin der Gruppe Provinzialrömische Archäologie am Museum, welche Tätigkeit sie auch nach ihrer Pensionierung 1986 bis zu ihrem Tod in voller Intensität weiterführte. Ihre reiche Forschungsarbeit konzentrierte sich dementprechend auf die Städte-forschung in Pannonien und auf Aquincum.
Ihre für die ungarische Forschung so wichtigen internationalen Beziehungen zeigten sich in verschiedenen thematischen Ausstellungen, die sie in Deutschland, in Italien, in Frankreich, in den Niederlanden mit den Museen vor Ort organisiert hat. Sie fanden überdies ihren Niederschlag in zahlreichen Beiträgen im Rahmen von Fachkongressen im In- und Ausland und in deren Publikationen.
Ihre Arbeit wurde vielfach prämiert; sie war ordentliches Mitglied des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts und korrespondierendes Mitglied des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts.
Die Ergebnisse ihrer Pannonien- und Aquincum-Forschung werden die Kollegen und Kolleginnen im Bereich der provinzialrömischen Archäologie und Geschichte als innovativ und weiterführend schätzen. Ihre Freunde und Freundinnen werden sich stets ihres warmherzigen Lächelns, ihres wachsamen Interesses für Menschen und Sachen in großer Herzlichkeit wehmütig erinnern.

Maria R.-Alföldi

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