ARRETINE WARE: a type of bright red, polished pottery originally made at Arretium (modern Arezzo) in Tuscany from the 1st century bc to the 3rd century ad. The term means literally “ware made of clay impressed with designs.” The ware was produced to be traded, especially throughout
the Roman Empire. It is clearly based on metal prototypes and the body of the ware was generally cast in a mold. Relief designs were also cast in molds which had been impressed with stamps in the desired patterns and then applied to the vessels. The quality of the pottery was high, considering its mass production. However, there was a gradual roughness to the forms and decoration over the four centuries of production. After the decline of Arretium production, terra sigillata was made in Gaul from the 1st century ad at La Graufesenque (now Millau) and later at other centers in Gaul. Examples have come from Belgic tombs in pre-Roman Britain and from the port of Arikamedu in southern
India. The style changes and the potters’ marks stamped on the vessels make these wares a valuable means of dating the other archaeological material found with them.