There were many types of ancient Romans bowls used ; each was used for a specific purpose or function. Large pottery bowls used as storage containers for wine, oil, vinegar, milk and other liquids were dull in color and heavy with very thick sides and strong handles that would allow them to be carried easily when full. This kind was usually made from any of the local types of clay that available to the potter. Storage containers were also used at times for cooking either in brick ovens or on a support over hot coals. Monteria the thick bowl with a curved rim and lip, they were used to prepare the spices that needed to be ground into a paste before being put into a dish or spread over meat.
The larger storage pottery vessels were often made with a coiling method and had pointed ends. These were often used in ships and the goods inside were exported to other countries or areas within the Roman Empire and most of them were between twenty four and fifty inches in height. The reason for the transport vessels to be made with the pointed bottom and longer thinner neck is that it could handle any expansion of the liquid or concentration of solids in the bottom during shipping. Thick dishes and mixing type bowls were used in preparing food. They, like the storage bowls, were plain and usually unadorned save for some minor decoration on one side and usually made in the outer regions of the Roman Empire like Britain or Gaul.
The Romans borrowed from other countries they conquered and this applied to the pottery that they manufactured for kitchenware and exporting to other countries. The red clay that abounds in Italy was used in this process and the artists used a glaze made of iron to coat the rougher body of the piece, but employed a different firing method so that the end result was a dark, rich red color instead of the black that the Greeks favored. The popularity of this glaze resulted in the names of places where it was produced because every local area had their own techniques and differences.
As the art and techniques became more refined, molds were used that imprinted the design on the bowl before it was glazed and fired. As the technique spread, the names of the places where the pottery was made became the names of the specialized types of pottery bowls and other ceramic ware. Many of these bowls were manufactured by slaves working inside large factories using mass production techniques. Many of these centers for producing pottery were along trade routes and areas where camps were made, so that the cost would be less than if they were produced further away.
The Roman bowls used by the more affluent citizens of the era were often decorated with bas relief and paintings that set aside the piece as being unique. These were traded between people in the Roman Empire as well as beyond the borders to other outlying lands.
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