Patera Database

Introduction and background to project

This online database is part of an ongoing research project I’m conducting into Patera / Trulleum, started as a result of writing up the small finds report for a site to the south of Cambridge (Clay Farm ref Evans 2006). One of my first references for the report was Moore’s 1972 Late Celtic and Early Roman Metalwork in Britannia vol. 4 which lists eighteen patera in the appendix, further research led to works by Radnoti, Eggers, Nubers and Tassinari. As I attempted to collate all the available data and discovered more recent works I realised that considerably more patera existed than I had initially thought, at present I have identified nearly fifty possible patera in Britain and nearly five hundred in the rest of the sphere of Roman influence.

The numbers are not precise at present as some of the artefacts I’m researching may or may not be patera / trulleum. Part of the problem lies with the name patera frequently given to this form of cylindrical handled bowl as the name is also used to describe the more common flat handled deeper bowl type as well as a few other forms, this has led to many dead ends in my research. Although a more satisfactory name Trulleum has been suggested (Boon) and taken up in some cases, an online search at present still returns more pages concerning Buttercups (Trollius europaeus) than articles on Patera / Trulleum, hopefully the term will become more widespread. Another problem is that some finds have only been given cursory mentions in early antiquarian reports and that insufficient details exist to use them as meaningful comparative. With so many recent discoveries and early reports needing clarification I considered it might be appropriate to produce an updated listing based on Nubers 'Kanne and Griffschale' typologies incorporating any recent finds and refining the groupings where appropriate. At present the web site is only a prototype with a basic listing of the British finds(other countries will be added soon), I eventually hope to add file card descriptions including references, typologies, and illustrations for each patera (the patera / trulleum are catalouged using the reference number PID 0000, Patera in Database). As I have nearly five hundred items to work through may take time. By placing the data online I’m hoping that anyone with an interest in the vessel type can use the resource for research, inform me of any missing data, errors or suggestions. If any one knows of material (patera, pelta feet etc) that should be included in the database or any other related points please contact me at the following;

Current Status 21/08/11

The web site now has a blog added to it although the pages are for a standalone site rather than an intergrated feature of the main site, hopefully this can be resolved in future along with other minor problems

Dave Webb

  • Boon.G.C review of Coventina's Well: A Shrine on Hadrian's Wall by L. Allason-Jones; B. McKay in Britannia, Vol. 19. (1988), pp. 524-525.
  • Eggers.H.J. 1951 Der römische Import im freien Germanien. Atlas der Urgesch. 1
  • Evans.C. , Mackay.D. and Patten.R 2006. The Archaeology of Clay and Glebe Farms South Cambridge, The 2005 Evaluation. Cambridge Archaeological Unit Report no. 708
  • Moore 1972 Late Celtic and Early Roman Metalwork, Britannia vol. 4
  • Nuber.H.U. 1972 Kanne und Griffschale. Ihr Gebrauch im täglichen Leben und die Beigabe in Gräbern der römischen Kaiserzeit. Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission. Vol 53
  • Tassinari.S. 1993. Il Vasellame Bronzeo di Pompei, Ministero per i beni culturali ed ambientali, Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei, Cataloghi 5, Rome

Blog page added to site 21/08/11

Still workin on Web site 14/08/11

Database fully functioning, although the content and images still need attention. 26/12/2009

New web site 29/11/09