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Fish Plate

Fish Plate

Fish Plate

Black-glazed pottery

Diam: 28 cm

Gift of Ivor and Flora Svarc, Berkeley, California

Accession number:

84.66.216

Archaeology/Classical Archaeology

The central concave depression on these plates may have served to hold the popular, fish-based sauce garum. On many plates however, the depression seems too small to have functioned as any sort of receptacle, and the plates may have been used primarily for serving fish. This vessel belongs to the Black-glazed ware, a type of ancient Greek fine pottery, invented in 5th-century BCE Athens where it was usually decorated with a black gloss slip. It was produced especially in the Classical and Hellenistic periods also outside of Attica. Italy had several important production centers from the late fourth century BCE, and a number of known workshops appeared in the area of Etruria and Latium by the early third century BCE; there were others in Campania and in the area of Tarentum and this fish plate was probably created in on one of these workshops and not in Attica.