BZ-20 potsherd

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Classification: bowl
Archaeological type: bowl with compressed body
Material: pottery
Size: height: 5 cm, rim diameter: 8 cm, maximum diameter: 8.4 cm, thickness: 4 mm
Condition: fragmentary
Archaeological culture: La Tène A
Date: middle of the 5th–4th centuries BC
Date derived from: typology, archaeological context

Site: Tisens / Tesimo (Bozen / Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
Field name: St. Hippolyt / Sant'Ippolito
Archaeological context: settlement of the Late Iron Age
(Objects: BZ-20 potsherd, BZ-21 potsherd, BZ-22 potsherd)
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 34' 49.91" N, 11° 9' 41.44" E
Find date: end of the 19th–beginning of the 20th centuries
Find circumstances: excavation
Current location: Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum (repository)
Inventory Nr.: 1.297

Inscription: BZ-20 (iiiθ)

Sources: Kaltenhauser 1966: 143 [No. 309], pl. 37.5
Lunz 1974: 412 [No. 73.16], pl. 73.16


Ceramic fragment of a bowl.
Bowl with compressed body, long and sharply distinct neck. Kaltenhauser supposes an omphalos like the drawing prompts (cp. Kaltenhauser 1966: pl. 37.5). Fine clay of grey in colour, moderate tempered with very fine calcareous grains and quartz particles; smooth coat of brown in colour, inside as well as outside; reduced firing.
The above-mentioned dimensions result of the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum. Kaltenhauser indicates 8.2 cm related to the mouth rim (cp. Kaltenhauser 1966: 143).
No further decorations visible.
Outside, sidewise, on the bottom characters which can not interpreted as decoration. Probably these characters represent trademarks. Franz arranged a list of comparable "inscriptions" on objects preserved at the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum and stated a connection with the Venetic divinity Reitia (cp. Franz 1959: 229, below C. Von St. Hippolyt bei Lana No. 3, fig. 3.4). Characters incised before firing.
The present potsherd comes from the settlement of the Late Iron Age situated on the hill of St. Hippolyt / Sant'Ippolito. The settlement was situated on the lynchet to the south of the principal hilltop, in contrast to the station of the Neolithic and Bronze Age which was discovered on the central hilltop of St. Hippolyt / Sant'Ippolito. The discoveries trace back to Fridolin Plant who found the antique remains in 1891. Franz Tappeiner described the findspot as well as situation 1892 for the first time. The excavations were continued by Alois and Oswald Menghin from 1904 to 1909.
The ceramic fragment and the reconstructed bowl does not fit completely into the typology. Probably it is a variant type of the Fritzens-Sanzeno pottery and of the bowls with S-shaped profile. According to the typology established by Gleirscher and the comparative examples given also by Gleirscher it is reasonable to assume that the ceramic fragment resp. the bowl dates to the 2nd half of the 4th century BC. For the typology cp. the overview in Gamper 2006: 15, fig. 1. As comparative example can be used a bowl discovered in Archi di Castelrotto (community of San Pietro in Cariano). For the find complex of Archi di Castelrotto, therefore also for the bowl the dating to the 2nd half of the 4th century BC is secured (cp. Gleirscher 1987: 206–207, fig. 7.4). Related to the archaeological context of the present bowl some other findings from St. Hippolyt / Sant'Ippolito argue also for a dating to La Tène A, e.g. ceramic fragments of compressed bowls with S-shaped profile and with the decoration shape typical for this period (cp. i.a. Lunz 1974: 411 [No. 73.13], pl. 73.13) or potsherds of bowls type Fritzens with radial eye-pattern (cp. i.a. Lunz 1974: 412 [No. 73.18], pl. 73.18). Moreover few bronze objects confirm this dating i.a. two fragmentary fibulae type Certosa (cp. Lunz 1974: 195–196).
In the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini the sherd is listed with "MLR 280", an autopsy was effected (cp. MLR: 246 [MLR 280]).
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in November 2013.



Franz 1959 Leonhard Franz, "Rätische Inschriften im Innsbrucker Landesmuseum", Der Schlern 33 (1959), 228–229.
Gamper 2006 Peter Gamper, Die latènezeitliche Besiedlung am Ganglegg in Südtirol. Neue Forschungen zur Fritzens-Sanzeno-Kultur [= Internationale Archäologie 91], Rahden/Westfalen: Leidorf 2006.
Gleirscher 1987 Paul Gleirscher, "Die Kleinfunde von der Hohen Birga bei Birgitz. Ein Beitrag zur Fritzens-Sanzeno-Kultur", Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission 68 (1987), 181–351.
Kaltenhauser 1966 Gerard Kaltenhauser, Die vor- und frühgeschichtlichen Altertümer von St. Hippolyt bei Tisens, Innsbruck: 1966. (2 volumes: text volume and volume of plates; unpublished doctoral research study)
Lunz 1974 Reimo Lunz, Studien zur End-Bronzezeit und älteren Eisenzeit im Südalpenraum, Firenze: Sansoni 1974.