WE-5 potsherd

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Classification: bowl
Archaeological type: bowl with compressed S-shaped profile
Material: pottery
Size: height: 5.1 cm, rim diameter: 7.4 cm, maximum diameter: 8.3 cm, base diameter: 2.4 cm, thickness: 5 mm
Condition: fragmentary
Archaeological culture: La Tène B
Date: 4th–3rd centuries BC
Date derived from: typology

Site: Mellaun / Meluno (fraction of: Brixen / Bressanone, Bozen / Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
Field name: Reiferfelder
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 41' 34.80" N, 11° 40' 8.40" E [from site]
Find date: probably 1908 or 1909
Find circumstances: excavation
Current location: Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum (repository)
Inventory Nr.: 11.554


Sources: Merhart 1927: 109, fig. XVI.3
Lunz 1974: 111, 396–397 [No. 66.6], pl. 66.6


Ceramic fragment.
Potsherd of a bowl with compressed S-shaped profile. Almost the half of the entire bowl is preserved. Compressed body, distinct neck, distinctly bended mouth rim and flat omphalos.
Fine clay from brown to dark grey in colour with a medium-fine temper of schist; inside as well as outside coating from light brown to dark brown in colour, burnished; reduction firing. The preserved fragment is broken at the mouth rim.
The above indicated dimension is given by Lunz (cp. Lunz 1974: 397).
On the belly circumferential striae-decoration. The strokes are broad and run at regular interval. Inside, on the bottom likewise a decoration of striae which run radially from the centre of the bottom to the transition to the shoulder. Both decorations incised before firing.
Characters at two position: Outside on the bottom (WE-5.1) and inside on the rim (WE-5.2). The characters also before firing.
According to von Merhart the sherd comes from the burial ground in the area of the farm Reiferfelder (cp. Merhart 1927: 109). The excavation was directed by Franz von Wieser 1908 (cp. Wieser 1909: 198–199; cp. in the present database WE-7 potsherd which comes also from the Reiferfelder area). Von Merhart publishes all the findings which do not belong to the burial context (cp. http://sammellust.ferdinandeum.at/page/objekte/1908b). It can be assumed that the ceramic fragment was discovered during the excavation directed by Franz von Wieser in 1908 or during the excavation directed by Adrian Egger in spring 1909 (cp. for the find history related to Mellaun / Meluno and the area of the farm Reiferfelder: Lunz 1974: 173–174). However the exact find place is unknown.
The dating follows the common typology related to bowls with "low" resp. compressed S-shaped profile (cp. Lunz 1974: 111; Gamper 2006: 13–17).
The sherd was first published by von Merhart (cp. Merhart 1927: 109, fig. XVI.3). Franz mentions the sherd a second time however with particular regard to the inscription (cp. Franz 1959: 229 with a drawing of the bowl [fig. 2.4]). Here Franz states the description "Tongefäßscherben der Sanzeno-Art" (cp. Franz 1959: 229). However Lunz indicates the ceramic fragment as part of bowl with compressed body and S-shaped profile whereat he assumes a modification of the common typology related to the present potsherd (cp. Lunz 1974: 111). This modification must be connected with the "Schale mit niedrig S-förmigen Profil" which was characterised by Osmund Menghin in succession of Gero von Merhart (cp. Lunz 1974: 329; for Menghin cp. Menghin 1961: 18).
In the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini the sherd is listed with "MLR 73", an autopsy was effected (cp. MLR: 103 [MLR 73]).
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.
Lunz 1974 Reimo Lunz, Studien zur End-Bronzezeit und älteren Eisenzeit im Südalpenraum, Firenze: Sansoni 1974.