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The University of Valencia has begun an investigation to study the popular Latin that was spoken in Roman Hispania through graffiti found in sigillata ceramics, a characteristic type of brightly colored pottery.
This ceramic that was manufactured in Roman times, was produced with a mold and figures and patterns of drawings were sometimes stamped in its environment. It was manufactured between the 1st century BC. and the 3rd century AD. in Hispania, Gaul and Italy.
The inscriptions on the ceramics They showed messages made by the owners or users of the same, sometimes the marks of the ceramics indicated some things related to the production or distribution of products, or reported other personal details such as the name or colloquial phrases, which is very interesting because it allows to know the colloquial Latin that was popularly used at the time, very different from the Latin form used in the obituaries and that also provides information on the habits and customs of Roman Hispania, as indicated Josep Montesinos, author of the work and professor of Art History at the Faculty of Geography and History.
He explains that the study of the words written in the ceramics is not only a linguistic investigation but also it is possible to collect other types of territorial and ethnological information. The decoration of ceramics can also give us information about the beliefs of this period of history, since iconography is a fundamental element to understand the vision of a society and to be able to contextualize itself in an appropriate way.
This is a very ambitious study since it wants give a global vision to approach the study of these ceramics and among its main objectives is the study of the different dates of the ceramics, the different places where this type of ceramics were produced, the collections that are preserved and the trade routes through which they were traded.