The Roman ceramic-brick kiln at Fažana

At the site of the present-day Parish Square, archaeological finds were found testifying to the presumption of a large kiln from the Roman period. It is supposed to have been square-shaped with ribs and a central firebox in the shape of a vaulted tunnel.
Based on few protective excavation and evidence of finds some hundred years ago, one of the kilns in Fažana may be characterized as a Type II/b kiln of rectangular, square or trapezium-shape fire-box with a central hall.
The peculiarity of this type of kiln is that the grille was very strong and stable and statically could have carried heavy modeled clay products.
– Outer size of the kiln was 9.0 x 8.0 m and the inside 7.5 x 6.3 m
– Size of grille: 5.4 x 4.0 m – Ribs: 9 pieces 4.0 m long /width of each rib 30 cm

is a vaulted area, i.e. canal that stood immediately in front of the kiln. Cold air entered the canal. By combustion of fuel it heated and entered the area for baking modeled clay products, then went out through the opening on the cupola.
Kiln walls
were usually built of clay or brick. The construction began from the firebox – base and from the kiln ribs with grille.
At the level of the baking area there was an opening through which products were introduced and taken out.

cupola its main function was to preserve heat during baking and after closing the baking chamber.
The baking chamber
was situated above the combustion area. It was bordered by kiln walls and a cupola, while on the bottom by the grille onto which the products were placed. The baking process began by introducing hot air from the praefurnium into the baking chamber. In the first phase of heating, this chamber was gradually heated, its temperature being increased up to optimal baking temperature after which the kiln and modeled clay products were gradually cooled.

Kiln grille
was usually a horizontal perforated clay compartment through which hot air circulated. It divided the combustion area (firebox) from the upper part of the kiln (baking chamber).
The kiln firebox
was an area where fuel of various quality and calories combusted, in which cold air was introduced and was heated by means of air circulation. In single-piece kilns it was also the part where objects were baked.

Among the various excavated fragments of ceramic material, there are very many roof tiles (tegulae), floor tiles (spicae), amphoras, amphora lids, ceramic tubes for heating square sections (tubuli) and large ceramic vessels with thick walls for oil and wine storing (dolia). A certain number of circumferential fragments and amphora handles with seals, as well as a large number of small round lids were found. Thorough analysis proved that this type of amphoras was characteristic for Istria. With great probability, Fažana was the site of producing Dressel 6B, Lamboglia 2, amphora of East Adriatic origin.

A. Gnirs made the most important classification of data and seals found in Fažana, and according to the then available data concluded that this significant ceramic-brick production center was owned by Caius Laecanius Bassus, from the well-known senatorial family, that between the 1st century BC and 2nd century gave several well-known consuls – highly ranked government officials. In terms of epigraphy, the amphora fragments yielded the greatest number of seals of Caius Laecanius Bassus (CLaekB). The circumferences sometimes show seals with names of servile origin (e.g. Amethysti, Crescentis, Viatoris, Opi, etc.) indicating names of workers who modeled the amphoras from Fažana.

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