The archaeological site near the village of Karavelovo, Shumen district, was discovered by chance in the 1970s, during construction work. In the course of the excavations a large centre for ceramic production was uncovered, located on a slope facing the north, in the Kazan čeir locality. The site was reported as found in the vicinities of the village of Pet mogili, although it falls into the territory of the village of Karavelovo.
As a result of the rescue and regular excavations on the site eleven pottery kilns were discovered, together with large amount of whole and fragmented ceramic vessels, including production waste. Until now these finds were only briefly and partly mentioned in archaeological reports and one short article.
Red slip wares (90%) and coarse grey wares (10%) were the two major items in the centre’s assortment. The aim of the present study is to clarify the chronology of the red slipped part of the pottery from the site. The presented functional categorization and typological classification are based on the finds of such vessels during the excavations.
According to their function, the red slipped items from the site could be classified as table wares, storage vessels and vessels with specific purpose. The table wares include dishes, bowls, cups, jugs and table amphoras, while the storage vessels comprise only pots. The last functional category of red slipped pottery covers sifters and stoppers.
The presented typology is based on the form and decoration of the vessels. The types are classified according to their form, while the variants are distinguished by the presence or absence of specific kind of decoration. More than forty previously unpublished examples of the production of the centre near Karavelovo are included in this study.
According to the published data, the kilns from the site were in operation from the 2nd to the 4th centuries AD. However, the lack of detailed analysis of the finds makes this dating uncertain. The study of the ceramic assemblage points towards a more restricted chronological period – from the end of the 2nd or the beginning of the 3rd to the mid- 3rd c. AD. The two coins of Caracalla and Caracalla with Julia Domna, found inside the stoking pit of kiln 8, correspond to the pottery dating.
The described assemblage of whole and fragmented vessels can be attributed to the Roman provincial pottery, typical for the time between the end of the 2nd c. and the middle of the 3rd c. AD. It represents the local style developed by the potters in this part of Moesia Inferior under the influence of the itinerant craftsmen and brings new and important data for the manufacture and distribution of ceramic items in the province.