Samian Ware (Terra Sigillata) was the fine tableware of Roman Britain and much of the northern Roman Empire. It was mass-produced under factory conditions and the finished pieces often had a manufacturer's stamp which provides excellent information about its distribution and dating.
The precursor to Samian Ware was "Arretine Ware" named after the region of Arretium (modern Arezzo) in Italy where it was first produced.
Most Samian Ware found in Britain was originally imported from Gaulish factories. The word Samian probably derives from the Greek island of Samos because this style of pottery originated there. In Britain, some native Samian forms were produced at Pulborough (Sussex), Colchester (Essex) and also possibly London during the second century AD. The product from British Potteries is of a lower quality than Gaulish examples.