drinking cup activity

This activity is aimed at schools & families to help discover the wonder of Roman objects in our collection.

Drinking cup

a samian drinking cup

Download the activity PDF

This is a samian drinking cup, imported from France. Samian is a commonly used, but highquality pottery which is deep red in colour. It was found broken, but complete, in a drain running down the middle of one of the roads in the fort. Usually the pieces of broken pots get scattered and moved around over time, but this drain was obviously never cleaned out!


Take a good look at the cup

What do you see, notice and wonder about this object? What do you think the soldier who owned this cup drank from it? Do you use different cups at home for different drinks? Are they plain or decorated?

Now it’s your turn

Draw a picture of this cup, and decorate it. You can use whatever materials you have at home. You can make your picture on paper, or create a 3-D model. Why not cut up your drawing and give it to someone to put back together, just like our Archaeologist did with this one!

Learning extension

Why did Samian ware come from France? It is because Roman Britain was not able to supply, make, or grow everything that the people wanted or needed. Many things had to be imported from other countries in the Roman Empire. Arbeia Roman Fort was a supply base and took in supplies from sea-going vessels. Research the countries that were part of the Roman Empire and investigate the products that they produced. Create a map that shows the different supplies that were grown or made in each of those countries that might have been shipped or brought over to Arbeia. You can draw and colour in your map, create it on a computer, or cut out images from magazines to put onto your map.

Make and share

Make and share your creations with us. Tag us on Twitter at @arbeiaromanfort, use the #Arbeiaathome hashtag, or post them on our Facebook page.

More online activities to enjoy

Unfortunately at this current time we can not offer our full family programmes in the museums but we have created lots of online learning activities for you to enjoy.

More online activities from our venues: 

Segedunum Roman Fort

Find out about Marvellous Mondays : Home from Segedunum Collections.

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery 

Take part in Take One Treasure Challenge - activities inspired by the museum collection.