Nostalgic About Pottery Shards


Just when you think you can’t possible discover any more, another one – or two – wiggle their way to the surface. Pottery shards, that is. I was digging a hole for my new lilac bush today and there they were – two more!

I remember years ago we we first began digging and planting on our land in Italy and we started finding shards, I was instantly smitten with shard-finding.

There’s somethings about finding a broken piece of ceramic – a lip of a vase, a broken rim of a plate, a jagged piece from a bowl – that stirs my imagination and gets me wondering. Who was its original owner? In what century? What was it used for? How was it broken?

I’m certainly no pottery shard expert, yet I’m sure that some of the pieces I’ve found date back a very long time. Farming families have lived in the house we call home, and have worked on the hill we call ours, for centuries. Certainly cups, bowls, olive oil jugs, plates and the like have been broken and then tossed over the hillside right from the start.

So today I added a couple more pieces to my overflowing shard basket. Tonight I might dump them all out (again) and try to find pieces that fit together – something that has happened only once. Or I might just study and admire them … and wonder.


pamela orancePamela Haack creates and hosts boutique-style small group tours, workshops and retreats that are a combination of the very best of Italy: the exciting and the peaceful, the popular and the secret, the talked about and the never-heard-of-before. From art experts and operettas to authentic cooking classes and ancient Etruscans, Pamela helps guests experience the spectacularly beautiful, endlessly interesting cities and countryside of Italy in an up-close and personal way – off the beaten strada.

Pamela is also the author of Top 10 Favorite Etruscan Sites. She lives with her husband, Lou, in Umbria, Italy.

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