Roman Economy in Dalmatia: production, distribution and demand in the light of pottery workshops

(RED) (HRZZ Research Projects, IP-11-2013-3973)

The thematic research focuses on defining and reconstructing the comprehensive spatial organization of Roman ceramic workshop at several levels with regard to the technological process of the preparation of raw materials, shaping, firing and drying of objects, as well as their storage and preparation for market. The use and adaptation of landscape as regards the quantity and quality of natural resources, favourable climatic conditions and favourable conditions for transport, is the basic starting point affecting the size of the workshops and also the primary prerequisite for the duration of the workshop production, which ultimately depends on the needs of the market, that is, the economic situation. In this context, a part of our research interest is directed toward interdisciplinary research on clay sources and comparative archaeometric analyses of pottery and raw materials in the primary sample, in search of answers to the potential points of origin of the regional production, as well as toward defining criteria for distinguishing them from imported ceramic materials.

The next level of research looks at the forms of functioning of civilian workshops with regard to their functioning within economic-residential complexes (the example of workshops on the island of Rab/antique Arba), or their intentional organization into specialized, market-oriented workshops (the ceramic production complex in Crikvenica – Ad Turres in the northern littoral of Liburnia), which are an important indicator of considerable economic development in a specific area.

The production and distribution of regional workshop products, be it pottery, transport goods (containers) or construction pottery, contribute to the understanding of socio-economic relationships, especially regarding the recognition of contacts with neighbouring markets, the competitiveness of regional goods versus imports, purchase power and acceptance of specific standards (quality and aesthetics). Based on a database of analysed samples of regional production of the wider market, multi-level criteria are established (within GIS) for a comprehensive picture of the regional ceramic production, demand and its distribution within the Roman province of Dalmatia, as well as its contacts with broader neighbouring markets in the Mediterranean from the Late Hellenistic period to late antiquity.

Project’s web-site: http://red.iarh.hr/

Goranka Lipovac Vrkljan, Ivana Ožanić Roguljić, Ana Konestra, Bartul Šiljeg, Marina Ugarković and Nera Šegvić

AdriAmphorae Workshop Programme

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