The Roman city as articulated through terra sigillata
van, Oyen Astrid
Oxford Journal of Archaeology
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van, O. A. (2014). The Roman city as articulated through terra sigillata. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 34 279-299. https://doi.org/10.1111/ojoa.12059
Debates on the nature of the Roman city and its relation to the countryside have lately moved towards questioning the validity of the very category of ‘the city’, both analytically and in terms of past reality. While archaeology has long been mobilized within these debates, this paper argues for the unexplored potential of a range of specialist pockets of qualitative knowledge about specific artefact classes. Terra sigillata, the red-gloss imperial tableware, is a case in point. By adopting a bird’s eye view on sigillata production, distribution, and consumption across a geographical and chronological range, this paper develops a new metaphor for the role of Roman cities: as switching devices in the building of networks. By describing the role of cities in structural rather than categorical terms, this metaphor allows for contingency and for the integration of different analytical and interpretive scales.
This research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [AH/I010955/1] and the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ojoa.12059
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/245397
DSpace@Cambridge license, Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/