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Title: Quo vadis, terra sigillata : a case study of the organisation of samian supplies in the Antonine period
Author: Weber , Meike
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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Samian pottery of the Ist to 3rd century AD belongs to a common category of finds from settlement excavations in the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire. Over the last century, this tableware has mainly been used as a tool of the dating of sites. Only more recently has the discussion turned towards the organisation of production and analysis of trade patterns. Building on the latter approach, the objective of this thesis is to shed light on the modus operandi of exports of samian pottery to various different regions of the empire in the 2'" century. The study collates and analyses, for the first time samian assemblages from 49 sites on the Antonine frontier of the north-western provinces. In particular, it compares and contrasts data for the Antonlne Wall in Britain with the German limiles. The development of frontier systems of the Antonine period in different regions allows for an analysis of samian on several levels: the similar character and chronological classification of the assemblages enables an examination of the ways in which samian producers and traders reacted to the shifting of consumers and markets as a result the territorial advance of military frontier systems. A comprehensive picture of the supply pattern is achieved by the addition of samian assemblages from civilian sites and a specific analysis 01 preconsumption deposits of the same period. Each samian group is initially assessed on the basis of its general provenance, workshop Origin, forms and potters' stamps. Moreover, the analysis examines individual palters' stamps and their spatial distribution with the aid and availability of the monograph series 'Names on Terra Sigillata" (NOTS) and the corresponding database. The analysis of this considerable corpus of material sheds light on the organisation of trade from the initial phase of production at the workshops, to the distribution and consumption of the material. The differences in supplies and availability of samian in the regions under consideration are assessed on the basis of the consumption of pottery at the sites. Important issues such as the role of directed trade versus free enterprise are addressed In this context, whilst the recurring problem of the Impact of modern collection activity is also considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available