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Title: Examining Late Antique trade through geospatial and network analysis : a case study using marble chancel screen panels
Author: Dugdale, Nicholas Wilkerson
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 9080
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis, geospatial, network, and statistical analysis techniques are applied to a dataset of marble chancel screen panels in order to investigate the relationship between transaction costs— specifically, shipping cost and transit time from the quarry—and the distribution of marble objects across the Mediterranean world during the Late Antique Period (roughly, the 4th-6th c. A.D.). The aims of this thesis are (a) to better understand the roles of private enterprise and the state in the production and export of marble in Late Antiquity; and (b) to test the utility of geospatial modeling programs such as ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Ancient World as tools for analyzing patterns of economic interaction and connectivity. First the quantitative data generated using geospatial and network analysis tools can be used to analyze the relationship between market considerations and transaction costs and the demand for a particular economic commodity—here, worked marble objects. The results of this case study, although preliminary, suggest that the distribution of some types of marble architectural elements was correlated with transport cost and time from the quarry, with the majority of exports falling within clearly defined cost/time thresholds. These findings lend support to the argument that private enterprise and the laws of supply and demand played a more important role in the Late Antique economy than has been suggested, and hint at the existence of a thriving non-imperial market for marble operating alongside—and often overlapping with—the imperial system. Second, this thesis represents one of the first attempts to utilize a geospatial analysis tool like ORBIS in concert with archaeological evidence to assess patterns of economic interaction and connectivity in antiquity. Accordingly, it is hoped that the methodology developed herein can be applied in future studies to analyze the distribution of other types of marble architectural element as well as a variety of archaeological materials for which there are existing datasets, such as ceramics, metal objects, shipwrecks, and foodstuffs.
Supervisor: Keay, Simon ; Earl, Graeme Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available