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Title: The supply of building materials to construction projects in Roman Oxfordshire : logistics, economics, and social significance
Author: Peveler, Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 7208
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Whilst Roman architecture has long stood as a discrete branch of classical studies, investigated for its artistic merit and cultural importance, the technical details of Roman construction have only recently started to receive considerable attention. This thesis contributes to a growing trend in Roman scholarship, that of the investigation of the processes, materials, and technologies behind the Roman built environment. The most prestigious buildings of the Empire often remain the focus of many of these studies, and so this thesis turns to explore the use of more everyday buildings and building materials, seeking a Romano-British vernacular, and investigating the processes of construction, building material production, and transport. It is argued, through using theoretical calculations of building material quantities, that even for relatively minor constructions, considerations of building material supply must have represented highly significant economic and logistical investment. To comprehend fully the subject it is asserted that building materials should not be treated, as they often are, as disparate artefacts, divided by substance into stone, ceramic, mortar, metal, etc., but rather they should be considered as related fragments of a building. They require synthetic analysis, through which a far truer understanding of the incredible effort involved in construction in the ancient world can be gained. The built environment of Roman Oxfordshire, and the Roman building material assemblage from Dorchester on Thames, are used as case studies. Primary analysis of building materials is carried out using an integrated analytical approach, combining thin section petrography with scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray analysis. The outcomes of these analyses are interpreted against a background of archaeological and historical evidence for construction and material supply, in both the Roman and later periods, in the region and beyond.
Supervisor: Russell, Ben ; Wilson, Andrew ; Doherty, Chris ; DeLaine, Janet Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeological Science ; 55 B.C.-449 A.D. ; Classical Archaeology ; Roman Britain ; Petrography ; Scanning Electron Microscopy ; Roman Building Materials ; Roman Trade