Rome’s Internal Frontiers

Proceedings of the 2016 RAC Session in Rome

Zurich Studies in Archaeology (ISSN 2571-5712), Band 11
Broschur
2016. 108 Seiten, 90 Farbabbildungen
ISBN 978-3-0340-1344-4
CHF 38.00 / EUR 34.00 
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The Roman empire was subdivided into provinces that served as units for administrative purposes. But, what do we know of the boundaries of these provinces and of their internal structure? Not much. In order to better understand the nature and function of the empire’s internal frontiers, and to assess the territorial, social and economic structure of provincial organization, an international project was launched by the University of Zurich.
An interdisciplinary group of European scientists gathered in Rome in 2016 in order to present and discuss first outcomes of this initiative.
The question of Roman provincial borders can be addressed in various ways. A critical analysis of written sources gives insight into the significance of borders for political and tax organization. The study of landscapes and settlements by means of geographical information systems (GIS) allows to visualize topo-geographic structures, and to propose effective lines of border, as in the case of the frontier between Germania superior and Raetia. By analyzing the production and distribution of specific material culture such as pottery, coins or costume, economic structures become apparent; moreover, areas of cultural habits can be studied with regard to provincial borders. Bioarchaeology is yet another approach: besides providing information on human dietary habits, animal bones and botanical remains also contain evidence on environment, animal husbandry, crafts, trade, social structures, and religious beliefs. These spheres could all exhibit regional characteristics, and thus be questioned with regard to spaces and frontiers in Roman provinces. The named topics are exposed in a dozen contributions, written in English and German, and all are fully illustrated.


born 1962, is professor for Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests are with social and economic archaeology, metal ages, and mountain environments, as well as with comparative archaeology from the Alps to the Pacific.


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born 1963, studied Archaeology in Mayence and Basel. His dissertation (1995) was on Roman metal finds from the vicus of Vitudurum in Switzerland, his habilitation (2008) on Romanization processes in northeastern Gaul with the example of Basel-Münsterhügel. He has engaged in a series of projects dealing with Roman provincial archaeology, and has recently been appointed professor for the Archaeology of Roman provinces at the University of Cologne.


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Artikel
  • Introduction
  • The importance of internal borders in the Roman Empire: Written sources and model cases
  • Each an “entity unto itself“? Defining Roman provincial identities on the basis of material culture
  • Römische Provinzgrenzen = Kulturgrenzen? Das Beispiel der «finis provincae» zwischen den Provinzen Germania Superior und Raetia
  • Grenzen berechnen? Siedlungsmusteranalysen im Bereich der nördlichen Provinzgrenze zwischen Rätien und Obergermanien
  • Brooches as indicators for boundaries of regional identity in western «Raetia»
  • Bregenz/«Brigantium» und die Frage nach der Grenze zwischen Rätien und Obergermanien aus numismatischer Sicht
  • Ceramics know no boundaries: Imported goods in the Roman settlement of «Brigantium»/Bregenz
  • Different pots – different province? The difficulty of identifying frontiers through material culture
  • «Mortaria» and cooking pots – explaining boundaries: An approach
  • Searching for Rome’s boundaries: An archaeobiological perspective

Pressestimmen

«Der Band bietet in sehr kompakter Form eine Fülle wertvoller Anregungen, die im Folgenden nur exemplarisch diskutiert werden können. [...] Tendenziell entwickelt sich ein komplexes Bild: Provinzgrenzen, die auch unterschiedliche Zollbezirke markieren können, sind nicht unbedingt mit den im archäologischen Material fassbaren Kulturgrenzen identisch. Allen Autoren und den verantwortlichen Koordinatoren dieses Forschungsprojektes [...] ist für diese Einblicke zu danken. Es bleibt zu hoffen, dass dieser Band weitere Forschungen initiiert und den lange Zeit nur auf die Außengrenzen und deren militärische Sicherung gerichteten Blick auf die Binnengrenzen des Imperiums lenkt. Das schmale Buch sollte in keiner provinzialrömischen Bibliothek fehlen.»

Bonner Jahrbücher, Band 216, 2016, Christof Flügel