New research into Dolia

Portus Limen Seminar Series

25th april 2017 5:00 pm

University of Southampton, John Wymer Lab, building 65a, Avenue Campus

New research into Dolia: The largest Opus doliare workshop in Gallia Narbonensis (1st to 2nd centuries AD)

By Dr. Charlotte Carrato (associated researcher, CNRS UMR5140-ASM, Labex Archimede, Montpellier)

Dolium from the Bernardins villa in Montélier (Drôme) (capacity: 2,463 l) preserved at the Museum of art and archaeology of Valence (photo C. Carrato)

The dolium is the largest container ever used in the ancient world. First imported by the Greeks in Italy during the 8th century BC, this terracotta jar gradually spread to all of the territories of the northwestern Mediterranean region. Because of its perfect adaptation to the warm climate of Mediterranean area, it became during the 2nd century AD a symbol of intensive viticulture and olive growing, at least until the 3rd century AD. Archaeology neglected for a long time the study of these heavy and shapeless ceramic fragments strewn across the sites of ancient farm storehouses. Through the case of Gallia Narbonensis province, this work aims to reassess the place of this container in the economic development between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD. This presentation is focused on one aspect of my research on dolia. It aims to shed on the production and distribution of dolia by focusing on a large emblematic workshop from this province. The study shows the importance of combining archaeometry, geology and archaeology in highlighting the complex economic and commercial mechanisms affecting this region during the Early Roman Empire.

Charlotte Carrato is a Doctor in archaeology of the University of Montpellier, associated researcher with the CNRS (UMR5140-ASM, Labex Archimede, Montpellier). Since 2009, she has directed several excavations in France, Spain and Morocco. Her research mainly concerns Roman economy and trade, and in particular the production of wine and oil, pottery workshops and harbour facilities.

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