The traceability concept and Roman North African ceramics

Keywords: African Roman pottery, Production, Consumption, Researches, Traceability concept

Abstract

Research on the Roman-African ceramic industry has had a very particular trajectory compared to that of other Mediterranean ceramics. A number of adverse factors were overcome in order to achieve consistent results concerning the modes of production and circulation in the African continent and the Mediterranean basin. Approaches that included new methodologies of progressive form faced the weak lithologic and sedimentological variability of the region and, consequently, very generic materials and little distinguishable from each other. These geological peculiarities make it extremely difficult to associate the archaeological (typological) and archaeometric (petrographic) treatment of the most recent surveys. Over the last two decades, the projects undertaken have been characterized by systematic cooperative work, with local teams (Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian) and foreign (French, Italian, English) teams conducting surveys of ce­ramic production sites, besides intensive archaeometric studies, with geochemical and petrographic analyzes. The latest archaeological documentation is sufficiently rich in information on the vitality of production and technology of Roman North American ceramics, sustained by economic growth and the mobility of workshops. These latest surveys are in line with the modern notion of traceability, much in vogue in the field of consumption. Applied to archaeological documentation, this notion implies effective labeling (i.e. an efficient typology), indication of a date of manufacture (presumed) and control of geographical origin, which are the only useful way to allow a good interpretation of the distribution of African goods. This paper aims to analyze the trajectory of research and the development of knowledge about the production and consumption of African ceramics in view of the most recent studies.

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Author Biography

Maria Isabel D’Agostino Fleming, Universidade de São Paulo. Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia, Laboratório

Possui graduação em História pela Universidade de São Paulo (1973), mestrado (1978) e doutorado (1987) em Ciência Social (Antropologia Social) pela Universidade de São Paulo. Membro estrangeiro da École Française de Rome 1983-1985. Atualmente é Professor Assistente Doutor Sênior do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia. Tem experiência na área de Arqueologia, com ênfase em Arqueologia mediterrânica, atuando principalmente nos seguintes temas: arqueologia romana e proto-história da Península Itálica, arqueologia romana provincial da Península Ibérica, tecnologia cerâmica, metalurgia do bronze, metalurgia e lamparinas greco-romanas. Coordenadora do Grupo de Pesquisa (CNPq) "Formas de contato e processos de transformação no Mediterrâneo Antigo: Roma e suas províncias". Coordenadora do Laboratório de Arqueologia Romana Provincial-LARP do MAE-USP (apoio FAPESP). Editora responsável da Revista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia de 1991 a 2013.

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Published
2019-11-21
How to Cite
Fleming, M. I. (2019). The traceability concept and Roman North African ceramics. Revista Do Museu De Arqueologia E Etnologia, (32), 218-226. https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.2448-1750.revmae.2019.164267