Early Roman Pottery in the Civitas Tungrorum: Towards an Integrated Analytical Approach – Barbara Borgers (Brussels), Marc De Bie (Brussels), Patrick Degrysed (Leuven) and Patrick S. Quinn (University College London)

The Early Roman period in Gallia Belgica is characterized by distinct changes in ceramic style. The civitas Tungrorum district, in Belgium is no exception. During the first centuries AD, stylistic diversification is accompanied by the introduction of new supra-regional pottery types thought to have played an important role in exchange, the negotiation of identity and the display of social status. However, little is known about the integration of these new types in local manufacturing traditions.

In addressing this question, an approach was adopted that integrates a more general characterization of pottery technology (macroscopic analysis) with the detailed examination of compositional variability (thin section petrography and ICP-OES analysis) within and between sites. The principal aims are to demonstrate the potential value to taking ceramic studies beyond regional typological studies, and to explore the place of pottery in Early Roman cultural tradition and examine the possible reasons for its adoption. In order to achieve these aims, six case-study sites from the civitas Tungrorum were selected from a variety of archaeological settings. As the results show, the detailed examination of ceramic technology offers a means to explore the movement of pottery and people within the civitas Tungrorum.

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