Pottery for the Roman Peasants: Patterns of Persistency and Change in Southern Tuscany – Emanuele Vaccaro (Cambridge)

This paper focuses on patterns of persistency and change of the ceramic repertoire utilised by the Roman peasants in an inland area of southern Tuscany, as it emerges from an in-progress project aimed at shedding light on the material culture of the Roman rural communities. The material culture of small settlements in inland territories is frequently considered less sophisticated than that of the broadly connected coastal sites and major towns. How much this simplified assumption is true? Is there any difference between the early and late Roman period? Did the distance from the more globalised coastal sites determine the development of a specific ceramic culture that can identify the Roman peasants living in inland and less-connected territories? Although the research project is only at the beginning, some evidence is now available and it will be discussed to define if and how the social composition of rural communities can be investigated through the use of their ceramics.

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