Production strategies in Istrian oil amphorae workshops 1st-3rd c. AD

Abstract : From the 1st to the 3rd c. AD, the territory of Istria (present-day Croatia) was a promi- nent area of olive oil production, famous throughout the Roman world. Olive oil was exported in the so-called Dressel 6B amphorae to northern Italy and the Danubian provinces. The production of these containers was carried out in several workshops established along the Istrian coast. During the 1st century, the main manufacturers were the workshops of Fazana and Loron. Both were remarkable for their exceptional size and ownership history. Con- trolled at rst by aristocratic families, they became part of the imperial domain at the end of the 1st century. Although amphorae of this kind are frequently studied as proxies for ancient trade patterns, little attention is given to the actual production process. Nevertheless those vessels are, rst and foremost, manufactured artefacts, produced in notable quantities and designed for a speci c purpose. While archaeological evidence of the workshops and the ceramic vessels themselves testify to the intensity of the production and its considerable output, they are of little use in reconstructing production strategies and the full sequence of operations under- taken in the manufacturing of amphorae. Most remarkable is the lack of information about raw materials collection and preparation. In a local context where appropriate geological resources for large-scale production are scarce, the management of raw materials collection and their transformation into a paste of consistent quality and properties are however of utmost importance. Combining already available sources of information with newly acquired mineralogical and geochemical data on ceramic bodies and local clay samples, the present study aims to shed new light on those issues and their evolution over 300 years of history of activity. The re- sults help us reconsider natural resources' management and production strategies in large amphorae workshops over a long duration.
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14th European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics (EMAC), Sep 2017, Bordeaux, France
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Contributeur : François-Xavier Le Bourdonnec <>
Soumis le : mercredi 10 octobre 2018 - 14:35:57
Dernière modification le : jeudi 13 décembre 2018 - 15:30:11


  • HAL Id : hal-01892248, version 1


Pierre Machut, Ayed Ben Amara, Nadia Cantin, Rémy Chapoulie, François-Xavier Le Bourdonnec, et al.. Production strategies in Istrian oil amphorae workshops 1st-3rd c. AD. 14th European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics (EMAC), Sep 2017, Bordeaux, France. 〈hal-01892248〉



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