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My doctoral project ´´Daily life in the Roman Republican countryside. Change and continuity in the production, distribution and consumption of cooking wares in the Pontine region´´ focuses on how daily life changed in the Pontine region due to the integration of the area into the Roman Republic. Through the study of change and continuity in the production, distribution and consumption of cooking wares, it aims at offering new perspectives on the effect of socio-economic processes on everyday life in the Roman countryside.
The integration of new territories into the Roman Republic brought about new everyday life realities for everybody, even in regions with a similar culture to Rome. Not only did life change rapidly on a political level, also the socio-economic structures transformed. The effect of these historic processes has traditionally been studied through table wares and amphorae. However, these ceramic classes associated with the elite, were not widely available and do not form a necessity in daily life. Utilitarian wares, which are often found in large quantities both in urban and in rural contexts, offer a less biased perspective. They were used by everybody, regardless of the status of the household, and have through their relation to foodways a strong connection to daily life. This study of cooking wares dated between the 4th and 1st c. BC from the Pontine region will therefor offer the perspective of rural, non-elite communities and their reactions to integration into the Roman Republic.
The Pontine region was one of the first areas to be colonised by the Romans. It represents a rural landscape similar to other conquered regions, in which the majority of people would have lived. The focus will be on two areas: the coastal area between Antium and Astura and the Lower Pontine Plain. Field surveys carried out by the Pontine Region Project of the University of Groningen revealed a landscape scattered with small farmsteads and little villages functioning as nodes. Urban centres are situated along the coast and foothills of the Lepine Mountains.
Change and continuity in the production, distribution and consumption of cooking wares will be studied through an integrated methodology encompassing a typological, technological and fabric study in combination with an assemblage study and a spatial distribution analysis. The data is derived from the field surveys in the region. The analysis will provide information on elements such as production process, functional quality, provenance, networks and consumption patterns. The results will be interpreted within a theoretical framework, which emphasises the reciprocal relationship between production, distribution and consumption and how it is affected by socio-economic processes. By analysing and interpreting these small ceramic fragments, this project aims to contribute to the larger story of how ordinary people were affected by and reacted to integration into the Roman Republic.
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