Current Project

Long-Term Urban Change in Miletus from Roman Antiquity to Early Byzantine Times. A Ceramic Perspective

Whilst Miletus had been a famous metropolis and a major economic and cultural centre in the archaic period, the city preserved relative prosperity during Roman times. In Late Antiquity and the early Byzantine era, signs of deterioration in the urban fabric occur as in most of the cities throughout the Roman Empire: Moreover, the archaeological record and the written sources as well bear witness to remarkable economic changes in almost every region of the Mediterranean during that period. Although various explanations exist for these widespread phenomena, the insights that ceramic finds could supply in this regard has only recently been considered in more detail.
By means of a case study, my project aims to explore ceramic products as a source for studying socio-economic changes in the cities of Asia Minor from Roman to early Medieval times. The material basis derives from excavations conducted in Miletus from 2008 to 2014. The finds include Anatolian and African table wares, transport amphorae, cooking and common wares. They offer a representative section of the city’s pottery spectrum from the first to the seventh century C. E. From a diachronic, contextual perspective, continuities and breaks in the distribution of specific ceramic-types will be analysed. The resulting patterns represent modes of production, consumption, and exchange and can be interpreted with regard to greater economic trends. Therefore, the analysis of the ceramic distribution will lead to a more differentiated consideration of urban transformation from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

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