After an introduction on research history, the article addresses the question of the establishment of Roman presses in the Moselle valley between Trier and Traben-Trarbach and their place in rural settlement. The geographical distribution of the sites is analysed with the aim of defining the importance of vine growing in their productions. The resu...
Na ilha de Santa Catarina, onde está edificada a cidade de Florianópolis, capital do Estado, há uma palpável influência açoriana, tanto nas tradições folclóricas, arquitetônicas, como no espírito de sua população. É provável que a insularidade do local e seu relativo isolamento tenham contribuído para que a maneira de ser, principalmente no que tan...
This paper examines the potential of viticulture as a proxy for climate reconstruction in the Roman world. Several studies have successfully used historical grape harvest time series for studying climate evolution in Medieval and Early Modern Western Europe. Unfortunately, such precise and secure documentary data are unavailable for the Roman era, for which all textual information on viticulture is narrative or descriptive in nature, containing at most some numeral titbits. This is a serious obstacle. Nevertheless, we argue that systematically bringing together all documentary evidence with potential climatic value can still be of importance for detecting climatic variations on wider temporal or spatial scales within the Roman world. By using current global warming as a comparative framework for interpreting the ancient source material, we critically evaluate the assembled datasets, and thus evaluate to which extent—if any at all—these data hold promise for informing future climatic reconstructions.
Although it would be attractive to offer a comprehensive survey of agriculture throughout the ancient Mediterranean, the Near East, and Western Europe, I intend to concentrate primarily upon the best attested and most productive farming regime, that of Italy, Greece, Western Asia Minor, North Africa, Baetica and Eastern Tarraconensis during the Principate and Early Empire. Within this affluent urban heartland of the Roman Empire, our sources and archaeological evidence present a coherent picture of market-oriented intensive mixed farming, viticulture, arboriculture, and market gardening, comparable, and often superior, in its productivity and agronomic expertise to the best agricultural practice of England, the Low Countries, France (wine), and Northern Italy in the mid-nineteenth century. Greco-Roman farmers succeeded in supplying a large urban population equal to, if not significantly greater than, that of early nineteenth century Italy and Greece, with a diet rich, not just in cereals, but in meat, wine, olive oil, fish, condiments, fresh fruit and vegetables. The most striking evidence comes from ancient skeletal remains, which reveal robust mean heights for Greeks and Romans and a high standard of health and nutrition. Protein and calorie malnutrition, caused by an insufficient diet based overwhelmingly on cereals, was very acute throughout eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western Europe, and drove the mean heights of the Spaniards, Italians, and Austro-Hungarians as low as 158-162cm, comparable to the heights of poor peasants in the Egyptian Old Kingdom. The evidence from Roman Italy, on the other hand, allows us to estimate a mean height of 168cm, equal to that of Italian males just after World War II, and the material from Hellenistic Greece suggests a mean height of 172cm, a level not reached in modern Greece until the late 1970s.
Archaeobotanical studies of funerary offerings allow important insights into beliefs in the afterlife and rituals in the past. Although the number of such investigations has increased in recent years, there are still only a very few systematic investigations of Gallo-Roman cremation graves, especially in northern France. The archaeobotanical study presented here concerns the cemetery (necropolis) of Faulquemont, located in the Département of Moselle. 70 cremation graves, dated from the 1st up to the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. have been sampled for the study of the botanical remains. The graveyard belongs to a rural site. The structures, mainly pits, contained secondary deposits of cremations, characterised by ashy fillings, broken archaeological burned material, bones and carbonised plant remains. 18 plant species have been identified including cereals, pulses, tubers and fruits plus bread/pastry. The most important ones were Triticum (hulled wheat), Hordeum (hulled barley), Lens (lentil) and Pisum (pea). There were also more “exotic” finds like Olea (olive), Phoenix (date) and Lupinus (lupin). The preservation of the cereals suggests possible cooking before cremation, or a long exposure to the fire. Some other plants like hazelnut and olive were maybe consumed as a component of funerary meals. In addition, there were also complete fruits burned as funerary offerings. Only the wealthy deceased received luxurious products such as date. Altogether, the spectrum of Faulquemont fits very well with the known picture of plant offerings during Gallo-Roman times.