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Quantifying the Roman EconomyMethods and Problems$
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Alan Bowman and Andrew Wilson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562596

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562596.001.0001

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Peopling Ancient Landscapes: Potential and Problems

Peopling Ancient Landscapes: Potential and Problems

(p.163) 6 Peopling Ancient Landscapes: Potential and Problems
Quantifying the Roman Economy

David Mattingly

Oxford University Press

The explosion of archaeological field survey projects in the late 20th century has contributed to a general sense that rural settlement expanded considerably in many areas of the Roman Empire, but has not yet had much impact on overall demographic models and estimates for Roman population of provinces or the empire as a whole. Chapter 5 raises many points of fundamental importance for the debate about how best to mobilize the archaeological data. This chapter responds to Chapter 5 and focuses on potential problems of interpretation and methodology: issues relating to modelling settlement from archaeological site ‘numbers’, to the application of random sampling methods in Mediterranean survey, to the recoverability of rare upper-echelon and potentially abundant but elusive lower-order settlements, to the use of interpretative labels for ploughzone sites, to distinguishing evidence of absence from absence of evidence.

Keywords:   archaeological survey, rural settlement, demographic models, population, ploughzone sites

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