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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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Approaches to Quantifying Roman Trade: Response

Approaches to Quantifying Roman Trade: Response

(p.250) 10 Approaches to Quantifying Roman Trade: Response
Quantifying the Roman Economy

Michael Fulford

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights the need from the perspective of the consuming community for an integrated approach to the comparative analysis of quantified material culture and environmental assemblages and change over time. At the same time, given the plentiful evidence for long-distance trade in the Roman world, it is important to begin to understand what this represented to different consuming communities in terms of expectations and values. What are ‘normal’ distributions in a marine or terrestrial environment, or in different social contexts? Long-distance traded goods are common on early Roman military sites on the frontiers, but rare on native sites, though in real terms it would have cost the same to reach both communities. Were these goods luxury in the native context, but everyday in the military? What would the military have considered as exotic?

Keywords:   long-distance trade, material culture, military sites, native sites, luxury goods, consumers

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