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The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade$
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Ben Russell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656394.001.0001

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(p.37) 3 Quarrying
The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade

Ben Russell

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the evidence for the ownership and administration of quarrying sites in the Roman Empire. Most quarries were under private or municipal ownership in this period but many of the largest quarries of decorative stone were placed under imperial control. These sites were set up to supply prestigious materials to imperially funded projects but they also relied extensively on private personnel. The extent to which these individuals could profit from their involvement in this activity remains open to debate. The second half of this chapter turns to the distribution of quarries and their chronology. Based on a database of nearly 800 quarries it provides a detailed overview of the landscape of stone extraction in the Roman world.

Keywords:   Quarrying, Administration, Imperial control, Private ownership, Municipal Ownership, Distribution, Chronology, Database

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