Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

6. Industrial Landscapes, Spatial Politics and Settlement Change in the Roman East

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Bradley M. Sekedat [+-]
University of California, Davis
Bradley M. Sekedat is a Lecturer at the University of California, Davis. His research explores survey methodology and industrial practices in the eastern Roman empire. He is Assistant Director for Survey of the Central Lydia Archaeological Project. Recent articles have appeared in the Journal of Roman Archaeology and Archaeolog.

Description

Many of the most profound contributions of survey archaeology stem from the assumption that changing social practices will be reflected in their material and spatial proxies. When patterns on the ground change, something must have happened to induce the reordering of social, political, and economic relationships that necessitated corresponding changes in where and how people lived. This framework makes survey archaeology a dynamic and flexible tool that is able to contribute to new questions and new theoretical concerns. For scholarship of the Roman empire, the relationship between people and the landscape has never been more critical. New research emphasizes the role of space and spatial practices in establishing new political relationships — a topic right at home in the context of expanding Roman political hegemony throughout the Mediterranean and beyond. Identifying how and where the Roman political and economic apparatus intersected with local populations, and in which ways this resulted in any kind of noticeable change, remains hugely significant for understanding how the empire operated at its basic level. Moreover, imperial things, such as quarries, mines, and monuments, become significant not just as indicators of political change, but as the potential means by which the empire constituted itself in its vast territorial expanse. Such things also reconfigure social and political realities through spatial practices. This paper addresses Roman imperial expansion in the eastern Mediterranean through the application of survey archaeology to industrial zones. The author focuses on industrial landscapes surrounding marble quarries in Greece and Asia Minor to assess how an imperial presence had an effect on settlement dynamics. These settlement trends are compared to settlement data in non-industrial regions to suggest that survey archaeology can provide insight into the methods by which the Roman empire spread, noting variation over time and across space.

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Citation

Sekedat, Bradley. 6. Industrial Landscapes, Spatial Politics and Settlement Change in the Roman East. Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 114-131 Jan 2018. ISBN 9781781795279. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30809. Date accessed: 14 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30809. Jan 2018

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