Archaeometric analysis of building ceramics and ‘dolia defossa’ from the Roman Imperial estate of Vagnari (Gravina in Puglia, Italy)

Giuseppe Montana, Luciana Randazzo, Donatella Barca, Maureen Carroll

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This paper concerns the archaeometric analysis of ceramic finds dating to the Roman Imperial period, brought to light during the excavation campaigns conducted at Vagnari (Puglia) in south-east Italy. On the site of the central
village (vicus) of this imperial estate, established by the Roman Emperor in the early 1st century CE, large dolia (wine vats) sunk into the floor of a winery of the 2nd century CE recently were brought to light. Other discoveries include kilns for the production of ceramic roof tiles and also kiln wasters such as misfired tiles. The purpose of the analytical approach was therefore twofold: 1) to establish the composition of local ceramic products and of raw clay resources available nearby; 2) to prove that the dolia were imported and not produced locally (as macroscopic observations of the ceramic vessels would suggest) and to offer a hypothesis concerning their provenance through petrographic observations and chemical analysis. The results show that roof tiles for the settlement were manufactured locally from readily available clay deposits, but the dolia were imported, by sea and/or land, from distant workshops in volcanic zones on the west coast of Italy around Rome or south of Rome near Minturno on the Campanian border.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103057
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science Reports
Early online date3 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

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