Tracing trade networks in Roman Thrace through pottery analysis

This project examines Roman and Late Antique pottery assemblages from the south-eastern Bulgaria, Yambol Region, through an integrated approach, combining detailed archaeological examination with a science-based methodology based on the combination of ceramic petrography and elemental analysis by WD-XRF. The research is carried out in cooperation of the Institute of Classical Archaeology of the Charles University in Prague (Dr. Petra Tušlová), the CCA-BW of the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Dr. Silvia Amicone) and the Fitch Laboratory at the British School at Athens (Dr. Evangelia Kiriatzi and Dr. Noémi Müller). The project focuses on pottery assemblages originating from two important settlements. The first one is Yurta-Stroyno, a vicus of Roman army veterans, with its habitation peak dated from the 2nd till 4th c. AD. The site is one of the few rural Roman period settlements systematically investigated in the area, with a rich pottery assemblage yielding different types of Roman fine and coarse wares, but also including handmade pots of local, Thracian, tradition. The second settlement is Dodoparon, the only Late Antiquity hillfort known and excavated in the Yambol Region and well dated to the end of the 6th c. AD. The studied assemblage includes 57 complete vessels found altogether in a closed context in the central house of the hillfort.  

Samples from both sites will be analysed and results are anticipated to allow us, for the first time in the region, to characterise and to describe the technology of the local production during the Roman period and Late Antiquity and to shed light on local, regional and interregional trade, exchange and distribution networks in an area which is well connected to the Mediterranean as well as to the Black Sea.