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The State Mobilization of Olive Oil in Byzacena during the Later Fourth Century CE

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 12, 2017. 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Archaeology Center
Workshop: 
Archaeology--Political Landscapes: Past and Present
Meeting Description: 

In this talk, Ted Peña will review the evidence provided by a set of ostraka dating to 373 CE recovered in excavations on the Ilôt de l’Amirauté at Carthage for the collection by the Roman state of olive oil as tax in kind. Peña will discuss the nature of the documents and the inferences that can be drawn from them, including the identity and organization of the administrative bodies responsible for the collection and weighing operations, the methods employed for the weighing and packaging of the oil, the methods employed to monitor the progress of operations, the identification and layout of the facility where the oil was weighed and stored, the nature and geography of the tax initiatives under which the oil was mobilized, and the methods employed to transport the oil from the collection districts where it was collected first to Carthage and then on to other destinations.

Ted Peña is a professor of Roman archaeology in the Department of Classics and Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained a BA in Classics and Archaeology from Wesleyan University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Before joining the faculty of UC Berkeley in 2009 he served on the faculty of the University at Albany, SUNY, and University at Buffalo, SUNY, where he was chair of the Department of Classics and founding director of the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology. His areas of interest include the archaeology of Roman and pre-Roman Italy, the Roman economy, ceramic analysis/technology, and material culture studies. He currently directs two research projects in Italy, the Palatine East Pottery Project (PEPP) and the Pompeii Artifact Life History Project (PALHIP). At UC Berkeley he directs the Roman Material Culture Laboratory and is chair of the Archaeological Research Facility advisory committee.

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