Detailed schedule

The congress will begin on Tuesday, 22 May, at 10 o'clock with a plenary session and keynote lectures at the Guerzenich in Cologne. From Wednesday to Saturday (23 to 26 May) there will be parallel panel sessions (single-, double- and triple-panels), each of which will take place from 9 o'clock on at the Palatial Residence at Bonn (University Main Building). Alongside the panel sessions, a poster session (24 May) and workshops on various topics and issues will be held. The congress will conclude with a fair well drink event in the Aula of the University of Bonn on Saturday, 26 May.

See the detailed schedule below. If you have already an user account on Converia, you can use the conference planner to create an individual schedule. Please note that changes, especially concerning the rooms, will be made.

A variety of evening activities, excursions and city visits (22 and 27 May) also will be arranged for congress participants. More information to follow.

Welcome Event at the Guerzenich in Cologne (22 May)

from 08:00

Registration starts

10:00 - 10:30

Welcome Adresses
Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen | Minister for Culture and Sciences of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Henriette Reker | Lord Major of the City of Cologne
Friederike Fless | President of the German Archaeological Institute
Manuela Günter | Prorector of the University of Cologne
Kristian Göransson | President of the International Association of Classical Archaeology
Martin Bentz and Michael Heinzelmann | AIAC organisers

Keynote Lectures

Part I: Chaired by Kristian Göransson

10:30 - 11:00

Introduction to the main theme 'Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World'
Andrew Wilson | University of Oxford

11:00 - 11:30

Archaeology and Economic History
Sitta von Reden | University of Freiburg

Archaeology and Ancient History over the past 40 years have entered a particularly happy marriage. This has not only revolutionized the subject of ancient economic history, but also transformed the nature of the questions we ask and the answers we find in economic research. We are now able to place economic processes into space, landscapes and infrastructures, use quantifiable data for social-science oriented economic models and investigate economic regions and micro-ecologies that were largely beyond the focus of literary texts in Greek and Latin. In this lecture, I will address important research agendas in which collaboration between archaeologists and ancient historians might promise particularly fruitful in the future: the use of numismatic, epigraphical and papyrological material, traditionally the preserves of ancient historians, in their archaeological contexts and temporalities; and collaborative approaches to economic questions that have turned out to be central in the 21st century. Among the latter are economic inequality, the effects of climate change on micro-economies, and economic development in global worlds.

11:30 - 12:00

Ancient social equality, biological standards of living, and demographic development in comparative perspective
Geoffrey Kron
| University of Victoria

The reconstruction of the demography, biological standard of living, and class structure of the ancient world is challenging, but our fragmentary documentary and archaeological evidence does offer a coherent vision, if properly interpreted in the light of recent research into the social and economic transformation of Europe and North America between the 18th and 20th centuries, a period of the contested revival of democratic political institutions. I will focus on how we can read the effect of systems of land tenure and agricultural production, as well as differences in wealth, income and social power, through their effects upon the bodies of human beings and domestic animals, and upon the built environment. Special emphasis will be placed on how physical anthropological, archaeozoological and archaeobotanical data, long neglected by Classical archaeologists and historians, as well as a more systematic study of domestic architecture, have begun to provide significant new concrete evidence to support the long unfashionable ‘modernizing’ analysis of the great German historians of the late 19th and early 20th century, Meyer, Beloch, Pöhlmann, and Friedländer. Finally, any discussion of the explanatory power of social inequality and of the scientific power of anthropometry, particularly in these times, ought to note how class differences in height, properly attributed to the effects of under-nutrition and poverty by Villermé and Quetelet, were simultaneously exploited by Galton and many reactionaries as evidence for the biological superiority of the upper classes and a justification for eugenics.


Lunch breack

13:10 - 13:40

Ecological and economical consequences of the human impact on the Mediterranean landscapes - examples from Western Anatolia
Helmut Brückner | University of Cologne

The natural factors of the Mediterranean ecosystems – such as rocks, soils, climate, hydrology, vegetation – are vulnerable in the sense that even minor changes may have great consequences. Therefore, the human impact, especially in Greek and Roman times, resulted in massive landscape changes, which strongly affected the economies of the ancient societies and their settlements. This can well be demonstrated when studying harbour cities. They were hubs for ancient economies, commerce and communication. From a (geo-) archaeological point of view harbours are excellent archives, rendering valuable information about shipping and trading, but also about erosion-accumulation processes, vegetation changes, pollution, and human diseases. Many marine embayments with natural harbour sites had evolved due to the postglacial sea-level rise. Their progressive siltation was caused by the progradation of the river deltas and the mostly human-induced denudation/accumulation processes. The lecture will exemplify this “life cycle” of ancient harbours for Elaia and the Kaikos (Bakırçay), Ephesos and the Kaystros (Küçük Menderes), Miletos and the Maiandros (Büyük Menderes), as well as Ainos and the Hebros (Meriç/Mariza). It will be demonstrated how the rise and fall of the harbour cities and their economies were connected with these landscape changes.

13:40 - 14:10

The shapes of production in classical antiquity: space, scale, infrastructure, integration
Lin Foxhall
| University of Liverpool

Production is a slippery concept in the study of the classical world. It hard to measure and difficult to characterise uniformly since it emerges from such a wide range of different activities and institutions operating at different scales, and yet it is visible through only a comparatively limited range of sources. This paper attempts to investigate the complexity of production in classical antiquity, in particular the connections between production at different scales and spatial locations, as well as the overlaps between agricultural and other kinds of production.

Part II: Chaired by Friederike Fless

14:10 - 14:40

Distribution: A coin perspective
François de Callataÿ
| Royal Library of Belgium, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

With 25 panels and 174 announced papers, the ‘Distribution’ session can claim to be the strongest of the Congress. Indeed, this is a topic which has benefited immensely during the last decades from 1) the gigantic mass of data produced by field archaeology, coupled with 2) the scientific methods of the laboratory (even if they usually result in complicating rather than simplifying matters) and – last but not least – 3) digital humanities (including GIS).
Amongst the huge amount of material data produced by classical archaeology, some categories are especially suited to distribution studies. Vases and coins come to mind first, given the impressive amount of recovered data (millions of Greek coins, dozens of millions of Roman coins) combined with their generally large circulation. Coins are particularly interesting since we usually know where and when they have been produced.
Based on both numismatics and other kinds of evidence, one aims to illustrate – in a more practical than a conceptual way – the different steps of how to proceed (and how not to proceed) with the interpretation of distribution patterns. 1) A first step is to define the different biases, ancient and modern, by which what is actually measured differs from what was originally produced. 2) The second step concerns final locations considered in terms of space, time or ‘status’. 3) The third step is to wonder about what happened to objects before to be finally discovered in their ultimate locations.

14:40 - 15:10

There and Back Again: Piggy-back and Return Cargoes
Elizabeth Fentress
| Rome

It has long been recognized that the presence of certain low-value imports, like querns and bricks, depends more on their role as ballast than on their intrinsic value. The ships that brought grain from Africa and Egypt could not return empty, and their naviculares would have sought merchandise of many types for resale. In other cases, a high-value, low weight cargo, like spices and silk, might attract other lower-value merchandise to fill the ships heading for Rome. This paper addresses the ways in which we might perceive these secondary cargoes, and the particular nature of ancient commercial distribution. Starting with a brief overview of the specific distributions of Attic pottery in Etruria, I will then discuss the case of African amphorae and Red Slip, with a final consideration of the traffic from the Eastern Mediterranean to Rome.


Coffee break

15:50 - 16:20

Putting Urban Economic Infrastructure into Context
Simon Keay
| University of Southampton

This paper emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the infrastructure offered by Roman cities and the intensity of rural settlement and seaborne commerce. Roads, warehouses, market buildings, manufactories, temples, and an adequate water supply ensured that bulk agricultural commodities from rural estates were transported, stored and processed prior to consumption, sale and onward transmission. In the case of ports, harbour structures, canals and warehouses ensured transhipment, storage and re-distribution of cargoes, and the movement of commodities between land and sea. In both cases, recent work is emphasising the crucial importance of infrastructure in peripheral connected contexts. Less evident are buildings hosting invisible infrastructure, including those for dissemination of the laws needed to enforce the payment of taxes, honouring of commercial contracts and ensuring the monitoring of weight standards and prices. Much still remains to be learned about the size, range and seasonality of the human capital that was fundamental to the mobilisation of economic resource in towns. Intensive rural surveys are continuing to provide ever sharper resolution data from the hinterlands of towns across the Empire. An important development in recent years has been the advent of data from surveys in the eastern Mediterranean, particularly the arid zones, to complement areas of more traditional enquiry in the west Mediterranean, north Africa and temperate Europe. However, differing survey methodologies and contrasting scales of analysis are still making it hard to undertake comparisons of survey results from different regions. The paper also argues that there is a case for more joined-up research into relationships between fluctuations in rural settlement, the provision of urban infrastructure, and the intensity of land and sea-based commerce.

16:20 - 16:50

Building Construction, Terracotta Production, and Knowledge Networks in the Roman Empire
Lynne Lancaster
| Ohio University

With the uptake of the bathing habit that spread along with Roman conquests, terracotta building elements took on a role in the building industry that went beyond the traditional use as a roof covering. Clay is malleable and has the benefit of being much easier to shape than stone elements. The terracotta workshop therefore provided a rich experimental playground for developing new shapes and types of building elements that were both fire- and water-proof, some of which remained specific to bath buildings while others were adopted in a variety of different building types. The soft clay also allowed for stamping before firing, which in turn provides us a method for tracking distribution. Thus in this talk, I examine a number of unusual terracotta elements used for building vaults and examine what they can tell us about extents of knowledge networks in the different parts of the Roman Empire and about the different agents at work in the exchange of that knowledge. Similar studies have been made on trade networks of stone building elements, which has been possible due to the quarry marks, ship wrecks, and the identification of stone types, but in this study, I use terracotta stamping, identification of clay fabric, and unique forms of terracotta elements to identify both regional and long distance knowledge networks that do not necessarily reflect direct trade of the items themselves.

16:50 - 17:20

Economies of religion: symbolic, communicative and spatial dimensions of religious production and consumption
Jörg Rüpke
| University of Erfurt

In the case of contemporary religion, attempts to use homo economicus and rational choice theory for understanding the financing of religious institutions and the “economy of religion” have repeatedly been criticised. In the case of antiquity, the issue has usually been understood in terms of the economic nexus implied in the institution of blood-sacrifice, where dozens of animals might be killed, or the consumption-expenditure required for elaborate rituals like games. This keynote will briefly review these issues, but fundamentally take a different approach, building on questions of religious agency, lived ancient religion and the urban setting of much of what can be regarded as religion in antiquity. The argument is that ancient religion involves three different ‘economies’ that cannot simply be entered into some final balance sheet, namely: the symbolic or political economy of religion, an economy of religious communication, and a spatial economy.
This in turn suggests three claims. First, that religious practices, that is cult formally addressed to divine beings, played a crucial role in establishing specifically ‘public’ roles and created ‘cultural capital’ (Bourdieu) that could be transformed into political authority. Secondly, the very logic of communication with non-human addressees stimulated massive investment in media that increased the efficiency of religious communication and produced religious goods subsequently available for consumption by others. Thirdly, given the density of the built environment of cities, space was a scarce resource that stimulated many different patterns of exploitation for religious purposes. These include the increase or reduction in visibility of different elements in permanent sacral contexts, competition over such resources, and the variation of specific religious profiles in the course of time. The lecture will mostly rely on examples taken from the city of Rome, but will suggest some more general conclusions.

17:20 - 17:50

Regional Survey and the Ancient Economy
John Bintliff
| University of Leiden, Historical Institute/ Department of Archaeology, Edinburgh University

Regional projects using surface pedestrian survey, coupled with remote sensing methods such as aerial photos and geophysical prospection, can contribute immense depth and breadth to our understanding of the economic life of Greek and Roman Antiquity. Firstly whereas excavations, archival history and epigraphy necessarily focus on particular settlements, especially cities, regional survey undertakes to prospect large areas of the landscape, often including every kind of human activity: from traces of land use in the unsettled landscape, through farms and villages, thence onwards to small and giant cities, and in every period from Prehistory to the presentday. This allows us to evaluate, quantitatively, the scale of rural and urban populations for each period of Antiquity, and the broad changes in the exploitation of farmland, pasture, marine resources, harbour installations and mineral resources. Changing modes de vie in the systems of land use, such as family farms or commercial villas, become apparent, as well as economic priorities. Since one third or more of ancient Mediterranean cities remain today in rural environments, and in any case excavation of entire towns has always been inconceivable, surface survey also permits us in a limited number of field seasons to recover the rise and fall of urbanism, then link this to the contemporary changes in the associated rural hinterland of towns. The data collected through surface survey, especially the abundant ceramic fragments, allow us to track local regional and interregional trade flows and the involvement of populations from the humblest peasant farm to elite domus in production and consumption. Coins recovered during landscape studies, added to those archived from stray finds and excavations, further open up insights into the degree of monetarisation of the economy and the penetration of different levels of monetary transactions at varying social levels. Remote sensing finally can recover the plans of rural and urban domestic structures, allowing us to measure the relative wealth and scale of life for different sectors of the productive population, and how these alter over time.


Evening events

18:30 - 20:15

Visit of the Cologne Cathedral Excavations and organ concert

20:15 - 22:00

Reception at the RömischGermanisches-Museum and night visit of the praetorium