Session: #45

Theme & Session Format

4. Polis, Empire, League and Beyond – Living in Interconnected Societies
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Becoming Roman: The Role of Biological Resources in the Expansion of New Economic and Cultural Models throughout the Empire
The expansion of the Roman Empire was a gradual process and far more encompassing than a mere military conquest: it also corresponded to the dissemination of novel cultural, religious and economic models. The introduction of new agricultural and husbandry practices, foodstuffs and other biological resources were fundamental steps of this process.
However, the de facto implementation of the modus romanus throughout a vast and diverse territory, inhabited by a wide variety of communities with distinct backgrounds and identities, was particularly complex and varied. Thus, understanding the regional or provincial specificities is crucial to properly access and characterize the impacts of the roman administration among the everyday life of indigenous communities.
In this session, we aim to explore how biological resources were exploited by indigenous communities, at local and regional levels, and to understand their role within the framework of the new economical and territorial exploration model imposed by the Roman Empire from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. A wide variety of studies are thus welcomed, namely archaeobotanical, zooarchaeological, ancient DNA and isotopic analysis, as well as other proxy directly associated with biological resources.
Papers should focus all themes associated with plant and animal remains such as subsistence strategies, agricultural technical aspects, trade, species distribution, introduction, improvement/selection and their role in rituals and other cultural/social activities. Approaches addressing other rarer biological products such as honey, fungi, wild animals and plants, as well as these activities impacts in the perceivable environment are also welcomed. Regional or broader synthesis are preferred but interdisciplinary and highly informative site-studies will also be accepted.
Biological resources, Roman Empire, Agriculture and animal husbandry, Socio-economic changes, Archaeobotany, Zooarchaeology
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Session associated with DGUF:
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Main organiser:
João Tereso (Portugal) 1,2,3,4,5,6
Cleia Detry (Portugal) 3,5
Filipe Vaz (Portugal) 1,2,5
Leonor Peña-Chocarro (Spain) 7,8,5
Silvia Valenzuela-Lamas (Spain) 7,9,3,5
1. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos
2. BIOPOLIS Program in Genomics, Biodiversity and Land Planning
3. Centre for Archaeology. UNIARQ. School of Arts and Humanities. University of Lisbon
4. MHNC - UP - Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto
5. B-ROMAN Project (PTDC/HAR-ARQ/4909/2020)
6. Centre of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Coimbra
7. Spanish National Research Council-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
8. GI Paleoeconomía y Subsistencia de las Sociedades Preindustriales, Instituto de Historia (IH-CSIC)
9. Archaeology of Social Dynamics, Milà i Fontanals Research Institute (ASD, IMF-CSIC)