Imported building materials in North Africa: Brick, stone and the role of return cargoes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper examines what imported building materials – brick, tile and decorative stones – can add to our understanding of the commercial connections between North African urban centres, the wider Mediterranean, and especially Italy. Although assemblages of Italian brick and tile in North Africa have usually been explained as the remnants of ballast cargoes, there are good reasons to think that these objects were highly valued and imported for specific jobs. In this sense, the import of brick and tile and the import of decorative stone should be considered together. The desire to (re)create Roman-style buildings, especially baths and large roofed structures like basilicas, while at the same time engaging with wider currents of architectural display, underpinned the demand for these materials in North Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDe Africa Romaque
Subtitle of host publicationMerging Cultures Across North Africa
EditorsNiccolo Mugnai, Julia Nikolaus, Nicholas Ray
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSociety for Libyan Studies
ISBN (Print)9781900971331
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • North Africa
  • Roman archaeology
  • Brick
  • Marble
  • Return cargoes


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