Shipments great and small: Moving building materials by sea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Demand for prestige materials, primarily from major imperially-funded projects but also from locally-funded schemes all around the Roman world, put enormous pressure on the producers of raw materials and, especially, transporters. Big buildings demanded big materials and this had an impact on the infrastructure through which these materials were used and the means of transport employed. But the fashion for stone construction more generally also meant that vast quantities of this material were moved overseas throughout the Roman period. As Knoop and Jones have remarked, in a study on stoneworking in the Middle Ages: ‘apart from the selection of suitable stone, probably the most important problem in connection with the supply of building materials was that of carriage.’1 In this short paper I will consider what the shipwreck evidence reveals about the dynamics of this traffic, focusing on cargoes both big and small, and what they reveal about the commercial mechanisms behind them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding BIG - Constructing Economies: From Design to Long-Term Impact of Large Scale Building Project. Panel 3.6 (Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World - Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Cologne/Bonn 2018)
EditorsJari Pakkanen, Ann Brysbaert
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
ISBN (Electronic)9783969290422
ISBN (Print)9783969290439
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021
Event19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology -, Cologne/Bonn, Germany
Duration: 22 May 201826 May 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology


Conference19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology


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