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Pompeii, a changing city: the archaeobotanical assemblage of Regione VI, insula I

Murphy, C.; (2011) Pompeii, a changing city: the archaeobotanical assemblage of Regione VI, insula I. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Despite its world renown as an archaeological site, the past twelve years of archaeological excavations (1995-2006) by the Anglo-American Project in Pompeii (AAPP) provides one of the few examples of chronological depth in Pompeii. The main focus of this doctoral research was the analysis of the archaeobotanical assemblage recovered during the course of the excavation of Regione VI, insula I, Pompeii, Italy by the AAPP. Pompeii provides a well-situated and firmly documented historical context from which to examine issues of food distribution and consumption in a complex urban society and highlights the role that archaeobotanical analysis can contribute to studies of social and economic differentiation. This research attempted to provide a diachronic analysis of wider patterns of food consumption across contemporaneous households, from a variety of domestic and commercial contexts over the nearly three hundred year occupation of Insula VI.I. Aside from a few primary deposits there was a general paucity of archaeobotanical remains from the properties of Insula VI.I. Urban archaeobotany presents a number of problems, including the presence of intact floors, mosaics, re-building and construction events and lack of rubbish deposits or middens. The low scatter of standard Mediterranean taxa or archaeobotanical background `noise´ from the majority of contexts examined in this study suggests that they were composed of secondary fill. The archaeobotanical evidence from this study yielded no firm evidence of trade or conclusive information regarding the different cultural influences upon Pompeii. The general lack of evidence for crop-processing within Insula VI.I, from all properties examined, suggest that within this section of Pompeii cereal processing was no longer occurring and was likely taking place in the nearby countryside outside the city gates. These results support the established view that Pompeii was a fully urbanised city in the 1st century AD.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Pompeii, a changing city: the archaeobotanical assemblage of Regione VI, insula I
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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