Book Launch & Reception
Frontiers of the Roman Empire: The North African Frontier
Tuesday 22 October, 2013 at 6pm
Chancellor's Hall, Senate House
This event is preceded by a 'Rome in Bloomsbury' Seminar:
4.30 - 5.30pm, Dreyfus Room, Birkbeck, 28 Russell Square (enter via no. 26)
David Stone, Africa in the Roman Empire: Connectivity, Harbours and the Economy
The relationship between connectivity and economic activity is a subject of current debate in Mediterranean archaeology, and recent scholarship has shown the significance of this topic for North African studies. This paper approaches the issue through a body of evidence, artificial port structures (jetties, quays, enclosures, and breakwaters), which has hitherto been overlooked. I identify 29 definite, and 15 possible, structures between Cyrenaica and Mauretania, dating between the fourth century B.C.E and the sixth century C.E. I demonstrate that the archaeological evidence for these structures is a more reliable source of information than the ancient literary evidence, and discuss how the picture drawn from latter has misled earlier scholars.