Connecting sea? Modelling economic cohesion in the Roman Adriatic
This thesis focuses on modelling complex economic concepts in the Roman Adriatic. A quantitative focus is taken, and an effort is made to consider evidence from across the region, both terrestrial and maritime, from the offset. Section A considers the geographic and ecological evidence, taking a consciously non-archaeological approach in order to identify micro-regions within the wider region. This also introduces Circuit Theory (CT), which is central to modelling potential connectivity and ultimately economic cohesion in this thesis. Section B is focused on the archaeological evidence, considering the urban population, wine and oil production and the transport infrastructure of the Adriatic. For each of these, the archaeological evidence is compared to the geographic and ecological evidence established in Section A. The CT data is used to identify areas and sites of particular significance, and through this, a complex economic system, operating on multiple scales begins to emerge; potential connectivity is at the centre of all of this. In Section C, the distribution of amphorae and shipwrecks is considered. This expands on the production and connectivity outlined in Section B, and begins to more directly model the economic system in which the Roman Adriatic functioned through quantitative analysis. This thesis demonstrates the importance of geography and potential mobility to ancient economies. A combined maritime and terrestrial approach is vital for any full understanding. Ultimately, this thesis demonstrates that the Roman Adriatic existed as a distinct economic system but one which was reliant on the wider Roman economy. Inter-regional trade was important and prevalent, extra-regional trade was organised in a more hierarchical system, with access to the wider economy likely conducted primarily through relatively few large sites in the north.