International Council for Archaeozoology -Zooarchaeology of the Roman Period

3rd Working Group Meeting

Animals in the Roman Economy

Production, supply, and trade within and beyond the Empire’s frontiers.

11th-13th March 2021

University College Dublin, Ireland

Animals were major key components of the economy of ancient societies. They played various roles in the production, transformation and distribution of goods, as well as providing the raw materials to produce a great variety of products. This meeting will investigate what the specificities of animal exploitation within the Roman economic system were. Roman socio-economic organisation provided an important stimulus for the production of surplus. What was the impact of a developing market economy on animal exploitation? How and to what extent was the animal economy impacted by the increasing scale of the production of goods during the Roman period? The integration of the different territories of the Empire within the Roman economic system was varied. How are these different levels of integration reflected in animal exploitation? Did technological innovation have an impact on the role and use of animals in the economy? Can we detect specific practices resulting from the impact of the Roman Army on the economy at the fringes of the Empire, both within and outside it? In particular, how was animal exploitation by the population outside the Empire influenced by their exchanges with the Romans?

This meeting intends to inform about and discuss the numerous implications of animals in the Roman economy during the late Republic and Empire, and on the diversity and common points in the practices between different regions in both the East and West, as well as beyond the frontier. In addition to osteological studies, presentations on ancient historical and multi-disciplinary research combining zooarchaeological and archaeological data are encouraged, as well as isotopic, aDNA and geometric morphometric approaches to reconstruct networks of exchange.