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F31 Alien Cities: Consumption and the origins of urbanism in Roman Britain

Alien Cities

£35.00

Description

This book examines the economic and social impact of early Roman towns on the landscape of south-east Britain. Utilising the unusually rich database generated by rescue excavations in the region dominated by Colchester and London, it asks how the creation of these cities affected rural landscapes and communities in the first 200 years of Roman administration and control. In addressing these questions the authors hope to give impulse to improvements in the ways that archaeological data are collected, described and disseminated. The methodological focus of the volume involves comparing the evidence for past patterns of consumption, as represented by archaeological finds assemblages from urban and rural sites – comprising coins, pottery, animal bones and other artefacts.

 

Detailed Description

This book examines the economic and social impact of early Roman towns on the landscape of south-east Britain. Utilising the unusually rich database generated by rescue excavations in the region dominated by Colchester and London, it asks how the creation of these cities affected rural landscapes and communities in the first 200 years of Roman administration and control. In addressing these questions the authors hope to give impulse to improvements in the ways that archaeological data are collected, described and disseminated.

The methodological focus of the volume involves comparing the evidence for past patterns of consumption, as represented by archaeological finds assemblages from urban and rural sites – comprising coins, pottery, animal bones and other artefacts. This evidence provides the means to chart the influences of urban exaction, supply and markets, in turn permitting the exploration of the ways in which rural societies responded to urban change.

The results of this detailed study offer little support to the idea that cities were conceived as market centres for their surrounding territories. Instead, the distribution of goods is suggestive of an economy in which rural surplus flowed towards urban centres as a result of tribute, rent and taxation, with minimal reciprocal exchange. While past studies have cast the south-east as a ‘Romanised’ heartland, the authors contend that the major cities of Roman Britain stood apart as alien places of government and culture, where the exercise of imperial power made exaggerated call on available resources.

For all queries relating to this product please contact the following :-

louise.rayner@ucl.ac.uk

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