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Modelling Roman agricultural production in the Middle Tiber Valley, Central Italy

Goodchild, Helen (2007)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis analyses the potential agricultural production of the regions of South Etruria and Sabina, north of Rome in the Middle Tiber Valley, Central Italy. Historical evidence from Roman authors is combined with archaeological evidence from field survey and geographical resource data, and modelled within a Geographical Information System. Farm size and location are investigated in order to determine any correlation with contemporary Roman recommendations. Multi-criteria evaluation is then used to create suitability maps, showing those regions within the study area best suited to different types of crops. A number of different models for agricultural production within the study area are presented. Many variables are utilised, each presenting a range of possibilities for the carrying capacity of the area, complementing previous studies of demography. Research into workload, nutrition and crop yields provides a basis for determining the supported population of the area. Urban provisioning is investigated also, showing how high yielding models could have supported a large urban population within the studied region, as well as its potential contribution to the food supply of Rome. This analysis showed which agricultural systems could adequately supply urban centres, and highlighted those models that would have led either to an urban dependency on larger scale trade networks or to decline.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Gaffney, Vincent L. and McKeown, Niall
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity
Keywords:Roman, agriculture, modelling, GIS, landscape, archaeology
Subjects:CC Archaeology
DG Italy
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:175
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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