Transfer and transformation of values. Reconsideration of ‘Roman’ metal vessels within the so-called Barbaricum
Roman provincial archaeology
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Markus Scholz
The chronological framework of this project ranges from the Late Roman Republic into the Roman imperial Age. Geographically, there are no limits, due to the fact, that this is no single regional study. Excavations or surveys will not be conducted, since the investigation relies only on secondary and historical sources.
The basic research question aims to find out how the value of ‘Roman’ vessels changed over various periods outside their genuine ‘Roman’ contexts. Therefore, the investigation takes also into consideration the differences in function. The project focuses not on merchants, trade routes or the construction of so far non-existent typologies or chronologies.
The project profits in terms of available archaeological sources from rich data bases of detected Roman objects in various regions along the former border of the Empire. An example would be the “Corpus der römischen Funde im europäischen Barbaricum”. Only carefully chosen finds and contexts will serve for analytical purposes. The contexts comprise settlements, hoards and graves.
The theoretical background of the project is nourished by diverse disciplines. Concepts and ideas from archaeology, anthropology, sociology and economy serve as pool for interpretation models. These can help to develop further research questions, which support the concise selection of contexts and regions of investigations.
The focus lies on vessels made of metal. A further critical interest lies in the apparent selection of vessels and materials. Pieces of vessels in barbarian contexts often differ in number and attributed objects in comparison to find situations in Roman spheres.
It might be also fruitful to take into view glass and ceramic imitations. It can be assumed that these enable us to gain insights into the relation of supply and demand. However, rather more important are the potential conclusions we can draw from it with respect to the material and immaterial significance of metal vessels.
The location of the Research Training Group in Frankfurt am Main favours the cooperation with the Römisch-Germanische Kommission of the Deutsche Archäologische Institut and the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz. It fosters the academic exchange with national and international scholarship.