Topic and themes

Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World

Economy is one of the main considerations in analysing the manifold material culture of the Classical World. The aim of the congress is to present and discuss new and old evidence, interpretations, theories and methods using an economic approach which has become more and more common amongst archaeologists in recent years.

The focus is on classical Mediterranean culture – including its predecessors and successors – but also on its varied contacts with neighbouring cultures, which were often driven by economic factors.

The contributions and discussions may come from all research areas and may be based on different material evidence: from excavations, survey archaeology, and all kinds of visual and artistic culture – architecture, sculpture, ceramics and other classes of material.

During the congress the central economic process of production, distribution and consumption will be flanked by themes regarding human and natural environmental factors and specific cases such as cult, the city and the military etc. Of course, one important debate will be about methodology in the different fields of research.

The main theme will be discussed in 11 different sessions. Another session is open to suggestions.

  1. The human factor: demography, nutrition, health, epidemics etc.
  2. The impact of natural environmental factors on ancient economy: climate, landscape etc.
  3. Systems of production: land use, industry, technology, artistic production etc.
  4. System of extraction: mining, pollution, technology etc.
  5. Distribution: trade and exchange, monetarization, credit, networks, transport, infrastructure (e.g. ports) etc.
  6. Consumption: daily and luxury consumption, conspicuous consumption, waste, recycling, diet etc.
  7. Economy of cult: investment, religious and ritual consumption, economics of death etc.
  8. The role of the city in the ancient economy: urban infrastructure, relations between town and country etc.
  9. The military economy at war and peace
  10. Economy of knowledge: education, innovation, literacy etc.
  11. Methodology: survey archaeology, natural sciences, quantification etc.
  12. Other topics outside the main theme of the conference are open to suggestions