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Rural Settlement and Economic Activity: Olive Oil and Amphorae Production on the Tarhuna Plateau during the Roman Period

By Mftah Ahmed

Abstract

This thesis examines the rural settlement, landscape and two rural economic activities: olive oil and amphorae production on the Tarhuna plateau of Tripolitania. This was gendered from the Late Neo-Punic through the Roman period. Tripolitania is considered one of the main olive oil production regions during the Roman imperial era. Previous studies have tended to stress that presses of the Gebel Tarhuna were totally used for olive oil production, but the new evidence identified by the Tarhuna Archaeological Survey (TAS) has addressed that the wine was also produced to some extent in this area during the Roman period. The study has shown that there was a close relationship between olive oil and wine production and amphorae production by identifying new 14 amphora kiln sites with a quite large number of amphora stamps. These stamps reveal that these amphora workshops mostly located within estates belong to the urban elite.\ud The dissertation is divided into six chapters. The first half of the thesis is dealing with the geographic and literary background, the TAS and the ancient rural settlement on the Tarhuna plateau. After this, chapters are devoted to examine pressing facilities and the press element typology. This examination led me to estimate the capacity production of about 200 presses recorded in the Wadis Turgut and Doga with their close relationship to amphora production sites. Finally, some evaluation points are made with attention paid to the importance of future work as a key factor for improvement the knowledge about rural economic and settlement in this hinterland region of Tripolitania

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8752

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