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The archaeology of the Roman economy


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Degree students (including Dutch BA graduates): BA degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or a relevant discipline.
SAP and Exchange Students: BA degree. Admission only after formal application.


This course will cover the different kinds of evidence available for the study of Roman economic life, such as agricultural production, craft specialisation, mining, commerce and consumption, monetarisation, combining practical archaeological sources with textual evidence and theoretical debates.

Course objectives

  • Familiarise the student in depth with the practical evidence and the interpretative models required to understand the varied aspects of Roman economic life;

  • To train students in the complementary methods used for field study of Roman society;

  • To provide a deep appreciation of relevant theoretical approaches to comprehending the mechanisms of everyday life in the Roman world.


Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

2 papers of 2,000-3,000 words. The first essay is due in week 5, the second in week 8 of the block.

Reading list

  • J.L. Bintliff, Going to Market in Antiquity. Zu Wasser und zu Land, Stuttgarter Kolloquium 7. E. Olshausen & H. Sonnabend. Stuttgart (2002);

  • K. Greene, The Archaeology of the Roman Economy. Berkeley: The University of California Press (1990);

  • K. Greene, “Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World. M.I. Finley reconsidered” in: Economic History Review 53(1): 29-59. (2000);

  • J.T. Pena, Roman Pottery in the Archaeological Record. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2007).


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact prof. dr J.L. Bintliff.