How Things Make History

The Roman Empire and its terra sigillata Pottery

Astrid Van Oyen

How Things Make History

Astrid Van Oyen

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

190 pages | 11 color plates, 7 halftones, 12 line drawings | 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 | © 2016
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9789462980549 Published May 2016 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Bright red terra sigillata pots dating to the first three centuries CE can be found throughout the Western Roman provinces. The pots’ widespread distribution and recognizability make them key evidence in the effort to reconstruct the Roman Empire’s economy and society. Drawing on recent ideas in material culture, this book asks a radically new question: what was it about the pots themselves that allowed them to travel so widely and be integrated so quickly into a range of contexts and practices? To answer this question, Astrid Van Oyen offers a fresh analysis in which objects are no longer passive props, but, rather, actively shape historical trajectories.
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