Provisioning and Agricultural Economy at Roman Gordion: Integrating Archaeobotany and Zooarchaeology

Author(s): John Marston; Canan Çakirlar

Year: 2017


Naomi Miller conducted extensive archaeobotanical research at the urban center of Gordion, in central Turkey, where she worked closely with zooarchaeologist Melinda Zeder to publish an integrated study of diachronic change in agricultural economies and land use. One period, however, was not included in this study: Roman Gordion, when the once-large city became a small military encampment. Drawing on the foundational effort of Miller and Zeder, we couple archaeobotanical data with new zooarchaeological data (taxonomic composition, mortality profiles, prevalence of weight-induced pathologies, and biometry) in an effort to characterize the agricultural economy at the Roman military base of Gordion. We propose a model where the garrison developed durable social and economic relationships with rural farmers, who provisioned the site with wheat and young cattle, and local pastoralists, who focused on secondary products and provided mainly older caprines to Gordion. Economic risk was further managed by the garrison through household husbandry (of pigs and chickens), while environmental risks were managed by farmers using intensive irrigation but exacerbated by extensive pastoral production. Gordion, as a rare integrated faunal and botanical study of the Roman Near East, provides a model for further study of the Roman agricultural economy in the eastern provinces.

Cite this Record

Provisioning and Agricultural Economy at Roman Gordion: Integrating Archaeobotany and Zooarchaeology. John Marston, Canan Çakirlar. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430589)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14408