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Mining, Migration, and Movement in Roman Iberia

Author(s): Linda Gosner

Year: 2017

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The Iberian Peninsula was a rich source of metals in antiquity, and indigenous people practiced mining in many areas from at least 4000 BCE. Following Roman conquest of the region in the late 3rd century BCE, the scale of mining increased dramatically to accommodate the growing needs of the Roman Empire from the production of coins to the creation of urban water infrastructure. This growth catalyzed episodes of migration of people and movement of materials in ways that stimulated both regional and empire-wide connectivity. In this paper, I explore these changing patterns of movement—both of people and goods—in and out of major mining districts in southern Iberia. I argue that the migration of Italians into Iberia soon after Roman conquest contributed to the diversification of communities in the countryside, and the development of lasting connections between these areas and other parts of the empire. By contrast, in later centuries, increased movement of people and goods within the peninsula stimulated connectivity regionally, increasing provincial ties. Understanding connectivity brought about by the demands of mining ultimately sheds light on the relationship between natural resources, the formation of diverse communities, and the creation of empire in Roman Iberia.

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Mining, Migration, and Movement in Roman Iberia. Linda Gosner. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431740)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15170

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America