Vagnari Roman Imperial Estate:

The Settlement and its

Material Culture




A Workshop on Friday 1 June 2018




University of Sheffield
Jessop West G03







14:00-18:00



A find from Vagnari Imperial Estate


Since 2012, excavations by the University of Sheffield have been ongoing at Vagnari, the site of a Roman village (vicus) in south-east Italy and the core administrative and distributive centre of a rural estate acquired in the early first century A.D. by the emperor. Fieldwork here has significantly contributed to an understanding of the profit-driven Roman exploitation of the environment in ancient Apulia. Revenues were generated, in part by the emperors’ slaves, through cereal crop cultivation and viniculture, the metal industries, and the production of tile and brick. In the most recent excavation seasons, new evidence reveals that an older settlement of at least the second century B.C. was acquired and transformed into the imperial vicus, prompting us to rethink the history and development of the region following the Roman conquest of Apulia in the third century B.C. The vicus and the imperial estate flourished in the first and second centuries A.D., but by the fourth century, the settlement was no longer inhabited, and its structures were quarried for building materials for a new, smaller village that was established nearby.

For more information, visit the project website

The workshop aims to present the archaeological research at Vagnari in its wider context and to discuss the impact of Roman expansion in south-east Italy on the culture and economy of the region. Speakers include Alastair Small who, together with Carola Small, discovered the site of Vagnari and conducted the first phase of fieldwork at the site from 2000, and Maureen Carroll, the director of excavations at Vagnari since 2012. A key and important part of the workshop is the presentation by the relevant project specialists of the artefacts and assemblages recovered in the Sheffield excavations. The workshop brings together these specialists to foster discussion of the artefacts themselves and their significance, and to engage participants at the event in this discussion.

There will be coffee/tea in the afternoon break and light refreshments at the end of the workshop. Participation in the workshop is subject to a fee of £15; Roman Society members pay a discounted fee of £10. If you wish to attend the conference, please complete the registration form on the Online Store.

University of Sheffield Online Store

Queries can be directed to Maureen Carroll (p.m.carroll@sheffield.ac.uk).


A find from Vagnari Imperial Estate

Digging at Vagnari


Workshop Programme

Introduction to Vagnari
14.00-14.30 Alastair Small (Edinburgh) The historical context of Vagnari
14.30-15.00 Maureen Carroll (Sheffield) The making of an imperial estate
Material Assemblages 1
15.00-15.20 Coralie Clover (Cambridge) Hellenistic and Early Roman pottery assemblages
15.20-15.40 David Griffiths (Castle Barnard) Roman pottery from the Vagnari region
15.40-16.00 Coffee Break
Material Assemblages 2
16.00-16.20 Caroline Jackson (Sheffield) Roman window glass
16.20-16.40 Angela Trentacoste (Oxford) Animal bone assemblages
16.40-17.00 Louis-Olivier Lortie (Sheffield) Lead artefacts from the vicus
17.00-17.15 General Discussion/Questions
17.15-18.00 Light Refreshments and Opportunity to View a small Selection of Artefacts


The workshop is sponsored by the Roman Society,  the University of Sheffield and the Rust Family Foundation.

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RUST FAMILY FOUNDATION