Funding awarded 2017 for Roman research project in the Department of Archaeology

Our archaeological research at Vagnari in Apulia in south-east Italy seeks to understand the Iron Age and Roman occupation of the territory and the profound impact of the Roman conquest on the culture, society, and economy of the inhabitants of this annexed region. The project focuses on the exploration of a settlement of the second century B.C. and its transformation into the central village of a vast agricultural estate established by the Roman emperors in the early first century A.D.

Since 2012, Professor Maureen Carroll has been awarded various grants from the British Academy, the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, and the University of Sheffield for research and fieldwork at Vagnari. Following the discovery of a Roman winery at Vagnari in 2015, the latest success is the award in March 2017 from the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust for the research project Apulian Wine and Adriatic Trade in the early Roman Empire: A study of dolia as a physical medium for the production and long-range transport of Eastern Italian vintages. This innovative and interdisciplinary project utilises archaeological and scientific methods to explore the historical and economic context of Roman wine production in eastern Italy and the role of bulk trade in this commodity in connecting communities across the Adriatic. It focuses on the specialized ceramic vats (dolia defossa) of enormous capacity of 1000 litres and more that were used to ferment and store wine for export that have been found at Vagnari and other eastern Italian sites, as well as in dolia stores and warehouses on the eastern Adriatic coast and as cargo containers on Adriatic shipwrecks of the first and second centuries A.D.