Technology in Transition A.D. 300-650


This book is the first general work to be published on technology in Late Antiquity. It seeks to survey aspects of the technology of the period and to respond to questions about technological continuity, stagnation and decline. The book opens with a comprehensive bibliographic essay that provides an overview of relevant literature. The main section then explores technologies in agriculture, production (metal, ceramics and glass), engineering and building. Papers draw on both archaeological and textual sources, and on analogies with medieval and early modern technologies. Reference is made not only to the periods which preceded it, but to the transition to the Early Middle Ages and to the technological heritage of Late Antiquity to the Islamic world. Several papers focus on Italy, whilst others consider North Africa, Asia Minor, and the Near-East.


EUR €152.00USD $189.00

Biographical Note

Luke Lavan is Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Kent, Canterbury. His doctorate (Nottingham 2001) considered Provincial Capitals in Late Antiquity. He has edited conference volumes on late antique urbanism, the countryside and historical methodology, and is series editor of Late Antique Archaeology.

Enrico Zanini is Senior Lecturer in Methodology of Archaeological Research at the University of Siena. His research interests are focused on Byzantine Archaeology in Italy and the Mediterranean basin, involving excavations in the ‘Byzantine Quarter’ of Gortyn, Crete. He has authored Introduzione all’archeologia bizantina (Roma 1994) and Le Italie bizantine (Bari 1998).

Alexander Sarantis works for the Central Administration (Business Services and Projects Division) of the University of Oxford. His Ph.D. (Oxford 2006) explored The Balkans during the Reign of Justinian and he has recently authored articles on A.H.M. Jones and the Gepids. His interests focus on the East Roman provinces and imperial relations with the barbarian peoples within and beyond them.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ... ix
Explaining Technological Change: Innovation, Stagnation, Recession and Replacement ... xv
Luke Lavan
The Transmission of Craft Techniques according to the Principles of Material Culture: Continuity and Rupture .. xli
Tiziano Mannoni

Bibliographic Essays
Technology in Late Antiquity: a Bibliographic Essay ... 3
Philip Bes
Metal Technology in Late Antiquity: a Bibliographic Note ... 41
Nathalie Kellens
Glass Technology in Late Antiquity: a Bibliographic Note .. 53
Veerle Lauwers

Water into Wine: Trade and Technology in Late Antiquity ... 65
Michael Decker
Wine-Making after Pliny: Viticulture and Farming Technology in Late Antique Italy .. 93
Jeremy Rossiter
Absent-Minded Landlords and Innovating Peasants? The Press in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean .. 119
Tamara Lewit

Ceramic Production in Africa during Late Antiquity: Continuity and Change .. 143
Michel Bonifay
Form, Function and Technology in Pottery Production from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages ... 159
Paul Arthur
Metal Production in Late Antiquity: from Continuity of Knowledge to Changes in Consumption ... 187
Enrico Giannichedda
Glass in Late Antiquity: The Continuity of Technology and Sources of Supply ... 211
Lucia Saguí
Glass in Late Antiquity in The Near East ... 233
Margaret O’Hea

The Infrastructure of a Great City: Earth, Walls and Water in Late Antique Constantinople .. 251
James Crow
Water Technology at Gortyn in the 4th–7th c. A.D.: Transport, Storage and Distribution .. 287
Elisabetta Giorgi
Late Antique Urban Streets at Sagalassos ... 321
Femke Martens
Antique Engineering in the Byzantine World ... 367
Michael J. T. Lewis

Technology and Ideas: Architects and Master-Builders in the Early Byzantine World ... 381
Enrico Zanini
The Art of Building in Milan during Late Antiquity: San Lorenzo Maggiore ... 407
Laura Fieni
Public and Private Building Activity in Late Antique Rome .. 435
Riccardo Santangeli Valenzani
Architecture and Infrastructure in the Early Medieval Village: the Case of Tuscany ... 451
Marco Valenti
Umayyad Building Techniques and the Merging of Roman-Byzantine and Partho-Sassanian Traditions: Continuity and Change .. 491
Ignacio Arce

Index ... 539


All those interested in the archaeology and history of the Late Roman and Early Medieval periods in Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as architectural historians focusing on domesticity.


Collection Information