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Imperial Surplus and Local Tastes:
A Comparative Study of Mediterranean Connectivity and Trade

William Caraher and David K. Pettegrew

Regional programs of archaeological survey have long offered a unique and important
contribution to the scholarship of connectivity in the Mediterranean. In documenting the
distribution of sites and artifacts across disparate landscapes, archaeological surveys record a
snapshot of the orientation of particular regions toward broader networks of production, trade,
and culture. The most basic and ubiquitous kinds of object recorded through surveyfragmented
ceramic jars, amphoras, basins, pots, bowls, and platesspeak to questions about a regions
links to territories and provinces elsewhere. The sophisticated tools for quantifying, analyzing,
and mapping survey data through databases and geospatial platforms, moreover, have established
a basis for measuring changes in connectivity over time and space. Finally, the juxtaposition of
different sets of survey data side-by-side highlights the differential access of regions,
communities, and sites to the networks of distribution that passed the basic stuff of daily life
across the corrupting seas.
It is perhaps no surprise, then, that Mediterranean landscape archaeologists in the last
generation have made important contributions to discussions of regional interaction. An
emphasis in survey on the diachronic perspective, a reliance on coarse periodization schemes,
and a focus on regions as the basic unit of study has encouraged a focus on the broadest forces
affecting the trajectories of societies such as state formation, political exploitation, and
environmental change.
The proliferation of survey projects has encouraged a comparison of
regional data sets and historical studies devoted to understanding the common cyclical patterns
of population, settlement, and artifacts across the Mediterranean.
Alcock famously posited that
Roman expansion, annexation, and imperialism could explain the drastic changes in settlement in
Greece between the Hellenistic and early Roman eras.
Even closer to the theme of this volume,
Jameson, van Andel, and Runnels survey of the southern Argolid and Bintliff and Snodgrasss

C. Renfrew and J.M. Wagstaff, An Island Polity.

Alcock,Graecia Capta.

ground breaking work in Boeotia have connected Braudels vision of regional structures and the
longue dure with the boom and bust patterns of rural environment, agricultural production, and
trade networks.
Such studies mark only a few of the many contributions of landscape
archaeologists to previous discussions of Mediterranean connections.
Given the long-standing connections between survey archaeology and the study of long-term
and regional economic and cultural interaction, it is somewhat surprising that survey data has
factored so little in the recent conferences devoted to discussions of The Corrupting Sea. None of
the edited volumes on connectivity in the last decade,
for example, consider questions
surrounding connectivity from the perspective of regional survey. Even Horden and Purcell, who
explicitly recognize the potential for landscape archaeology for understanding ancient
give attention to regional survey data only in respect to the question of
agricultural production.
Their emphasis on production reflects the focus of most regional
surveys on the settlements in the hinterland of urban areas. These areas were understood to be
zones engaged in intensive agricultural production and, to a lesser extent, consumption, and
closely tied to nearby urban areas and their economic, social, and political networks.
Our experience as participants and supervisors in distributional surveys in the Corinthia,
Greece, and Koutsopetria, Cyprus, and our study of modern landscapes in Greece (see below),
has made us critical of simple assumptions about the correlation of sites, functional categories,
and demographic patterns, and attentive to how artifacts point to the contingencies of
connectivity over time and space.
In contrast to traditional pedestrian survey methods, which
seek to put settlement dots on a map, distributional or siteless survey focuses on regional
patterns of artifacts. Mapping the types and quantities of pottery, tile, glass, and stone draws
attention to the individual artifacts, the most basic unit of archaeological survey, as well as the
formation processes that created, shaped, and changed the surface scatters documented by survey
archaeologists. Most importantly, a focus on the artifacts draws attention to the nature of our

Jameson, Runnels, and van Andel, The Greek Countryside; for Braudelian approaches, see Bintliff, The "Annales"
School and Archaeology.
Harris, Rethinking the Mediterranean; Malkin, Mediterranean Paradigms and Classical Antiquity; LaBianca and
Scham, Connectivity in Antiquity: Globalization as a Long-Term Historical Process; Malkin, Constantalopoulou,
and Panagopoulou, Greek and Roman Networks in the Mediterranean.
Horden and Purcell, The Corrupting Sea, 59, 176-177, 547, and 572-574.
See this initial critique by van Dommelen, Writing Ancient Mediterranean Landscapes, 232-233.
Alcock, Graecia Capta,1993; Heinrichs, Graecia Capta: Roman Views of Greek Culture,; Sanders, Problems in
Interpreting Rural and Urban Settlement in Southern Greece; Witcher,

archaeological sources (especially the pottery) and the differential visibility of successive
periods (how some periods are more visible than others), and highlights the unique historical
contingencies that have formed the surface record and shaped regional connectivity.
Distributional survey, in other words, encourages a fine-grained perspective on a regions
engagement in Mediterranean exchange through a more sensitive analysis of the basic units of
the archaeological surface record.
Our aim in this essay is to show how closer attention to the artifact assemblages from two
landscapes contributes to a more nuanced and contingent view of Late Roman settlement and
connectivity in the Greek east. The Late Roman boom in settlement and artifacts is one of the
most consistent patterns documented by surveyors in regions of Greece, the Aegean, Syria, and
the East. The spike in late Roman material in comparison to artifacts from the late Hellenistic
and Early Roman periods has usually been interpreted as a general indicator of demographic
economic expansion in the fourth to seventh century tied to the reconfiguration of the eastern
empire, the growth of the eastern capital of Constantinople, the Roman state actively
encouraging land investments, or simply a general heightened state of prosperity and
The ubiquity of Late Roman sites in the eastern Mediterranean, ranging from
urban centers and suburbs to towns, villages, churches, forts, villas, and small farms, has
demonstrated how deeply both urban and rural areas were engaged in local patterns of both
production and consumption.

We believe that distributional approaches can make two important contributions to
understanding how connectivity played a key role in economic prosperity. First, an emphasis on
artifacts forces us to engage critically the sources used by archaeologist to define periods of
economic prosperity and connectivity in Antiquity. Our own studies of the exceptional ceramic
visibility of the Late Roman period have shown how durable red slips and distinctive shapes of
exported fine wares context, or combed and wheel ridged transport amphorae, have made the
period much more visible on the ground, influencing in turn conclusions about late Roman
More critically, though, the refinement of late Roman ceramic chronologies in the

Kosso, The Archaeology of Public Policy in Late Roman Greece.
Decker, Tilling the Hateful Earth; Pettegrew, The Busy Countryside of Late Roman Corinth; Rautman, A
Cypriot Village of Late Antiquity; Dossey, Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa; Lavan, ed., Local
Economies?: Production and Exchange of Inland Regions in Late Antiquity.
Pettegrew, The Busy Countryside of Late Roman Corinth; Dossey, Peasant and Empire in Christian North
Africa, 2012

regions of our fieldwork has increasingly pushed later Roman amphorae and table wares toward
later (more recent) centuries,
and shown that artifacts were deposited in narrower time frames
than frequently assumed through the broad ceramic period designations Late Roman.
Second, distributional data also complicates debates about whether state-driven
administrative trade (the Finleyan primitivist model) or decentralized small-scale exchanges
drove the Roman and Late Roman economy by showing that different forms of exchanges
produced different archaeological signatures.
On the one hand, the sources for large-scale
administrative trade, such as the provisioning of the army during Late Antiquity, tend to be
particularly visible in the archaeological record through, for example, substantial deposits of
imported amphora types that supplied wine and olive oil to military forces in the northern
Balkans and the Danubian frontier.
On the other hand, the links between small-scale producers
and the administrative supply chain has tended to produce less visible traces in the
archaeological record at the primary places of production.
When production sites and villages
do appear, through survey or excavation, the most diagnostic material tends to be imported fine
table wares, particular from North Africa, Asia Minor, and Cilicia and Cyprus. This material
becomes the evidence for the links and practices that connect Late Roman consumers to
production both locally and in the wider Mediterranean world. Amphorae and table wares reveal
contrasting ends of the spectrum of trade in Late Antiquity and show how both imperial-scale
administrative trade and local consumption habits were both important to exchange.
Our paper considers two survey data sets for the late Roman period, the Eastern Korinthia
Archaeological Survey (EKAS) near Corinth, Greece, and the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological
Project (PKAP) near Larnaka (ancient Kition), Cyprus. Both regions produced substantial
assemblages of later Roman ceramics and appear to support a view of Late Antiquity as enjoying

Much of this begins with Hayes, Late Roman Pottery; but the conversation is ongoing: Sanders and Slane,
Corinth: Late Roman Horizons; Armstrong, Trade in the East Mediterranean in the 8th century.
Whittow, How Much Trade was Local, Regional, and Interregional? unpack this dichotomy. For our period the
major recent advocates of an economic model grounded in administrative trade, particularly the annona, are
McCormick, Origins of the European Economy and Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages. Much of this is
grounded in Finley, The Ancient Economy.
Karagiorgou, LR2: a Container for the Military annona.
The use of perishable material to transport olives and grapes or oil and wine (Gallimore, An Interpretation of the
Chersonesos Ostraca, Pea, The Mobilization of State Olive Oil in Roman Africa) and the fluidity of settlement
within the countryside (Pettegrew, Chasing the Classical Farmstead; Ghisleni, Excavating the Roman Peasant I)
has left only the faintest traces to be detected by intensive surveys and understood on the regional level. Villages,
like those on the limestone massif in Syria or those leaving traces in arid North Africa, represent notable exceptions
to the generally low archaeological visibility characteristic of everyday life in the Late Roman countryside Dossey,
Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa.)

a prosperous and well-connected Late Antique economy. Our case studies will ultimately
highlight the distinctive character of each assemblage, and locate connectivity and prosperity in
specific historical contingencies in the fifth and sixth centuries. The survey of the Corinthian
Isthmus produced an enormous sample of objects dating to the 5th and 6th centuries, which
reflects both greater production on the Isthmus and the large-scale consumption of imported
goods. Both factors relate to the exceptional state investment in the region during the reigns of
Theodosius II and Justinian in the form of large-scale buildings projects such as the Hexamilion
fortification wall, the city walls of Corinth, and monumental ecclesiastical architecture. The
survey of the microregion of Pyla-Koutsopetria on the south coast of Cyprus also produced a
massive assemblage of amphorae, tiles, and fine ware, which dates especially to the first half of
the 6th century. The assemblage of Late Roman 1 amphorae reflects the transformation of the
small coastal settlement to a harborside emporium and town that was most likely associated with
the shifting organizational network of Justinians provisioning for troops in the Black Sea and
northern Balkans.
The artifact distributions ultimately highlight the contingent patterns of connectivity across
time and space and add historical nuance to the pictures of Braudel and Horden and Purcell
Purcell based on longer time perspectives. While both Corinth and Koutsopetria seem to be
natural crossroads sites, our studies will highlight the particular factors that gave them unique
connective value in late antiquity. Both regions provide examples of Late Roman prosperity and
their unique assemblages indicate different relationships with the state. Our evidence, then,
supports the vision of Horden and Purcell about the flowing networks of connection between
microregions, but also shows general trends like Late Roman prosperity emerge from particular
methodologies to locate connectivity within particular historical circumstances.

Distributional Archaeological Survey Methods
The Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey (EKAS: 1998-2003) and the Pyla-Koutsopetria
Archaeological Project (PKAP: 2003-Present) made use of almost identical high-resolution
distributional survey methods to sample intensively artifact-rich environments, and this provides

This view borrows liberally from Peter Bangs (Bang, The Roman Bazaar) work which adopted the model of the
bazaar to understand the functioning of multiple different registers of the Roman economy in the same place.

an ideal opportunity for comparative study.
On both projects, surveyors walked transects at 10
m intervals across relatively small survey units (usually 1,600-3,200 sq m), counting with clicker
counters all cultural remains in their swath, including pottery, tile, lithic, and glass debris.
Walkers covered a swath of ground 2 meters wide which sampled artifacts visible in 20% of the
surface of the unit.
This procedure allowed us to quantify the amount of pottery, tile, glass, and
stone across the different survey units in the region.
In additional to counting objects, fieldwalkers also collected unique and representative
artifacts according to the chronotype system. The goal of this system of classifying artifacts
and collecting from the surface is to parse the landscape according to the most basic unit of
analysis, the chronotype, or a unique artifact type with specific physical and chronological
A chronotype may represent a well-known pottery type such as African Red
Slip Form 50 or Micaceous Water Jar, or less overtly diagnostic material such as Medium Coarse
Ware pottery dated sometime between Antiquity and the Medieval period (6000 B.C.-A.D.
1500), or a millstone fragment dated to Antiquity (700 B.C.-A.D. 500). In EKAS and PKAP,
each field walker picked up one example of every chronotype from the swath to produce a
sample of all the artifact types present in a unit.
This method represents a systemization of
collection procedures often used in earlier pedestrian surveys which took random grab samples
of the most diagnostic artifacts like feature sherds (rims, bases, handles) or pottery with surface
Sampling the landscape in this manner improved consistency in our effort to pattern cultural
material across the region and created an assemblage of material well-suited to source criticism.
EKAS field teams counted 140,578 artifacts and collected 36,722 objects from 1,166 survey
units across 3.6 sq km of the Isthmus, while PKAP teams counted 37,883 objects and collected
16,784 items from 465 units across 1.0 sq km of coastal zone and ridges. We can display this

For EKAS methods, see Caraher, Nakassis, and Pettegrew, Siteless Survey and Intensive Data Collection;
Tartaron et al., The Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey. For PKAP, see Caraher, Moore, and Pettegrew,
Pyla-Koutsopetria I.
These orthogonal units of space provided an easily comparable set of sub-unit data as each field walker covered
exactly the same percentage of the surface of the unit.
Meyer, Pottery Strategy and Chronotypes,; Meyer and Gregory, Pottery Collection, Pottery Analysis, and GIS
Mapping,; Gregory, Less is Better:; Moore, A Decade Later: The Chronotype System Revisited,; Caraher,
Moore, and Pettegrew, Pyla-Koutsopetria I.
For recent discussions of the analytical potential of this system, cf. Caraher et al. The Pyla-Koutsopetria
Archaeological Project: Preliminary Report,; Caraher, Nakassis, and Pettegrew, Siteless Survey and Intensive
Data Collection; Tartaron et al., The Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey; Pettegrew, The Busy
Countryside of Late Roman Corinth; Caraher, Moore, and Pettegrew, Pyla-Koutsopetria I.

material spatially in a GIS according to survey unit, zone, and area, and we can analyze the finds
in a database according to chronotypes, period, or fabric group.
The ability to analyze artifact
data in a very granular way is valuable in highlighting how key type fossilsthe known
artifact types used to identify a particular period in surveyinfluence our understanding of
change in the region.
Critical analysis of particular artifact types from EKAS and PKAP, for
example, has draw attention to the differential visibility of various historical periods. Within
periods, particular classes of artifacts, like imported fine ware pottery and ridged or grooved
bodysherds and highly diagnostic handles ensured that certain types of connections shown
brightly in the surface record.
Highly diagnostic Late Roman pottery types stand out against the
backdrop of coarse, plain, poorly diagnostic, and probably locally produced body sherds, and
contribute an outsized, but nevertheless meaningful, influence on how we understand surface
assemblages. While this trend has been particularly scrutinized in the rigorously sampled and
quantified assemblages produced by intensive pedestrian survey, these same tendencies applies
to most excavated artifact assemblages and particularly those deriving from residual deposits or
lacking strict stratigraphic control.
Finally, a more critical and attentive assessment of surface distributions reveals the formation
and constitution of surface contexts. In contrast to site-based survey that seeks to associate
artifact scatters with functional categories largely derived from textse.g., villages, villas,
and farmsteadsdistributional approaches encourage reading, parsing, grouping, and
regrouping the landscape in terms of the most basic cultural unit: individual artifacts. Interpreting
the artifacts across the landscape produces assemblages representative of the cumulative
contingencies and patterns of habitation, abandonment, deposition, and land use across different
scales of investment in the territory from one period to the next. The assemblages produced by
siteless survey capture more nuanced signatures of activities in the landscape than data related to
the presence or absence of settlements at any particular spot.

For the PKAP data see Caraher, Pettegrew, Moore, Open Context, 2013.
Pettegrew,The Busy Countryside of Late Roman Corinth. Ceramicists in all surveys assign pottery to ceramic
periods based on their knowledge of specific type fossils derived from a combination of fabric, form, slip, color,
and surface treatment. Some periods have more type fossils than others. The Late Roman period, for example, has
typically greater visibility because of the frequency of widely-traded (and, consequently, better known) table wares
and amphoras.
Caraher, Nakassis, and Pettegrew, Siteless Survey and Intensive Data Collection; Tartaron et al., The Eastern
Korinthia Archaeological Survey; Pettegrew, The Busy Countryside of Late Roman Corinth; Caraher, Moore,
and Pettegrew, Pyla-Koutsopetria I.

The Isthmus of Corinth
In our first case study, we consider the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey, which
documented 3.6 sq km of the Isthmus of Corinth. The project surveyed a landscape that was
celebrated from the Classical era to Late Antiquity as a central crossroads famous for its defense
of southern Greece, the Panhellenic sanctuary of Isthmia, and the harbors of Kenchreai and
Lechaion which were major commercial ports for Corinth. The character and extent of
Corinthian connectivity was, nevertheless, contingent on both particular historical circumstances
made visible through our archaeological methods.

Connectivity in the Corinthian Isthmus
The Isthmus of Corinth was unusual among ancient landscapes in its reputation for
exceptional maritime connectivity (Figure __). As early as the fifth century BC, the Greek
historian Thucydides attributed (1.13.5) the rise of the citys prosperity and power to its control
of the Corinthian Isthmus at the crossroads of land and sea. The first-century geographer Strabo
called the Roman colony of Corinth wealthy (8.6.20) because its two harbors facilitated long-
distance trade between Italy and Asia. Greek orators praised Corinth for its markets,
and late
antique preachers blamed the strife in St. Pauls Corinth as a result of an impure devotion to
wealth derived from citys position on the Isthmus and commercial facilities.
The Isthmus
formed a steady filter for reading and projecting commercial advantages and geographic
consequences on the Greek and Roman city.
Modern scholars have often accepted ancient authors characterization of Corinthian
prosperity as deriving from the economically advantageous position astride the Isthmus. For
example, scholars have long maintained that a great trans-Isthmus slipway, the diolkos,
functioned as a busy commercial highway that made Corinth a maritime state.
Accepting the

Dio Chrys. Discourses 8.4; Favorinus [Dio Chrys.] 37.7; Ael. Ar. Or. 46.22-27.
John Chrys. Hom. 1 Corinthians, Preface 1-2.
ONeill, Ancient Corinth, 55. Cf. Cary, The Geographic Background of Greek and Roman History, 81: The chief
material asset of Corinth was of course its situation at the Isthmus. See Pettegrew, Diolkos of Corinth, for
discussion. Cp. Cramer, A Geographical and Historical Description of Ancient Greece, 28-29; Mott, Travels in
Europe and the East, 273, 283-284; and Perdicaris, The Greece of the Greeks 1845, vol. ii, 21. Historical
scholarship, travel guides, and overviews of the Isthmus popularized this view in the later nineteenth century: see,
for example, Curtius, Peloponnesos II,521, 539, 545-546, 596; Baedeker, Italy: Handbook for Travellers. 3:326-27;
Gerster, LIsthme de Corinthe, 225-226; 1896, 3-4, 38-39; Frazer, Pausaniass Description of Greece, 5.

ancient view of a city awash in commercial riches led scholars to minimize the impact of
agriculture on Corinths economy and recognize in Corinth an exception to what Finley would
call the consumer city. Friedrich Vittinghoff concluded that Julius Caesar refounded Corinth to
recreate a commercial superpower astride a newly cut canal through the Isthmus,
and Edward
Salmon, likewise, challenged an agrarian view of Roman Corinth when he asserted that the
Roman colony was intended to revive the mercantile glories of the Greek city.
Engels controversial monograph on Roman Corinth (1990) engaged Finleys model directly by
arguing that Corinths wealth and prosperity grew not from its pitiful agricultural resources, but
the services it provided to the regions inhabitants and especially to the merchants engaged in
long-distance trade, travelers, and tourists.
The regions ancient reputation for exceptional
connectivity was the principal reason for these assessments.
Detailed archaeological studies and critical textual analysis over the last generation have
undermined the view of Corinthian prosperity as essentially dependent upon the Isthmus as a
commercial corridor. The seemingly enduring features of long-distance maritime connectivity
in the Corinthian landscape, such as ancient canal cuts, ceramic goods, and the diolkos road,
represent artifacts of historically contingent moments of exceptional interregional political,
social, and economic contact rather than the timeless properties of an essentially connecting
Situating Corinthian connectivity in a particular historical and archaeological context
provides a complement to recent scholarship emphasizing the frequency, ubiquity, and state of
general connectedness in the Mediterranean. Horden and Purcells overview, in particular,
effectively dismissed the static typologies of Finley (consumer city), Engels (service city), and
others in favor of more fluid models in which connectivity represented the key strategy defining
ancient places albeit manifest in historically contingent ways.
The connectivity of the Isthmus
of Corinth has varied from one period to another. At times, it has functioned as a corridor linking
southern and central Greece, at times, as a land bridge linking the Saronic to the Corinthian Gulf
for pedestrians, goods, and occasionally ships of war, and at times, as the location for a pan-

Vittinghoff, . Rmische Kolonisation, 1302-1303; Baladi, Le Ploponnse de Strabon, 261.
Salmon, Roman colonization under the Republic, 135.
Engels, Roman Corinth, 42. Despite many critical reviews, the work spawned some useful debate about the value,
limits, and problems in modeling ancient city types: Rich and Wallace-Hadrill eds., City and Country in the Ancient
World; Cornell and Lomas eds., Urban society in Roman Italy; Whittaker, Do theories of the ancient city
matter?, 12-14; Parkins, Roman Urbanism: Beyond the Consumer City.
Pettegrew, The Isthmus of Corinth.
Horden and Purcell, Corrupting Sea, 105-108.

Hellenic sanctuary and festival at Isthmia.
The region was clearly an arena for connectivity on
many scalesfrom the small-scale redistributions of cabotage in the harbors to periods of
massive, highly-visible, historically contingent, investments of Late Antique emperors who
fortified the Isthmus both militarily and spiritually.

The Late Roman Corinthia
In the rest of this section, we consider the dynamic changes to the Isthmus over the fifth and
sixth centuries (Figure __). Earthquakes and Visigoth invasions in the late fourth century
affected the landscapes although they were not necessarily the dramatic catalyst for decline once
imagined by scholars.
At Corinth, some public buildings fell down and were never rebuilt, but
the forum itself was renovated and newly monumentalized in the early fifth century and
continued to function into the sixth century, even as elite invested in new private buildings in the
The site of Isthmia no longer served as a central sanctuary or place of cult after the late
fourth century, but was converted during the reign of Theodosius II into a fortress and garrison
for guarding the major road into the Peloponnese.
The fortress itself formed a critical node in a
massive new construction called the Hexamilion, a barrier wall that towered over eight meters
above the ground, wound 7.5 km across the Isthmus, and funneled the flow of human movements
into and out of the Peloponnese through a handful of gates.
Like the fortress and the city wall
around Corinth, these marked large-scale, state-sponsored constructions of the Emperor
Theodosius II, which were later refurbished by Justinian.
The major harbors at Kenchreai and
Lechaion also continued to function in these periods, and new villa constructions and
monumental churches replaced the abandoned temples. The erection of monumental churches in

See, for example, Shaws question in his review of Horden and Purcell (Challenging Braudel, 445) why
strongly divergent types of connectivity should not produce strongly divergent and long-lasting kinds of
intensification, both of economic forms and of the locations of human population - and, therefore, fundamentally
different types of towns and cities.
For more critical readings of the effects of these events, see Rothaus, Corinth: The First City of Greece, 16-21;
Sanders, Problems in Interpreting Rural and Urban Settlement in Southern Greece; Rothaus 2008; Brown,
Banditry or Catastrophe?.
Sanders 1999; Rothaus, Corinth, The First City of Greece, 22-26; Robinson, . Histories of Peirene; Brown 2012.
Clement 1975; Clement 1977; Gregory, Isthmia: Excavations Volume V; Kardulias, Architecture, Energy, and
Social Evolution at Isthmia, Greece; Kardulias, From Classical to Byzantine.
Gregory, Isthmia: Excavations Volume V.
Gregory, The Late Roman Wall at Corinth,; Gregory, Isthmia: Excavations Volume V.

the landscape in the late fifth and sixth centuries Christianized the major nodes in the landscape
and contributed to an already busy landscape.

These landscape transformations can also be read in light of two broader geopolitical changes
of the period. First, the unrest in the northern Balkans positioned the Isthmus at the southern
extension of a line of defense that included barrier walls, fortresses, and outposts at key points
across the diocese of Illyricum.
From the early fifth century, the Isthmus occupied an important
gate and barrier to the southward movement of armies and barbarians for the first time since the
late archaic to Hellenistic age when fortifications were used to forestall the invasion of Persians,
Goths, and the armies of Greek states or Hellenistic generals. The sporadic presence of Roman
military units and local garrisons at Isthmia marks a departure from the generally peaceful
conditions of the preceding centuries. A second equally significant sea change was the
administrative division of the Roman Empire at the death of Theodosius I, which transformed the
Corinthia from a corridor for east-west traffic, as it had been during the Early Roman Empire, to
a border zone at the western boundary of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Spiritual fortresses
complemented the military fortifications, and the Corinthia saw an impressive corpus of basilica-
style churches in the landscape which likewise served as boundary markers at the western
periphery of the eastern empire.
Control over this boundary and corridor to the west became
increasingly important during the sixth and seventh centuries when the northern and central
Balkan routes intermittently slipped out of the control of Constantinople and Italy fell under the
control of Germanic kings.
Both of these broad changes, then, gave the Isthmus new value to
the Roman state in the fifth and sixth centuries.

The Eastern Korinthia Survey: Production and Consumption on the Isthmus
This historical and archaeological context informs our understanding of the unique
characteristics of the patterns of survey data across the broader Isthmus.
Three years of survey
by the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey recorded a truly impressive layer of Late Roman

Caraher, The Ambivalent Landscape of Christian Corinth.
Dunn, Continuity and Change in the Macedonian Countryside
Caraher, The Ambivalent Landscape of Christian Corinth.
Limberis, Ecclesiastical Ambiguities: Corinth in the fourth and fifth centuries; Caraher, Ambivalent
Landscape; Caraher, Epigraphy, Liturgy, and Imperial Policy on the Justinianic Isthmus
McCormick, Origins of the European Economy. ##-##.
Pettegrew, The Busy Countryside of Late Roman Corinth, 2008, 2010, in press; Caraher, The Ambivalent
Landscape of Christian Corinth.

artifacts across the Isthmus that indicate one of the most intensive periods of settlement and land
use in the region in antiquity.
Over half the units on the Isthmus produced artifacts of Late
Roman date and most of the surveyed region produced areas with exceptional density. The
Isthmus produced evidence for widely dispersed settlement in the countryside dense
concentrations of Late Roman material. The pattern marked a continuation of the dispersed
distribution of settlement that began in the early Roman period when high-density concentrations
were present in most of the survey zones.

The distribution of artifacts certainly points to scattered farms and villas that formed a
network of settlements tied to a production economy supporting the needs of the state and a large
population, as well as a population of elite consumers who made the most of intensive patterns of
Our intensive survey revealed a high percentages of grooved and ridged coarse
ware sherds at these small sites, especially the highly visible Late Roman 2 (LR2) amphorae
produced in the northeast Peloponnese, and these point to a period of increased connectivity on
the Isthmus. The smaller percentages of table wares and kitchen wares from these sites, as well
as fixed storage vessels like pithoi and mill stones, reflect sustained habitation with both food
processing, preparation, and dining. Most of the densest Late Roman survey units on the Isthmus
(70%) produced assemblages with some mix of fine ware, transport vessels, and cooking pots
and over a third produced a full array of storage vessels, kitchen ware, and table ware.
presence of building materialstilles, tesserae, plaster, cement, nails, marble revetment, stone
furniture, water pipes, window glass, and cut stone blocks and slabsdemonstrates a substantial
investment in the land.

It is significant that the Late Roman chronotypes from the EKAS survey area generally date
to the fifth or sixth centuries AD. Highly-diagnostic table wares defined according to expansive
and extensive typologies, for examplePhocaean Ware (LRC) Forms 3 (n=46) and 10 (n=8),
and African Red Slip (ARS) Forms 99 (n=8) and 104-106 (n=8) provide a table ware

For comparative overview with earlier periods, see Pettegrew, forthcoming.
For the archaic-Hellenistic survey data, see Caraher, Nakassis, and Pettegrew, Siteless survey and intensive data
collection; Tartaron et al., The Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey; Pettegrew, forthcoming. For the early
Roman Isthmus, see Pettegrew, in press.
As predicted by Gregory, An Early Byzantine Complex at Akra Sophia near Corinth; Kardulias, Gregory, and
Sawmiller, Bronze Age and Late Antique Exploitation of an Islet in the Saronic Gulf, Greece,; Kardulias, From
Classical to Byzantine.
Pettegrew 2014. See Tables 14.1 and 14.2.
For further discussion, see Pettegrew 2014.

assemblage contemporary with the most abundant amphorae, LR2 (n=108) and Palestinian
(n=82). All this material dates to fifth and sixth century types, which extend to the seventh
century elsewhere in the Mediterranean. As importantly, the most numerous Late Roman
chronotypes, combed ware (n=370) and spirally grooved ware (n=692), probably date to the fifth
and sixth centuries, as excavated stratified contexts from Corinth have suggested.

The 1,764 Late Roman ceramic artifacts, then, form a substantial signature of the fifth and
sixth century across the Isthmus that is more robust than those documented elsewhere in Greece.
For example, highly diagnostic imported Late Roman table wares appeared much more
frequently in the Corinthian (n=200) than in the mountainous Asea Valley in Arcadia, Messenia
in the southwestern Peloponnese, the island of Kea in the Aegean, and Boeotia in central
Only the nearby Saronic peninsula of Methana identified a comparable number of
imported fine wares (n=153) but this project surveyed an area nearly three times (n=10.4 sq km)
that of EKAS and produced only half the quantity of Late Roman artifacts (n=801). The Kea
Survey and Pylos Regional Project recorded quantities of pottery (n=199 and 201, respectively)
and imported table wares (n=77 and 112, respectively) that were relatively substantial compared
to other periods in those surveys but numerically insignificant in comparison with the artifacts
documented in EKAS (and those projects surveyed areas 5-11 times greater than EKAS).
Surveys of the Asea Valley and Boeotia (Thespiae) likewise discovered a small fraction (<5%)
of the Late Roman pottery and imported table wares identified in EKAS. The quantity and
character of the Late Roman assemblage in this region reflects the impact of particular historic
events ranging from occasions of imperial investment to the changing character of Roman
political boundaries and trade routes.
The quantity of material in the Eastern Corinthia as compared to elsewhere in Greece reflects
more direct phases of state investments in the region through urban fortifications, barrier walls,
fortresses, and ecclesiastical architecture. Especially important was the early-fifth century
construction of a massive Hexamilion wall that meanders for over seven kilometers across the
Isthmus and the three-kilometer circuit wall around Corinth, which demanded enormous

Slane and Sanders 2005, Corinth: Late Roman Horizons.
The following figures are based on counts of RBHS in Forsn and Forsn, The Asea Valley Survey; Cherry et al.,
Landscape Archaeology as Long-Term History; Sutton et al.,Gazetteer of Archaeological Sites.; Bowden and Gill
Late Roman Methana; Bowden and Gill, Roman Methana,; Mee and Forbes, A Rough and Rocky Place;
Alcock et al., Pylos Regional Archaeological Project Part VII; Bintliff, Howard, and Snodgrass, Testing the
Hinterland. Cf. Pettegrew, The Busy Countryside of Late Roman Corinth, 775-776 for an overview of other

investments of time and energy.
The construction of the walls required large-scale modification
of the landscape through quarrying stone and finishing stone for facing, collecting rubble for the
core of the fortification, tearing down and spoliating ancient monuments along the path of the
wall, artificial leveling of stone and the movement of enormous volumes of earth and stone for
terracing, excavating extensive defensive ditches in front of the walls, and specialized work on
towers and outposts.
Once the wall was completed, a military garrison of 1,200-2,000 men
defended the region during periods of insecurity.
The time and energy required to refurbish the
walls in the mid-sixth century may have been substantially lower, but still demanded significant
resources. The construction of the Lechaion Basilica as well as several other contemporary
churches during the reign of Justinian, attests to another substantial investment of resources,
manpower, and energy in the mid-sixth century.
Provisioning the crews, soldiers, and hangers-on associated with the work in the Corinthia
would have relied on both local producers and imported goods. In the 6th century, Procopius
praised Justinian for building granaries to supply the garrison at Thermopylae and it seems likely
that the garrison at the Isthmus, as well as the various crews tasked with building or refurbishing
the Hexamilion wall, warranted a state controlled grain supply, but the importing of grain is
unlikely to leave an archaeological signature. The influence of large-scale movement of goods
into the Corinthia is nevertheless supported by the ubiquity of Late Roman transport amphorae in
the countryside. This indicates that the Corinthia was importing oil and wine and it seems hard to
separate this from the influx in outside, administrative investment. These amphorae appeared so
consistently at even the smallest Late Roman sites in the countryside that we have to assume
agricultural producers were relying on imported staples. It seems unlikely, for example, that
small farmers transported wine or olive oil produced from their groves and vineyards overland in
LR2 amphorae. Oil and wineskins were far better for overland travel especially for small farmers
who were unlikely to produce large quantities of oil or wine; LR2 amphora were better suited for
maritime travel. On the other hand, fine and cooking wares, together with building material,
storage facilities, and agricultural processing equipment makes clear that people lived in the
countryside and combined imported provisions with local agricultural activity. In this scenario,

Gregory, Isthmia: Excavations Volume V; Kardulias, Architecture, Energy, and Social Evolution at Isthmia,
Greece; Kardulias, From Classical to Byzantine.
Kardulias, Architecture, Energy, and Social Evolution at Isthmia, Greece, 41-47; Kardulias, From Classical to
Byzantine, 101-106.
Gregory, Isthmia: Excavations Volume V, 131; Kardulias 1992; 1993; From Classical to Byzantine, 95-101.

we must assume that the needs of garrisons and work crews stimulated the need both for local
agricultural production and imported agricultural products to local consumers.
The Corinthian Isthmus, in short, marks a region for which historical contingencies were
more influential than some innate characteristic of connectedness in the landscape. In the fifth
and sixth centuries, the region was directly influenced by its location at a military and political
border and the substantial investment by imperial authorities. The archaeological visibility of
Late Roman material in this region allowed archaeologists to recognize the interplay of
settlement and economic activity in a high resolution way. Given the role of Corinth as the
capital of the province of Achaia, the elite of the region necessarily contributed to the
investments of the state yet also made the most of the smaller-scale connections that linked the
territory with the important cities of the Aegean basin.

The Region of Pyla-Koutsopetria
In contrast to the Late Roman Corinthia, the particular history of Late Antique Cyprus
remains relatively unknown as both ancient and modern scholars of the Roman Eastern
Mediterranean have allowed the island to languish in sleepy, if prosperous obscurity. Over the
past three decades, however, intensive and extensive survey as well as excavations have revealed
an island with deep Mediterranean connections as a result of historical circumstances that made
local production and consumption highly visible. The location of Cyprus allowed the island to
serve as a crossroads for maritime traffic from the Aegean, Levantine Coast, and North Africa in
much the same way that Corinth served as a bridge between the Adriatic and Aegean basins. The
similar situation of the two regions, the almost identical methods used to document them, and the
character of the two assemblages offers a useful opportunity to compare the complexities of
connectivity in the Late Roman world. Unlike the Corinthia, however, there is substantial
evidence that Cyprus was a large-scale exporter of agricultural products.

Connectivity in Cyprus
The island of Cyprus has long stood at the margins of conversations about the economic life
of the later Roman world despite an extensive tradition of archaeological research on the Roman
Historically, the copper deposits of the Troodos Mountains represented the best-known

Hill, History of Cyprus; Mitford, Roman Cyprus; Potter, ! "#$%&' ($)%*+) ,-' ./)012'

economic resource for the island, and it is clear that copper veins continued to be mined
throughout the Roman period, but these have most consistently been associated with Late Bronze
Age economic and political development.
The 1990s saw a sustained critical reexamination of
the place of Cyprus within the Roman period economy. Drawing on a growing body of
archaeological evidence, scholars began to construct a thriving Late Roman economy based on
the islands agricultural output, forestry, and location astride trade routes. This work coincided
with renewed attention to the role of islands in antiquity which argued that islands were far from
insular, but instead formed key hubs amidst the complex connections that created the ancient the
This reimagining of islands coincided with Horden and Purcells interest in
microregions, which like islands, relied upon dynamic relationships with other regions.
John Leonards 2005 dissertation brought together many of the key themes in Roman
economic history developed over the 1990s in a focused study of the harbors and coastlines of
Roman Cyprus.
His extensive archaeological survey identified numerous small inlets, harbors,
and anchorages used during the Roman period and painted a picture of an island deeply
embedded in a network of Mediterranean wide connections. Around the same time as Leonards
publication appeared a group of new excavations and survey projects that recognized the value of
ceramics in tracing the connection between Cyprus and the larger Mediterranean. The wide
distribution of locally made transport vessels as well as archaeological evidence for coastal
emporia and warehouses demonstrated that Cyprus traded agricultural products in bulk. Some
scholars have suggested that coastal warehouses indicate that Cyprus served as a stop over for
the transport of imperial annona from Egypt, but this argument has received little support and it
appears more likely that coastal warehouses served to support the export of locally grown
commodities on a large scale.
The circulation of Late Roman 1 amphorae produced on Cyprus
reflect, at least in part, the role of the island in provisioning the army. Fine ware and cooking
pots from Cypriot kilns appear to have circulated widely, as well, although these were unlikely to
relate to imperial requisitioning.
Cyprus enjoyed imports from the Aegean, North Africa, and

Given, Knapp, Sollars, and Kassianidou, Landscape and Interaction, 2013.
Broodbank, An Island Archaeology of the Early Cyclades; Boordbank, Making in the Making;
Constantakopoulou, The Dance of the Islands.
Leonard, Roman Cyprus: Harbors, Hinterlands, and Hidden Powers.
Bakirtzis, The Role of Cyprus in the Grain Supply.
Catling, An Early Byzantine Pottery Factory at Dhiorios in Cyprus; Catling and Dikigoropoulos, The Kornos
Cave; Williams A Byzantine Well-Deposit from Anemurium; Vionis et al. A Middle-Late Byzantine Pottery

the Levant throughout the Late Roman period. Shipwrecks on the coast of the island reinforced
the presence of both bulk traders and caboteurs,
although one must remember that a diverse
assemblage of amphora on a ship does not necessarily imply cabotage.
All this suggests that
like the Corinthian Isthmus, Cyprus was a sea-girt crossroads enjoying a range of contacts with
communities to the east and west.

The Pyla-Koutsopetria Microregion and the Late Roman Period
The Pyla-Koutsopetria microregion represents a nearly ideal case study for Horden and
Purcells model of connected and connective landscape.
Koutsopetria is a small area defined
largely by its proximity to a now infilled embayment situated some 10 km to the east of modern
Larnaka (ancient Kition). The earliest settlement and activity at the Late Bronze Age site of Pyla-
Kokkinokremos most likely depended upon the safe anchorage provided by this embayment.

While excavation and study of this site is ongoing, there is no evidence for continuity between
the Late Bronze Age and later historical period settlements in the microregion, indicating that
particular economic, social, political, and perhaps military circumstances had to be in place to
make this area an appealing area for settlement and attractive for trade. In other words,
settlement at even a naturally advantageous site like the Koutsopetria littoral depended upon
particular historical conditions. By the Iron Age, the 4 km stretch of territory between Pyla
village and the sea saw an increase in activity including a shrine and, during the Late Cypro-
Classical or early Hellenistic period, a fortification, and by the Roman and Late Roman periods,
a town.
During the Late Roman period, the site saw rapid development including the construction of
a well-appointed basilica style church.
The area to the east of the church was filled with large
buildings, many of which were brick and had tile roofs, and this built-up area also seems to have
had some kind of drainage system. Further east was an embayment (now infilled) that served as a
small harbor. Trenches dug during the installation of sewage pipes to a nearby water treatment

Assemblage from Sagalassos, for a recent discussion of Cypriot type pottery and its place of origin; Jackson, et
al. Evidence for Late Roman D Ware Production in Southern Asia Minor.
Demesticha, Amphora Typologies, Distribution, and Trade Patterns; Leidwanger, Between local and long-
Wilson A Forum on Trade
For a diachronic study of connectivity, see Caraher, Moore, and Pettegrew, Pyla-Koutsopetria I.
Demas and Karageorghis, Pyla-Kokkinokremos.
Christou, Chronique des fouilles et dcouvertes archologiques Chypre.

plant revealed a series of evenly spaced parallel walls that might have been warehouses for the
harbor. The presence of an olive press weight and a fragment of crusher stone suggest that the
site saw the primary processing of olive oil during the Roman period.
Over five field seasons, the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project (PKAP) documented
the surface assemblage associated with these features. Our dataset is fully available online
through Open Context.
To summarize it briefly here, we documented an extensive artifact
scatter with densities over 8,000 artifacts per ha. This scatter produced a substantial and diverse
assemblage of Late Roman material, which ranged from transport vessels to cooking pots and
fine ware. Our discussion below will focus on the amphora and fine ware sherds because they are
the most diagnostic and frequently cited sources for understanding the economy of microregions
and, as we have noted, speak to particular types of connectivity in the Late Roman period. At
Koutsopetria, Late Roman 1 (LR1) amphora sherds constitute over 30% of all amphora sherds
from the site and the vast majority of Late Roman amphorae. While these vessels are common
across the Eastern Mediterranean and can date as early as the 4th century or as late as the 8th,
most of the LR1 amphoras at Koutsopetria date to groups assigned to the 6th century or 7th
The site also produced a substantial, nearly-contemporary assemblage of 6th to early
7th century African Red Slip (ARS), Phocaean Red Slip (LRC) and Cypriot Red Slip (LRD) fine
table wares. This concentration of architecture and artifacts associated with this coastal
community may represent what a contemporary text by John Moschos called an emporion.

Coastal sites similar to Koutsopetria, but less well-published, stand on the Akrotiri Peninsula at
Dreamers Bay and west of Paphos at the site of Ay. Georgios-Peyias.

Pyla-Koutsopetria Survey: Export and Consumption
The amphora and fine ware at Koutsopetria represents two different forms of connectivity in
the Late Roman East, export and local consumption. The numerous amphora sherds point to the
role of the habor in the redistribution of agricultural products. Unlike the extensive distribution
of amphorae in the Eastern Corinthia, which likely reflected the distribution of imported
commodities to small agricultural establishments in the region, the dense concentration of

Caraher, et al. The Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project: A Preliminary Report on Excavations at Pyla-
Demesticha, Amphora Typologies, Distribution, and Trade Patterns
Prat. Spirit. 30.
Leonard, Fundamental Links in the Economic Chain; Bakirtzis, The Role of Cyprus in the Grain Supply

amphorae and evidence for the production of olive oil at Koutsopetria suggests that the region
saw the export of agricultural surplus from the microregion. As occurred elsewhere in the
Mediterranean, local agricultural commodities would have arrived at Koutsopetria in perishable
containers like oil or wine skins or even baskets for unprocessed olives and get transferred to
amphorae for export.
The sixth or seventh century date of most of the forms of LR1 amphorae
at Koutsopetria suggests that the little harbor may have become busier after Justinian reorganized
the provisioning of the army in 536 CE. The revised organization moved Cyprus from the
jurisdiction of Antioch to the quaestura exercitus and directed resources from the island as well
as from Caria and the Aegean to support military forces on the Danubian frontier. The close
association of these regions in the sixth century likely continued to shape provisioning practices
into the seventh century.

The preponderance of LR1 amphorae at Koutsopetria is similar to assemblages elsewhere on
the island where this amphora type predominates. A kiln associated with their production has
been found near Paphos and another potential kiln on the south coast of the island east of
It is likely, however, that at least some of the LR1 amphorae on the island were
produced at sites in Cilicia and represent imports to the island.
The appearance of both local
and imported LR1 amphorae at inland sites is a useful reminder that these amphorae also
functioned outside of the requirements of imperial provisioning. Coastal sites, like Maroni-
Petrera some 50 km west of Koutsopetria on the south coast, also produced a substantial and
diverse assemblage of imported Late Roman amphoraesuggesting intensive engagement in
small-scale, rather than imperial trade. At Petrera, LR 1 amphorae account for only 21% of this
assemblage despite the presence of a possible kiln site nearby. The assemblage from Maroni-
Petrera was far more diverse than that from Koutsopetria. Imported amphorae from Syria and
Palestine at sites across Cyprus likewise reflects the steady flow of commodities west to the
island and their desirability in local, even village, contexts.
Recent work on coastal sites on the
island and the documenting of a small trading vessel at the site of Fig Tree Bay reveals the

Gallimore, An Interpretation of the Chersonesos Ostraca; Pea, The Mobilization of State Olive Oil in Roman
Haldon and Brubaker, Byzantium in the Iconoclast Era, 723-729
Demesticha, Amphora Typologies, Distribution, and Trade Patterns; Manning, Maroni-Petrera, 42-43
Demesticha, Amphora Typologies, Distribution, and Trade Patterns.
Rautman, A Cypriot Village of Late Antiquity.

activity of caboteurs who carried diverse cargoes of amphorae bearing small quantities of
commodities along the coast.

The assemblage of amphora at Koutsopetria is significant, in part, because it was so
thoroughly dominated by LR1 amphorae and included few highly diagnostic and visible
amphorae from Palestine or Syria, such as LR4 amphorae from Gaza, and only a handful of
amphorae from Asia Minor.
The absence of these amphorae at Koutsopetria indicates that the
site did not serve as a significant import site for the most common bulk commodities arriving
from the Syrian coast. In contrast to the many sites on Cyprus, Koutsopetria did produce a
significant number of LR2 amphorae which are ubiquitous in the Aegean basin and were the
most common form found from Late Antiquity in the Eastern Corinthia, and which have tended
to be associated with provisioning of garrisons in the Balkans.
On Cyprus, LR2 amphorae tend
to be rare. At the nearby site of Panayia-Ematousa, for example, only a single LR2 sherd was
documented. At the village site of Kopetra, LR2 amphorae make up around 2%-5% of the
assemblage across various parts of the site.

The presence of the substantial quantity of LR2 amphorae at Koutsopetria may represent the
movement of ships returning to the site from the Aegean basin and carrying bulk goods in LR2
amphorae to Koutopetria from points west. These amphorae reinforce important links between
Koutsopetria and the Aegean and connect the economy of the microregion to routes north and
west toward the Capital and the frontier. These connections at Koutsopetria are inconsistent with
the more common connections between Cypriot sites and eastern, Levantine ports, although it is
likely that eastern goods did come to port at Koutsopetria at levels too small for them to appear
in our assemblage. This combined with the concentrated quantity of LR1 sherds leaves little
doubt that Koutsopetria was an export port dependent in part on military supply routes.
The presence of a diverse assemblage of fine wares expands this story. Unlike amphorae
which are merely containers for the transport of bulk good, fine wares are the object of trade
itself. As a result, amphorae might only represent one part of trans-shipment process. At a harbor
site like Koutsopetria, local produce transported in more perishable containers would be
repackaged in amphorae for export by sea, and imported bulk goods might be repackaged in

Leidwanger, Between local and long-distance.
Caraher, Moore, Pettegrew, Pyla-Koutsopetria I.
Karagiorgou, LR2: a Container for the Military annona on the Danubian Border?
Rautman, A Cypriot Village of Late Antiquity, 171

smaller and easier to transport containers for movement inland.
This may account for the
relative rarity of LR2 amphorae elsewhere in the neighborhood of Koutsopetria. Table wares
arrived at a harbor like Koutsopetria in significant quantities on their way to inland sites
providing insight into the supply of particular artifacts at a particular time. Koutsopetria, for
example, produced a substantial quantity of African Red Slip (ARS) (25%) and Phocaean Red
Slip (LRC) (15%) largely dating to the final decades of the 6th or the 7th century. The remaining
fine ware from the site is Cypriot Red Slip (CRS), which constituted 60% of the assemblage.
The significant quantities of ARS and LRC sets this site apart from other Late Roman sites in
southern Cyprus where CRS produced in Asia Minor and probably western Cyprus was far more
On the one hand, the significant presence of imports from North Africa and Asia
Minor would appear to parallel the presence of unusual quantity of LR2 amphorae at the site and
connections with the Aegean basin. The prevalence of these types at Koutsopetria, however, did
not directly influence the character of assemblages at other sites in the region. For example, less
that 15 km inland from Koutsopetria at the site of Panayia-Ematousa, imported LRC dominated
the assemblage and CRS and ARS are present only in tiny quantities. It is impossible to
understand this as a difference in access to imported fine wares since the two sites are not
separated by any great distance. Instead, we should see this is as variation in taste and highly
localized conditions in access among sites on Cyprus. Unlike the distribution of LR2 amphora
across the Corinthian countryside, which reflects the uniformity of systematic distribution of
stables, the diversity in assemblages of Late Roman fine ware on Cyprus reflects the varied tastes
of local communities.
Variation in the proportion of highly diagnostic fine ware exists across 6th - 7th century sites
from Cyprus. The amphora assemblage at the coastal site of Maroni-Petrera suggests that it
functioned as a way station for cabateurs moving goods along the south coast of the island and
possibly served as a local emporium for goods moving south through the Kalavassos valley. The
fine ware assemblage at this site was over 80% CRS suggesting a substantially different
relationship with Mediterranean trade in fine wares than at Koutsopetria. Oddly enough, inland
from Petrera in the Kalavassos valley, the village of Kopetra saw greater quantities of both ARS
(7%) and LRC (37%) and a smaller percentage of CRS. Recent work at the coastal city of Polis-

Gallimore, An Interpretation of the Chersonesos Ostraca; Pea, The Mobilization of State Olive Oil in Roman
Jackson, et al. Evidence for Late Roman D Ware Production in Southern Asia Minor

Chrysochous on the far western side of the island revealed a substantial residual assemblage
contemporary with Koutsopetria. It contained only a handful of non-CRS fine ware sherds. The
range of fine ware assemblages that appeared on contemporary settlements across the island
indicates that access to material and taste varied rather significantly across Cyprus.
The interplay of long-distance trade serving the goals of the military supply infrastructure
and regional exchange to support the needs and wants of local populations characterizes much
recent work on the Late Roman economy. How these connections functioned between the state,
local producers, and consumers remains obscure and continues to require both empirical
documentation and theoretical critique. At a site like Koutsopetria, it is appealing to imagine that
compulsory purchases of local agricultural produce helped to monetized the local economy.
Some of the money went back to the state in the form of taxes, but some also purchased imports
entering the port on both the ships commissioned to transport imperial goods and the vessels of
small-scale caboteurs. The presence Late Roman 2 amphorae, otherwise rather unusual on
Cyprus, and the significant presence of pottery from the Aegean (LRC) and further west (ARS)
provides evidence for the reciprocal connection between this port and the west.
This reciprocal relationship, however, does not necessarily dictate local tastes and
preferences. The presence of Aegean imports at Koutsopetria did not produce a substantial
assemblage of Aegean fine ware at Panayia-Ematousa and the absence of imported fine ware at
Maroni-Petrera contrasts with the prevalence of western imports at inland sites in the Kalavassos
valley. It would appear that individual communities preferred various kinds of fine wares and
this explains in a simple way why imported wares made the rugged trip overland to inland
households despite their access to locally made Cypriot Red Slip at coastal sites Koutsopetria,
Maroni-Petrera, and Polis. The contingent and varied character of Horden and Purcells
connectivity between mircoregions is particularly visible in the diverse proportions of fine ware
at different sites across Cyprus. In contrast, the substantial concentration of LR1 amphorae at a
coastal site supports a view of political contingency in the export of Cypriot agricultural produce.
Connectivity on Cyprus reflects varied regional and transregion historical processes.

V. Conclusions and Discussions
The Eastern Corinth and Koutsopetria reflect a diverse range of historically contingent
connections between microregions in the Late Roman world. The character of these relationships

depends in part on the critical scrutiny of our ceramic knowledge employed by the most recent
waves of artifact-level, intensive pedestrian survey. These archaeological methods have not only
contributed data supporting Horden and Purcells vision of connectivity, but reveal how
archaeology has tended to privilege certain kinds of political, military, and economic landscapes
in the Late Antique Eastern Mediterranean. The material present at these sites reveals evidence
for the administrative involvement in the local economy through the transport of bulk
commodities at key moments in the regions history. In the eastern Corinthia, these commodities
likely arrived in the area to support builders and garrisons who were fortifying the new border
zone of the Eastern Empire. The assemblage from Koutsopetria suggested that bulk goods
departed the island from the site presumably to provision imperial troops along the increasingly
militarized Balkan and Danubean frontiers. The use of highly diagnostic transport vessels and
their presence in substantial numbers made this kind of economic contact visible to the
Scrutiny of both transport vessels and fine wares from Pyla-Koutsopetria and elsewhere on
Cyprus, however, indicated that administrative trade and the redistributive powers of the state
were not the only mechanisms involved in producing the visible assemblage. The presence of
Late Roman 2 amphorae at Koutsopetria, for example, seems to demonstrate that administrative
connections with the Aegean brought with them return trade albeit on a smaller scale. The
presence of Aegean and North African fine ware at Koutsopetria reveals access to table wares
from western production sites, but the irregular distribution of these wares even in the vicinity of
Koutropetria suggests that connections between the island and western ports were not the only
condition dictating their presence in an assemblage.
These two case studies are not meant to present a generalized view of Late Roman
connectivity in the Eastern Mediterranean, but to demonstrate the link between the results of
intensive pedestrian survey and the arguments offered by Horden and Purcell. These studies
begin to demonstrate that intensive survey can provide nuanced, historical evidence for the kind
of connectivity proposed in The Corrupting Sea. Moreover, the critical scrutiny of systematically
sampled and quantified bodies of evidence produced by intensive survey has allowed historians
and archaeologists to recognize the forms of connections visible in the archaeological record.
The visibility of large assemblages of amphora, in particular, resonate with the unique role these
vessels played as containers for bulk commodity and administrative trade in the ancient

The preference in Late Antiquity for highly visible and diagnostic table wares
provided distinctive views of consumption patterns and local taste in the Late Roman word.
Small-scale trade, local production, and perishable containers, however, remain largely outside
the gaze of archaeological scrutiny and indicate that our current view of Mediterranean
connectivity, at least during Late Antiquity, remains only partial.

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