Accounting for ARS: fineware and sites in Sicily and Africa

Fentress, Elizabeth; Fontana, Sergio; Hitchner, R. Bruce and Perkins, Philip (2004). Accounting for ARS: fineware and sites in Sicily and Africa. In: Alcock, Susan E. and Cherry, John F. eds. Side-by-side survey: comparative regional studies in the Mediterranean world. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books, pp. 147–162.



First this paper establishes a quantification of African Red Slip ware (ARS) that was commonly traded around the Mediterranean between the first and the seventh centuries AD.Factors influencing the quantified temporal and spatial distribution are considered. Secondly, the distribution of the products of the various ceramic production centers in Africa Proconsularis, and the role of regional production centers in the supply of sites in African is investigated. These include the well-known Tripolitanian Red Slip Wares, and the ‘E’ wares of Byzacena. Their distribution on the wider Mediterranean market is fairly limited, but in Africa itself they played an important role in import substitution, a common indicator of economic growth. Finally, the settlement histories in the individual survey areas will be examined in the light both of their pottery imports and of their total numbers of sites throughout the Roman Period.

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