The analytical potential of intensive field survey data: Developments in the collection, analysis and interpretation of surface ceramics within the Pontine Region Project

Tymon de Haas, Gijs Tol

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This paper provides a succinct overview of developments in field survey practices and artefact collection strategies within the Pontine Region Project (PRP), a long-running landscape archaeological project in central Italy. Drawing on various examples from the PRP database, we specifically aim to evaluate the increasing research intensity and artefact sampling approaches adopted in the project and their analytical contribution: first, to refine the chronological and spatial resolution of rural data and to move beyond simplistic rural site classifications; second, to systematically analyse and interpret off-site distributions; and third, to reconstruct regional systems of production and exchange. Countering critiques of the purportedly myopic character of Mediterranean survey practices, we argue that the intensive investigation of small research areas not only complements more extensive survey approaches, but is crucial to counter biases and refine generalizing trends in such datasets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFields, Sherds and Scholars
Subtitle of host publicationRecording and Interpreting Survey Ceramics
EditorsAnna Meens, Margarita Nazou, Winfred van de Put
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherSidestone press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6426-211-7
ISBN (Print)978-94-6426-209-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePublications of the Netherlands Institute at Athens


  • landscape archaeology
  • roman archaeology
  • Ceramic analyses

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