Salt or fish (or salted fish)? The Bronze Age specialised sites along the Tyrrhenian coast of Central Italy: New insights from Caprolace settlement

Luca Alessandri*, Katia Francesca Achino, Peter Attema, Majoi De Novaes Nascimento, Maurizio Gatta, Mario Federico Rolfo, Jan Sevink, Gianluca Sottili, Wouter Gorp, van

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

6 Citaten (Scopus)
221 Downloads (Pure)


In 2017, an excavation led by the Groningen Institute of Archaeology and in collaboration with the Tor Vergata University of Rome, took place on two small islands in the Caprolace lagoon (Sabaudia, Italy), where Middle Bronze Age layers had previously been reported. Combining the results of an environmental reconstruction of the surroundings and a detailed study of the pottery assemblages, we were able to trace a specialised area on the southern island, in all probability devoted to salt production by means of the briquetage technique. The latter basically consists of boiling a brine through which a salt cake is obtained. The technique was widespread all over Europe, from Neolithic to Roman Times. Since the evidence points to an elite-driven workshop, this result has deep implications for the development of the Bronze Age socio-economic framework of Central Italy. Pottery evidence also suggests that in the Bronze Age sites along the Tyrrhenian coast of Central Italy where briquetage has already been hypothesised, more complex processes may have taken place. On the northern island, we collected a large number of so-called pedestals, which are characteristic features of briquetage, while chemical analyses point to salt or fish sauce production, like the roman liquamen, in a Middle Bronze Age domestic context.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1-41
Aantal pagina's42
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
StatusPublished - 13-nov-2019

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