Pitch production during the Roman period: an intensive mountain industry for a globalised economy?
Orengo, Hèctor A. and Palet Martínez, Josep M. and Ejarque, Ana and Miras, Yannick and Riera-Mora, Santiago (2013) Pitch production during the Roman period: an intensive mountain industry for a globalised economy? Antiquity, 87 (337). pp. 802-814. ISSN 0003-598X
Official URL: http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/087/ant0870802.htm
The authors’ research project in the Pyrenees mountains has located and excavated Roman kilns for producing pitch from pine resin. Their investigations reveal a whole sustainable industry, integrated into the local environmental cycle, supplying pitch to the Roman network and charcoal as a spin-off to the local iron extractors. The paper makes a strong case for applying combined archaeological and palaeoenvironmental investigations in upland areas, showing mountain industries to have been not so much marginal and pastoral as key players in the economy of the Roman period and beyond it into the seventh century AD.
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