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Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World$
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Paul Erdkamp, Koenraad Verboven, and Arjan Zuiderhoek

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

The African Boom

The African Boom

The Origins of Economic Growth in Roman North Africa

Chapter:
(p.207) 12 The African Boom
Source:
Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World
Author(s):

Matthew S. Hobson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.003.0012

This chapter examines the literary, archaeological, and epigraphic evidence for economic and social change in North Africa during the Roman period. The evidence for the increased exportation of African ceramics to sites around the Mediterranean from the late second century AD onwards is discussed in relation to transformations observable in the rural countryside. Traditional explanations for the African economic boom are brought up to date, with recent survey work reinforcing the picture of the development of large-scale farms producing olive oil and wine, but also highlighting the importance of other North African exports, such as textiles and marine products. Explanation for the later economic prosperity is sought in the system of exploitation which developed after the destruction of Carthage, indicated by the mass centuriation schemes known from aerial photographs, the post-Gracchan epigraphic Lex agraria of 111 BC, and the tenurial relationships attested on the inscriptions of the Bagradas Valley.

Keywords:   Roman North Africa, Roman economy, Henchir Mettich, Bagradas Valley, African amphorae, kilns, Africa Proconsularis, Tripolitania, olive press, olive oil production

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