SHOPS AND WORKSHOPS


AGADY, S. et al.

Agady, S., M. Arazi, B. Arubas, S. Hadad, E. Khamis and Y. Tsafrir (2002) Byzantine Shops in the Street of the Monuments at Bet Shean (Scythopolis). In: V. Rutgers (ed.) What Athens has to do with Jerusalem. Essays on Classical, Jewish and Early Christian Art and Archaeology in Honor of Gideon Foerster. Leuven: Peeters. 423-533.

This article deals with a complex of five rooms, wich probably served as shops, in the Street of the Monuments at Bet Shean (Scythopolis). The shops originated in the Roman period and continued to function until they were destroyed by fire in the first half of the sixth century AD. The shops were interpreted as tabernae serving drinks, food and souvernirs to pelgrims passing along the bussy road (p. 441). They for a very interesting analogy with the shops in Sardis and those of the lower agora at Sagalassos.

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BELTRAN DE HEREDIA BERCERO, Julia

Beltran de Heredia Bercero, J. 2002. Fullonica and tinctoria. Fabrics, dyes and laundry in the ancient Roman colony. In: J. Beltran de Heredia Bercero (ed) From Barcino to Barcinona (1st to 7th centuries). The archaeological remains of the Plaça del Rei in Barcelona. Barcelona: Imprenta Municipal. 48-57.

Beltran de Heredia Bercero, J. 2002. A garum and salt fish factory at Barcino. In: J. Beltran de Heredia Bercero (ed) From Barcino to Barcinona (1st to 7th centuries). The archaeological remains of the Plaça del Rei in Barcelona. Barcelona: Imprenta Municipal. 58-63.

Beltran de Heredia Bercero, J. 2002. Grapes and wine through the archaeological remains: wine production in Barcino. In: J. Beltran de Heredia Bercero (ed) From Barcino to Barcinona (1st to 7th centuries). The archaeological remains of the Plaça del Rei in Barcelona. Barcelona: Imprenta Municipal. 66-71.

Beltran de Heredia Bercero, J. and J. Jordi y Tesserras. 2000. Nuevas aportaciones para el studio de las fullonicae y tinctoriae en el mundo romano. Resultados de las investigaciones arqueológicas y arqueométricas en las instalaciones de la colonia de Barcino (Barcelona, España). In: D. Cardon and M. Feugère (eds) Archéologie des textiles, des origines au Ve siècle. Actes du colloque international de Lattes, oct. 1999. Monographia Instrumentum 14. Montagnac. 241-46.

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CRAWFORD, J. Stephens

Crawford, J.S. 1990. The Byzantine shops at Sardis. Archaeological Exploration of Sardis. Monograph 9. Cambridge.

Very usefull study of the archaeological contexts of the early Byzantine shops at Sardis. Consisting of:
1. Description of the architecture and site the shops
2. Summary of the finds
3. Description of the individual shops and there contents with representative drawings and photographs. Contextual analysis makes it possible to identify shops.
4. The Sardis shops in a wider setting (25 sites as comparanda)
Review by J. Russell Remarks on the contextual analysis of the Byzantine shops at Sardis:
* The colonnade(p.4): the captials of the Byzantine shops colonnade are of no cinsistent size or style. The same is true for the bases and shafts: they were reused and adjusted to the correct height. The entabulature was probably made of wood, because no fitting stone entabulatures were found, while on the contrary there were many charcoal remains.
* The shops: a second story is identified in some shops (p.8) by the cuttings in the backwall to support the wooden beams. In some shops also were some stairs on which probably stood a ladder. The floor of the second story was probably made of wooden planks attached to the beams with nails (many nails were found). In some cases loose tiles were laid on the floor. The main floor of the shops could consist of packed earth, rooftiles and/or brick or fitted marble slabs (p.8). The roof structure was made of rafters and planks similar to the Gaggera Roof (Hodge, A.T. 1960. p.50). If the span is moderate (like the shops/colonnade) no crossbeams or stuts are necessary. On top of the rafters rooftiles were placed (hudge amount found). The walls are mostly constructed of mortared rubble and field stones (p.10) i.e. spoils. There is no uniform thickness, distance from each other or length. The quoins and doorjambs are almost always peers of reused marble blocks.
REMARK: the shops at Sagalassos must be very similar. I expect though that the results of Thijs can add new insights.

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ELLIS, Steven J. R.

Ellis, S. J. R. 2004. The distribution of bars at Pompeii: archaeological, spatial and viewshed analyses. In: Journal of Roman Archaeology 17. 371-384.

This aricle contains an overview of some recent approaches to the spatial arrangement of Pompeii's food and drink outlets. It critisizes the havy reliance on literary sources of previous studies and the lack of a clear definition for the identification of bars in the archaeological record. A second part presents the archaeological evidence. This part contains an overview of bars (identified by the presence of a counter and cooking facilities) and their location in the urban framework of Pompeii. Ellis argues that bars were established in places for the greatest profitability (against a the traditional opinion that bars were not tollerated in the city center because they were seen by the elite as morally inacceptable see Laurence R.). Lastly, Ellis argues that because bars and their counters were aligned towards the streets, viewshed analysis can be used to look for directional movement of ambulatory trafic.

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EGAN Virginia and BIKAI Patricia M.

Egan V. and P. M. Bikai. 1999. Archaeology in Jordan. In American Journal of Archaeology 103. 485-520.

Compilation of some brief reports on recent excavations and projects in Jordan. Especially the report on the "Roman Street Project" in Petra by Chrysanthos Kanellopoulos is useful (pages 507-510) for its description of the colonnaded street with shops.

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HAKIM, Benim S.

Hakim, B. S. 2001. Julian of Ascalon's treatise of construction and disign rules from sixth-century Palestine. In: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 60. 4-25.

This paper is a study of the treatise by Julian of Ascalon. The treatise is a compilation of construction and design rules that address the prevention of nuisances and potential damages to proximate neighbours. Its goal was to deal with change in the built environment by ensuring that minimum damage occurs to preexisting structures. Potential damage could result from adjecent dwellings due to fire sparks, smoke, offensive odors and vibrations. The treatise therefore firbids the construction of workshops using kilns in inhabited areas of the towns and proposes specific distances between structures with socially undisirable uses and existing buildings. This article is essential when studying city planning and the location of workshop activity in the late antique town.

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HALL, Jenny

Hall, J. 2005. The shopkeepers and craft-workers of Roman London. In: A. Mac Mahon and J. Price (eds) Roman Working Lives and Urban Living. Oxford: Oxbow books. 125-144.

This paper presents the results of the research done for a temporary exhibition at the Museum of London which attempted to recreate three buildings of Roman London with their shops and workshops. The paper gives an overview of the available evidence for craft working and trading activities in Roman London. Among the crafts decribed are metal working, gold smithing, glass-working, carpentry Leather-working, textile production, bone working, pottery industry, construction, woodworking, plastering and decorating, tile making, retail, milling, baking and butchery.

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HARRIS, Anthea

Harris, A. 2004. Shops, retailing and the local economy in the early Byzantine world. The example of Sardis. In: K. Dark (ed) Secular Buildings and the Archaeology of Everyday Life in the Byzantine Empire. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 82-122.

The shops of Sardis: review of the evidence (See aslo Crawford 1990). According to Harris there is little evidence for retailing in the so-called shops of Sardis. She identifies two phases in the occupation of the shops.
1) The original lay out of the shops, involving central planning, as dye workshops
2) In a second phase, the unity of activity broke down and although some of the "shops" seem to have been used as restaurants, offices or workshops, the main function of maost of them appears to have been residential.

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JACKSON, Ralph

Jackson, R. 2005. The role of doctors in the city In: A. Mac Mahon and J. Price (eds) Roman Working Lives and Urban Living. Oxford: Oxbow books. 202-220.

Very detailed overview of the evidence for the presence of doctors in cities, their social status, their work, their equipment, etc.

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KHAMIS, Elias

Khamis, E. 2007. The shops of Scythopolis in context. In: L. Lavan, E. Swift and T. Putzeys (eds) Objects in Context, Objects in Use. Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity. Late Antique Archaeoloy 5. Leiden: Brill. 439-472.

The shops of Scythopolis are contemporary with the initial layout of the Roman city. Similarly to other Roman cities in the East, the major streets of Scythopolis were colonnaded with rows of shops on both sides. While certain monuments and buildings in the city centre changed their character, design and function through time, the streets with their shops alongside, remained the most dominant and unchangeable feature of the city during several centuries. The owners of the shops, and their religious and cultural background, changed during the Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods, but they still used the same buildings and probably sold similar products from one period to another. Sometimes it is possible to determine the function of certain shops. Among these were the shops of a coppersmith, a blacksmith, and a goldsmith, and shops for selling glass, pottery, building materials, and even souvenirs. Bakeries, taverns, and probably a butcher, can also be identified.

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MACMAHON, Ardle

MacMahon, A. 2003. The shops and workshops of Roman Britain. In: A. Mac Mahon and J. Price (eds) Roman Working Lives and Urban Living. Oxford: Oxbow books. 48-69.

Article providing a summary of his work on the tabernae of Roman Britain, emphasising the similarity in function to those found in Italy.


MacMahon, A. 2003. The taberna counters of Pompeii and Herculaneum.In: A. Mac Mahon and J. Price (eds) Roman Working Lives and Urban Living. Oxford: Oxbow books. 70-87.

A brief discussion of the selling-platforms in the tabernae of Roman Pompeii and Herculaneum.


MacMahon, A. 2003. The Taberna Structures of Roman Britain. BAR British Series 356. Oxford: Oxbow.

Very exhaustive work on shops in Britain. Description of the function and use of space in tabernae on pp. 57-79. Important for further references.

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MANIERE-LEVEQUE, Anne-Marie

Manière-Lévêque, A.M. 2007. An unusual structure on the Lycian acropolis at Xanthos. In: L. Lavan, E. Swift and T. Putzeys (eds) Objects in Context, Objects in Use. Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity. Late Antique Archaeology 5. Leiden: Brill. 473-494.

This article discusses the interpretation of an isolated one-room structure, excavated on the Lycian Acropolis at Xanthos. It contains a large oven, set back in its own recess, and number of unusual basins, cut into the rock, in which burnt material and a number of complete cooking pots were found. The possible function of this complex is discussed, in relation to a number of familiar hypotheses, which are then discarded. A detailed discussion is undertaken, of the design and working of the fi xtures and fi nds recovered within the complex, and its urban context, in order to produce a more convincing interpretation.

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RUSSELL, James

Russell, J. 1993. Shops for small industry and retail trade in a late-antique city. Review of: J.S. Crawford. 1990. The Byzantine shops at Sardis. Archaeological Exploration of Sardis. Monograph 9. Cambridge. In: JRA 6. 455-460.

Very good summary of the book by Crawford with a summation of the accomplishments of the work and its small flaws. Very usefull when studying the contexts of the shops on upper and lower agora's.

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WILLIAMS, Charles K. and ZERVOS, Orestes H.

Williams, C. K. and O. H. Zervos. 1987. Corinth 1986: Temple E and east of the theatre. In: Hesperia 56. 1-46.

Final report on the houses/shops east of the theatre of Corinth.


Williams, C. K. and O. H. Zervos. 1986. Corinth 1985: East of the theatre. In: Hesperia 55. 129-175.

Description of several houses/tabernae east of the theatre. Building 1 (dated to the 2nd c. AD) contained a kitchen (p. 132) and evidence for the storage of wine (p. 134). Building 3 (dated to the reign of Domitian - early 3rd c. AD) also contained a kitchen (p. 135) and a large concentration of animal bones representing slauthering refuse. Both buildings were interpreted as retail outlets for selling prepared food to passers-by (especially the crowds for the theatre). There are many parallels with the material from the lower agora at Sagalassos: location in a busy quarter of the town, concentrations of animal bones, similar pottery assemblages with kitchenwares and vessels for storage, child burial during or after abandonment.


Williams, C. K. and O. H. Zervos. 1983. Corinth 1982: East of the theatre. In: Hesperia 52. 1-47.

Mentions the existence of a fuller's shop active between the late 1st and the mid 3rd c. AD close to the theatre. Against Manière-Lévèque for Xanthos.

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Opgesteld door Toon Putzeys oktober 2005
Laatst vernieuwd in december 2008