The Villa and Agricultural Economy of Late Roman Sicily: An Archaeobotanical Perspective
The purpose of this study is to highlight the important role recovered plant materials can play in helping to create a broader understanding of Sicilian villas as centers for production during the Late Roman period (400-476 CE). The heart of the investigation requires a multivariate approach that compares findings from Gerace with aspects of written and archaeological record and provides in-depth analysis of the production and economic features of Roman villa settlements. Key to the study will be preserved plant remains found on specific villa sites across the Roman world. Hidden in the sediment are clues to Sicily’s ancient past and evidence for its agricultural productivity that was an important part of the Roman world. Helping to uncover this evidence is part of the diverse field of environmental archaeology, the analysis of which unfortunately which has not been carried out at many sites, leaving an incomplete record of important features of the ancient environment.