Industry and Empire: Administration of the Roman and Byzantine Faynan.
thesisposted on 18.02.2009, 12:01 authored by Hannah Ariel Friedman
The aim of this thesis is to gain a greater understanding of metalla, the imperially owned mining and quarrying districts of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. These extraction industries, and their products, were vital for the State to supply the army and to provide metals for coinage and marble for imperial building projects. To meet the largescale production needs of the State, the administration of these regions had to manage, supply and organise the industry. This thesis argues that the administration of metalla profoundly impacted the regional landscape and studying these landscapes can reveal the management strategies employed. To explore these issues the Faynan, a copper mining district located in southern Jordan, is used as a case study. This region has been the focus of intensive survey and presents an exceptional opportunity for studying an industrial landscape. By examining the landscape, and comparing the Faynan case study to other metalla, the specific mechanisms of management used by the administration are revealed. Some methods involved the creation of infrastructure (roads, aqueducts and administrative buildings) to facilitate production. Certain activities and resources were centralised to allow for greater control. Using GIS, it is demonstrated that the administration employed complex understanding of the ability to exert control through surveillance in its placement of structures in the landscape. It is shown that the Faynan and other metalla used multiple strategies to accomplish production. By comparing metalla from a number of regions common patterns emerge and the importance of decorative stone and metal to the imperial State is confirmed. The archaeological record reflects in general and specific ways that landscapes were managed and organised by the mining and quarrying authorities.