The use of stone in vast quantities is a ubiquitous and defining feature of the pdf. Adobe.icon. The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade Ben Russell. Alan A. Stocker: Analyses in the Economics of Aging (National Bureau of. Neil Matthew, Richard Stones : Beginning Linux Programming, Third Edition. Suzanne Young, Harry T. Roman : Beyond Engineering: How to Work on a Team Beyond the Barricades: The Americas Trade And Sustainable Development Agenda.
- The economics of the Roman stone trade. xxi+449 pages, 97 b&w The resolution of the full-text PDF is much higher than that shown here.
- Contents. List of Figures xi. List of Tables xvii. List of Abbreviations xviii. Note to the Reader xx. 1. Introduction. 1. Marble studies. 1. Stone in economic studies. 4.
- Russell, B. J. (2013). ' Roman and Late The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade (Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy). Oxford. Wilson, A. I. [ PDF ]. Wilson, A. I. (2012), 'Raw materials and energy', in W. Scheidel (ed.), The Cambridge.
1 - Historical Significance and Background. Underground tuff mine with calcium carbonate deposits. Beginning with Rome’s former rulers, the Etruscans dug the first tuff mines to gather soft volcanic rock to build with. These excavations were later reused as a refuge for Christians in fear of being sentenced to horrible deaths by Emperor Nero. In the summer of 64 A. D, a massive 6 day fire consumed nearly three quarters of Rome. Afterwards, the public blamed the emperor for setting the fire for his own amusement.
Nero dodged this bullet by using Christians as a scapegoat and blaming them. This worked well because they already had a bad reputation in Rome for proclaiming the existence of a new king, which was taken as a threat to those in power. Nero first rounded up a few Christians and used interrogation techniques to expose the identities of many more. Nero then put a large amount of Christians to death as a form of public amusement, sometimes lighting them on fire and using them as evening street lights (Carrington, 2000). St. Cyprian, an early Christian writer wrote of Christians being worked to death in the mines as well (Sherwood, 1998). After the fire ended, a Twelve Tables law (Table 8, Law 1) was written requiring a 2.
5 foot gap between buildings to minimize how quickly fires could spread. Christians may have been confused with Jews and labeled rebellious and lazy as a result. These labels were a result of uprisings Judean Jews had against Roman provincial government and the fact that they did not work on the Sabbath; this may have added some fuel to the fire (Brians, 1998). In accordance with Rome’s resourceful re-use of infrastructure, the catacombs found another use when the stench of decaying bodies became too much for Rome to handle.
Another Twelve Tables law (Table 10, Law 3) was written which forbade the burial and cremation of bodies within city limits. Christians of that time practiced burial rather than cremation, so they began digging out body sized holes in the tunnel walls. Today, the bodies have been removed from the excavated portions and curious tourists are invited in only with tour guides to avoid getting lost in the seemingly endless maze of tunnels. In a world without power tools or knowledge of the dangers of underground mining, Romans faced many unknown dangers and overcame them with trial and error. The disposable amount of slaves they had surely helped them accomplish this. 2 - Mining Techniques.
It is a challenge for archaeologists to accurately determine Roman mining techniques because their methods were destructive, which damages artifacts. For example, workers would use a method called fire-setting to ease the mining process. Miners lit a fire directly in front of the rock face to be mined and quickly cooled it down immediately with cold liquids, quenching the rock by cracking and weakening it with thermal shock.
As a result, many artifacts that have been found are damaged. There are also accounts written by hundreds of authors including Vitruvius, Diodorus of Sicily and Pliny have been found and offer insight into Roman mining methods. The writings do not mention any locations, only what was observed. 2. 1 - Opencast Mining.
The easiest and safest method, this technique did not require miners to face the dangers of underground mining. Opencast was done to obtain gold ore from 'placer' deposits which are found in the slower areas of streams. Gold sinks to the bottom of a river due to its high density and will accumulate where the water is slowest because it spends more time there. Pliny notes the high quality of opencast ores in rivers and streams: "No gold is more refined, for it is thoroughly polished by the very flow of the stream and by wear" (Duncan, 1999). Opencast was also performed on dry surfaces, Roman miners simply brought water with them since it was so helpful with this method. In the case of the Dolaucothi mines, the nearby Cothi river was used to bring water by aqueduct for roughly 10 km. Tanks were built directly above the placer deposits to hold enough water to wash away the top organic layer of soil and expose the gold ore in a technique known as hushing.
The running water also helped Romans by giving them a convenient way to wash away impurities from the ore before sending it to the smelter (Greene, 1986). Romans dug tunnels only when ore was far underground and it was considered worth it, the hazards of tunneling were learned on a trial and error basis.