Missing persons? Models of Mediterranean Regional Survey and Ancient Populations

Robert Witcher

in Settlement, Urbanization, and Population

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199602353
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731570 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy

Missing persons? Models of Mediterranean Regional Survey and Ancient Populations

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This chapter explores the potential and the problems of Mediterranean regional survey for demographic modeling, drawing on case studies from Italy, Greece, and North Africa. Specifically, it addresses concerns about recovery rates, or the percentage of settlement sites and, indirectly, population identified by surface survey. Discussion is structured into four main sections. The first reviews the general literature on recovery rates, particularly their variability, and leads to a consideration of the situation in the ancient Mediterranean. The second section presents opposing models of recovery rates in the context of the early imperial population of Italy and explores the implications for economic organization. The third section tackles the issue of the Italian population from an alternative model-building approach using the results of the Liri Valley Survey. Finally, issues of recovery rates and demographic modelling in Greek and North African contexts are used to develop a comparative understanding of population and wider economic organization across the ancient Mediterranean.

Keywords: rural settlements; recovery rates; settlements sites; Lira Valley Survey; demographic modelling; ancient Mediterranean

Chapter.  13966 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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