Rural Settlement and Population Extrapolation

Peter Attema and Tymon de Haas

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

Rural Settlement and Population Extrapolation

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This chapter presents a case study on regional demographic reconstructions based on data assembled for the Carta Archeologica of the municipal territory of Nettuno, central Italy. The aim of this case study is to contribute to the methodological debate on the use of survey data for past (Roman) population reconstructions. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 1 discusses the uses of survey data in demographic reconstructions. Section 2 assesses the way the data were assembled while Section 3 deals with diachronic changes in the density and distribution of rural settlement types over the landscape. These data are then used in Section 4 to extrapolate population figures, elaborating methods used in earlier studies. The combined analysis of rural site data and subsequent demographic extrapolations furnish insights into the economic growth and decline of a part of the ager of Antium. The study highlights important methodological issues (especially on the relations between survey intensity and site recovery) that, in the context of the present volume, are of great importance. It also serves as a test case for future application to datasets available for other parts of the Pontine Region. Ultimately, the results may be used to test recent ideas on the extent of Rome's suburbium that would have reached as far as Antium and the Pontine Region.

Keywords: demographic analysis; Carta Archeologica; population reconstructions; survey data; rural populations; ager; economic growth

Chapter.  11844 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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