Trade in Lusitanian food-stuffs at Arles from the 1st to 5th centuries AD

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This paper results from my research carried out over several missions in Provence, namely at the Musee Departementale de l'Arles Antique and INRAP-Les Milles/Aix-en-Provence. The trade of Lusitanian food-stuffs in Arles is represented mainly through salted-fish amphorae from the Tagus/Sado area. The same region exported a small amount of wine between the 2nd and the 5th centuries AD. The general assemblage also shows the secondary role of south Lusitanian salted-fish products during Late Antiquity and a possible small supply of salted-fish from Peniche during the Early Empire. Due to the lack of stratigraphic data prior to the middle of the 1st century AD (to which type Haltern 70 may belong), the beginning of Lusitanian exports to Arles remains unclear. Nevertheless, the small number of Lusitanian amphorae in the dump of Arles-Rhone 3 suggests that this period must be close to the early moments of Lusitanian supplies in the town. In this sense, it is significant that the Lusitanian oval amphora type was detected in the lowest levels of the aforementioned river dump. On the other hand, the end of Lusitanian exports at Arles seems to have better contexts in the area of the theatre. Here, small amounts of Lusitanian amphorae in contexts of the second and third quarters of the 5th century AD are in line with the trends observed at the Lusitanian salted-fish productions centres and its amphora production centres. In fact, if some data from the present Portuguese territory point to a possible continuation of this production until at least the beginning of the 6th century AD, the data from the theatre at Arles related to the central decades of the 5th century AD demonstrate that Arles was at this time ending its imports from Lusitania.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLRCW 6
Subtitle of host publicationLate Roman Coarse Wares, Cooking Wares and Amphorae in the Mediterranean: Archaeology and Archaeometry Land and Sea: Pottery Routes
EditorsValentina Caminneci, Enrico Giannitrapani, Maria Concetta Parello, Maria Serena Rizzo
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781803271491
ISBN (Print)9781803271484
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2023


  • 1st-5th century AD
  • Arles
  • Chrono-stratigraphy
  • Chrono-typology
  • Lusitanian amphorae


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