Storing up Problems: Labour, Storage, and the Rural Peloponnese

Daniel R. Stewart

School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, UK. Email:

Cite this as: Stewart, D. 2013 Storing up Problems: Labour, Storage, and the Rural Peloponnese, Internet Archaeology 34.


Composite image showing landscape and pottery from fieldwalking

Modern agriculture in the Stymphalos Valley,
Arcadia, Greece, with 'typical' collections of survey
pottery from the Sikyon Survey Project, Greece (Photo: Author).

There are profound differences between the foci of past activity and their material remains: elements of agricultural processing, storage, transport, and domestic habitation leave the most visible archaeological evidence of life in the rural landscape, but how we interpret that evidence is a subject of some debate. These are the 'end points' of past sequences of behaviours, but the individual points along those sequences are difficult to pinpoint within archaeological material. Archaeological surface survey is good at recovering aggregate remains of past behaviour, but how we interrogate and interpret them is another matter altogether. Agriculture is a seasonal activity, but this seasonality is often elided by the archaeological material and how we, as archaeologists, present it. This article examines elements of these archaeological traces in order to suggest a new way to approach our understanding of archaeological survey, using the case study of the rural Roman Peloponnese.

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