Domestic Patterns of Tableware Consumption in Roman Celtiberia

Jesús Bermejo Tirado

York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Email:

Cite this as: Bermejo Tirado, J. 2018 Domestic Patterns of Tableware Consumption in Roman Celtiberia, Internet Archaeology 50.


Plan of the Domus of the Plinths and a photograph of the fire destruction level of the Room #7. Adapted by Bermejo Tirado from García Merino et al. (2009, figs 3 and 6)

The use of traditional 'chrono-typologies' are rooted in the evolutionist and aesthetical principles underlying classical archaeology as a discipline. Accordingly, the use of such categories in the analysis of domestic patterns of tableware consumption in local communities during the Roman period risks introducing different kinds of biases to our current theories. I start the article with a discussion about the need to review traditional categories used to classify such finds. Based on the conclusions of this discussion, I propose an alternative procedure for the analysis of domestic patterns of Roman tableware consumption.

My analytical approach is based on two main methodological principles: 1) the use of other functional classification categories established from multiple criteria ('technofunction', usewear analysis, productive and archaeological provenance, etc.) and 2) the testing of these functional categories using statistical tools for comparison between different scales.

To illustrate this proposal, I apply a correspondence analysis to infer consumption patterns through comparison of functional and typological variables recorded in the analysed tableware finds from three Roman domestic contexts excavated in the province of Soria (Spain): the Domus of Los Plintos (Uxama); the Domus of the Aqueduct (Tiermes); and the Roman villa of 'La Dehesa' in Cuevas de Soria (Quintana Redonda). Some of the inferences obtained can be used to gain a deeper insight into the household economies of these settlements of Roman Spain.

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