Analysing and visualising the ceramiscene of Roman Nepi

Ulla Rajala (University of Cambridge)
Philip Mills (University of Leicester)

This paper builds on the theoretical tools labelled the ‘ceramiscene’ in Mills and Rajala (2011a). This is a means of characterising a ceramic landscape utilising a hierarchical version of the elements (Nodes, Pathways, Edges, Districts and Landmarks) defined by Lynch (1960). This has been applied to the Roman ceramic material recovered from field walking around Nepi, Italy, showing the identification of Node (site) type and status (Mills and Rajala 2011b), and the utilisation of off-site material (Mills and Rajala forthcoming) for exploring Districts through GIS and statistical methods, if not the identification of estates belonging to Nodes. This paper examines how these elements can be combined to determine the legibility of the landscape at particular points in time during the Roman period, and how this theoretical framework together with methodology combining landscape archaeology, finds work and GIS can help us to consider how actors negotiated the landscape.


Lynch, K. 1960. The Image of the City. Cambridge (Mass.): The MIT Press. Mills, P. and Rajala, U. 2011a Interpreting a Ceramiscene Landscape – the Roman Pottery from the Nepi Survey Project. Proceedings of the Theoretical Roman Archaeological Conference, 2010, 1-17, Oxford.

Mills, P. and Rajala, U. 2011b The Roman ceramic material from the field walking in the environs of Nepi. Papers of the British School at Rome 79 (2011), 147-240

Mills P.J.E. and Rajala, U. forthcoming Supply and Distribution of Late Roman coarseware from the Nepi Survey Project. LRCW4 Archaeopress.

Video by Doug Rocks-Macqueen, originally posted on his blog.

Leave a Reply