Examining the relation between the shape/manufacture technique and the function of the pottery used for salt-making (briquetages)

The archaeological excavations across the world provided over time abundant evidence about the exploitation of salt water (sea water or inland brine), transformed into solid salt by means of a forced evaporation process involving the use of fire and clay containers, known as briquetage type vessels. Quite strange at first sight, regardless of age or location of salt making sites in the world (Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Iron Age in Poland; Chalcolithic and Bronze Age in Romania; Bronze Age and Iron Age in France, Germany, England; Bronze Age and Iron Age in China and Japan; even modern times in some areas of Africa), there is an affinity for the quasi-conical shape of the ceramic vessels used to obtain salt units. This paper examines adaptive convergence in briquetage-making, cases in which functional constraints result in similar forms in independent lineages.

The role of salt sources in Transylvania in the process of neolithisation of Central and Southern Europe

The paper examines, through the richness of salt in Transylvania, the causes that led to the migrations from Anatolia to the southern Balkans and then to central Europe, especially in Transylvania. Among the factors that led to these migrations were firstly climate changes: warming in Holocene, favourable climate in Transylvania around 6000 BC, the salt riches here that provide salt for several millennia. The Holocene warming has led to desertification (the disappearance of forests in the lowlands of Anatolia), the settlements have a shorter timespan, and most of them have only one habitation level (after 6000 BC). These have led to migrations towards the Aegean Sea (Kirokitia) and through the islands or the coasts of Thrace to mainland Greece and from there through the Balkans to the Carpathian Zone, where important salt deposits can be found. Successive migrations have also determined a great cultural unity, observable especially in the evolution of ceramics in the Early Neolithic in the Balkans and southern Central Europe, situations analysed and presented with similar developments from those areas.

Technological issues of the shell-tempered ware from Gârcina (Neamț County, Romania)

Shell-tempered ware identified at Gârcina–Slatina Cozla II-III (Neamț County) was analysed in terms of microscopic, mineralogical and chemical characteristics for revealing its technological parameters. The site located near Piatra Neamț, on the Cozla hillside was used for the exploitation of salt-water resources by the Cucuteni communities and, later on, during the Early Bronze Age. Selected pottery samples were examined using optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Results show that the studied pottery samples although similar in the added temper have distinctive features in terms of raw material quality, processing and firing regime.

Social structures and economic strategies at household level in the Chalcolithic settlement of Hăbășești, Romania

This study is intended to be an attempt to identify the social structures associated with the dwelling in the Chalcolithic settlement from Hăbășești, Romania. Starting from the analysis of dwellings, the intention is to identify the major components of the household: social, material and behavioural, and the determination of the nature of the activities carried out within the structures. Taken into account are the size of the dwelling, the number of rooms, the presence of combustion structures and the inventory of dwellings.

First steps of the Roman diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean: development of the common political strategy

The article deals with the first diplomatic contacts of Rome in the Hellenistic world in 3rd century BC (before the beginning of the Second Macedonian War). The author attempts to discover if Roman Senate had common approach to its eastern policy in this period. In general the author agrees with those scholars who assert that Romans on their eastern diplomacy used the instrument (widespread in the interstate relations of the Hellenistic world) of “informal friendship” (amicitia – φιλία). However, tracing the development of the Roman relations with its “friends” in the Eastern Mediterranean, the author comes to the conclusion that from the beginning of the Illyrian Wars Roman attitude towards those states which established the amicable relations with Rome started to change. Romans more and more perceived these states as clients and expected from them services, which were usually provided by the Roman socii in Italy. The only exception from such a practice was the military alliance with Aetolia during the First Macedonian War which was determined by the extraordinary circumstances of this conflict.

Nabis and the helots

This paper explores the policy of the Spartan king Nabis towards the helots. Attention is drawn to the significant differences between the social politics of Nabis and the earlier reforms of the kings Agis IV and Сleomenes III. The author concludes that Nabis followed a completely new principle of Spartan citizenship formation. He liberated a number of helots and made them full citizens. However, Nabis was not able to overcome the helotry entirely, although he sought to abandon this type of slavery. Nabis, having accepted helots and foreigners as full members of the civil community, created a completely new type of citizens whose loyalty lay not so much with the state as with him personally. The radical social reforms of Nabis abolished the archaic principles of citizenship formation at the very moment when the Lycurgan Sparta finally disappeared. It became a monarchy of Hellenistic mould.

Cicero on vices

The article analyses Cicero’s use of vices (avaritia, crudelitas, audacia, luxuria/luxuries, invidia, superbia, licentia, libido), which form the core of Cicero’s ethical, philosophical, political and juridical conceptual apparatus. Avaritia (“lust for money”) is often combined with libido, crudelitas, audacia and luxuria. It is opposed to the Stoic ethical categories (honestas, fortitudo, diligentia, etc.) and the Roman ethical and political categories (amicitia, imperium, lex, etc.). Crudelitas goes together with the words denoting crimes, vices, tyrants/usurpers or unjust war. Cicero contrasts crudelitas with some ethical categories (virtus, honestas, misericordia, etc.) as well as political and juridical ones (auctoritas, dignitas, lex, etc.). Audacia is used in a positive (“courage”) and negative meanings (“impudence”). In the negative sense it goes together with the words designating crime or atrocity (scelus, crimen, facinus, etc.), other vices or negative emotions (improbitas, libido, impudentia, etc.), or with pecunia (in the meaning of “lust for money”). It is opposed to positive ethical, philosophical, political or juridical categories (dignitas, lex, auctorita, etc.). Luxuria as a vice designates “lust for luxury”. It is combined with other vices (avaritia, licentia, superbia, etc.) and opposed to virtues (egestas, parsimonia). In the meaning of “debauch” or “lechery” it is used with libido, voluptas and cupiditas. It is used in the same context with the semantic fields of idleness (desidia, ignavia, inertia) and crime (scelus, crimen, flagitium). For Cicero, invidia is “hatred” or “envy”, the most common and perpetual vice. It is interchangeable with invidentia. Cicero often links invidia with odium, misericordia, iracundia, obtrectatio, periculum and opposes to gloria. There are different types of invidia: to worthy people, tyrants, rich people. Superbia has a negative meaning of “superciliousness”, as well as a positive one (“pride”). As a vice, it is used in a synonymic series with arrogantia and insolentia, can be combined with crudelitas, contumacia and contumelia, or contrasted with sapientia and liberalitas. Licentia can have a positive meaning of “liberty” (every third example). In most cases, it is a vice (“promiscuity”, “self-will”). In the negative sense it is sometimes synonymous to libertas, goes together with the words denoting crime (scelus, injuria, facinus), with pecunia as a source of profit as well as other vices or negative emotions (voluntas, libido, impunitas, etc.). It is opposed to certain positive categories (judicium, libertas, lex, etc.). Cicero’s antithesis of licentia-servitus means permissiveness of an official opposed to slavery of his subordinates. There are some other antitheses: licentia–libertas, licentia–lex, licentia–gloria. Libido is mostly a political category for Cicero: it is abuse of power of bad rulers (Caesar), tyrants (Tarquin the Proud and his family), governors (Verres), senators (Catiline), judges. It is used together with scelus, crudelitas, audacia, etc., and contrasted with auctoritas, religio, lex, etc. In ethical and philosophical discourse libido means “lust”, “excessive bodily passion”, or “passionate desire” and goes together with flagitium, scelus, avaritia, etc. As a vice, libido is opposed to pudicitia, religio, temperantia, etc. In philosophical reasoning about enjoyment, Cicero uses the term in a neutral sense, referring to libido as a bodily passion opposed to spiritual pleasure.

La presencia del aceite bético en Mauretania Tingitana. Nuevos métodos de análisis

Next 2019 will be ten years since the publication of the book “La economía de la Mauretania Tingitana (s. I–III d.C.). Aceite, vino y salazones” (Pons 2009). There we discuss the economy of the province, emphasizing the peculiarities of its food supply (imports and exports). Since then, both the scientific production of the province, with the inclusion of new data, as well as the progress in the different methods of analysis, allows us to approach the subject again, redefining some of its aspects. To carry out the following analyses, we have used the information collected in the CEIPAC online database in the framework of the EPNET project. At this point, the discovery of new data and, above all, the application of different methods of analysis can help us when dealing with complex tasks. In the present work we intend to address a series of questions about the meaning of the interprovincial food supply in Tingitana, a territory sufficiently prolific for its own supply.