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Vulnerabilität komplexer römischer Produtionsnetzwerke an der südhispanischen Atlantikküste
Vulnerability of Roman production sites on the south Hispanic Atlantic coast

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Prof. Dr. H. Brückner, Hannes Laermanns, Sebastian Frank

This project is carried out in cooperation with archaeologists from Philipps University Marburg and geoscientists from RWTH Aachen University and deals with the spatial distribution and sudden abandonment of Roman production sites along the southern Hispanic coastline. During early Roman Imperial Time, garum, a special kind of fish sauce, was transported from this region throughout the whole Roman Empire which is well documented through amphorae found all over Europe. A sudden hiatus in the production in the 3rd century AD was followed by a slow recovery and another decline in the 5th century.

Given that the Portuguese coast is exposed to extreme wave events, such as storms and tsunamis, a sudden destruction of the coastal production sites by such an event seems likely. Therefore, several garum production sites, where also traces of the AD 1755 Lisbon tsunami were found, are investigated to trace possible antecessor events. By means of a multiproxy approach using sedimentological and geochemical methods, tsunami and storm deposits and further possible causes for the decline, such as climate deteriorations, shall be identified in the sedimentary record. OSL and radiocarbon dating will clarify of these events coincide with the abandonment of the garum production sites.