Rural agricultural economies and military provisioning at Roman Gordion (Central Turkey)
Marston, John M.
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Citation (published version)Canan Çakırlar, John M. Marston. 2017. "Rural agricultural economies and military provisioning at Roman Gordion (Central Turkey)." Environmental Archaeology, pp. 1 - 15.
Roman Gordion, on the Anatolian plateau, is the only excavated rural military settlement in a pacified territory in the Roman East, providing a unique opportunity to investigate the agricultural economy of a permanent Roman garrison. We present combined results of archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological analyses, assessing several hypotheses regarding Roman military provisioning. The garrison adapted its dietary preferences to local agricultural systems, but maintained its traditional meat supply of pork, beef, and chickens as well. There is evidence for economic interdependence with local farmers and cattle herders, self- sufficiency in pork and chicken production, and complex relationships with autonomous sheep and goat herders who pursued their own economic goals. If the Roman military in Gordion exercised a command economy, they were able to implement that control only on specific components of the agricultural sector, especially cereal farming. The sheep and goat herding system remained unaltered, targeting secondary products for a market economy and/or broader provincial taxation authorities. The garrison introduced new elements to the animal economy of the Gordion region, including a new pig husbandry system. Comparison with contemporary non-military settlements suggests both similarities and differences with urban meat economies of Roman Anatolia.