Romancing the stone (2013-2017)

Romancing the stone. On the provenance, use and socio-economics of stone artefacts in a stone-less landscape, PhD research Sibrecht Reniere

The research project puts a focus on stone artefacts (millstones, hone stones, etc.) traded, used and discarded in (the northern parts of) the Roman ‘Civitas Menapiorum’ and its neighbouring regions. This area is formed by the current Belgian provinces of East- and West-Flanders together with the Dutch province of Zeeland and is geologically characterized by the quasi absence of natural stone outcrops, suitable for use in domestic context.

Yet stone was used in every-day activities such as grinding and whetting, which implies it was imported as a finished or half-finished product from regions outside the civitas. The study therefore aims to investigate the provenance, the product supplies/distribution networks, but also the use of the stone artefacts within a spatial, technological, typological and chronological framework. Studying these artefacts will provide further insight into the socio-economic processes of these local ‘Gallo-Roman’ communities and their networks with the wider context of the northern parts of the Empire. The multidisciplinary approach will combine classic context-based typo-chronological study with archaeometrical analyses (petrography, chemical analysis).


Sibrecht Reniere

Prof. dr. Wim De Clercq