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Imperialism, Power, and IdentityExperiencing the Roman Empire$
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David J. Mattingly

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691160177

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691160177.001.0001

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Metals and Metalla

Metals and Metalla

Roman Copper-Mining Landscape in The Wadi Faynan, Jordan

(p.167) Chapter Seven Metals and Metalla
Imperialism, Power, and Identity

David J. Mattingly

Princeton University Press

This chapter presents a single case study of a Roman imperial mining operation (metalla) as an example of the potential environmental and human consequences of large-scale Roman metal production. As such, it stands for many instances of Rome's exploitation of the key natural resources of provincial territories. Tacitus, for instance, was explicit in describing the mineral resources of Britain as the “spoils of victory.” However, it is shown that the consequences of Rome's pursuit of economic gain carried a high human and environmental cost. It draws on the results of the Wadi Faynan landscape survey (1996–2000), an interdisciplinary and diachronic investigation of evidence of environmental and climatic change, settlement pattern, and human activity.

Keywords:   Roman Empire, mining, metal production, metalla, Wadi Faynan landscape survey

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