My research will present Late Roman and Early Byzantine ceramics (4th-7th c.) from the excavations conducted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki at the ancient city of Dion in Pieria (Northern Greece). Apart from including an in-depth review of the existing relevant literature, my doctoral thesis will be based on extensive fieldwork involving typological analysis and fabric characterisation of each ware. Greater focus will be put on the long-distance imports, but special attention will be also paid at local and regional wares. Most importantly, the ceramic evidence will be combined with research findings from other field to construct a distribution model and analyse Dion in the context of other settlements in the region in the context of a holistic approach that will also allow a multilevel comparison of Dion with other contemporary settlements.
The main aim of my PhD project is to use the ceramic evidence in order to investigate the socio-economic profile of Dion in Late Antiquity and to outline the related changes that occurred in the course of this period. One of the project’s basic research questions will be the investigation of the direct and indirect contacts of the city with other long or medium distance regions, along with its place into the trade routes system of Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans during the period under examination. Through a reconstruction of the networks responsible for the distribution of each ware, an attempt will be made to shed light on whether Dion was the final destination of widely distributed ceramic products or a recipient of such imports from bigger provincial centres via regional commerce. This study will also try to investigate the nature of the economy of the city and the productive activities the population was involved in. Moreover, the information derived from ceramic analysis, combined with the architectural and stratigraphic evidence, will offer a better understanding of the urban identity and civic status of the Late Antique city.
Unlike other parts of the country Macedonia and Northern Greece in general have been left out of the scope of modern research on the production and distribution of Late Roman and Early Byzantine pottery, despite the abundance of findings that are considered to be of particular importance. Consequently, this dissertation aims to filla major lacuna in Late Antique studies in Greece, and, hopefully, work as a key step towards putting the above regions at the heart of the ongoing research in Late Antique pottery. In addition, by combining the ceramic evidence with data from other fields, this project constitutes a multispectral approach to one of the major topics of discussion about Late Antiquity — urban life and economy — with no comparative study, regarding the geographical area under examination, having been published yet.