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Cilician Wine, African Plates, Italian Cooking – Imported Pottery in the Decapolis in Roman to Early Islamic Times

Organised by Professor Rubina Raja (Aarhus Universitet) and Professor Achim Lichtenberger (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster).

Joint workshop between the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), the Danish-German Jerash Northwest-Quarter Project and Ceramics in Context (funded by the Carlsberg Foundation).


Date           Thursday 12 October 2017

Time           9:00-16:00

Location      UrbNet, Aarhus University, Moesgaard Allé 20, 8270 Højbjerg (bldg. 4230, room 232)


Imported Pottery in the Decapolis in Roman to Early Islamic Times

Within the framework of the Danish-German Northwest Quarter Project and the research project Ceramics in Context, a series of conferences are organized focusing on the pottery of Gerasa and the broader region. The fourth, and last, conference will take place on 12th October 2017 and will focus on imported pottery finds.

Gerasa was a mass-production center for a wide range of pottery. Several kiln-sites in the city document a flourishing production from Late Hellenistic/Early Roman times up into the Early Islamic period. The pottery manufactured seems to have covered all demands of daily life over centuries. Therefore it is not surprising that most of the pottery found on site was produced locally. Obviously there was no need to import vessels in high quantities from outside the city. Though the amount of imported finds are scarce, they are expressions of trade networks on both regional and supra-regional level.

The one-day conference will focus on the imported finds found in Gerasa as well as at other sites in the Decapolis. Central aspects to be addressed include the discussion of imports on supra-regional level: “In which part of the Mediterranean were the imports produced that reached the Decapolis? What type of vessels are on higher, which on lower demand? Can we trace influences/changes in the local pottery production caused by imported pottery, for example table ware?” and on regional level: “What kind of vessels were imported? Can we see similar import patterns at different sites?” To which extend can we trace an exchange of pottery products on a regional basis, locate the different production sites and embed them into network systems?

A second part of the conference will focus on those network systems: What do we know about trade routes, organization of trade on a regional, but also on a supra-regional level in general?

The one-day conference will offer international experts working in different fields and on different sites an opportunity to discuss these questions to be able to get a fuller understanding of consumption and trade patterns and network systems in general in one of the Decapolis cities and beyond.


  • Gerber, Yvonne (Universität Basel)
  • Lichtenberger, Achim (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster) (Organizer)
  • Raja, Raja (Aarhus University) (Organizer)
  • Rasson-Seigne, Anne-Michèle (Université François-Rabelais Tours)
  • Seigne, Jacques (Université François-Rabelais Tours)
  • Uscatescu, Alexandra (Universidad Complutense Madrid)
  • Vokaer, Agnes (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Practical information for speakers


Please make your own travel arrangements to/from Copenhagen. After your visit, your travel expenses will be reimbursed (only economy class). Please fill out this travel reimbursement form and return it (preferably in Excel-format) to Christina Levisen (levisen@cas.au.dk) along with copies of your receipts and boarding passes (scanned copies are fine).


Please forward your itinerary to Christina Levisen (levisen@cas.au.dk) as soon as possible, who will then book accommodation for you.

Dinner and diet

A speakers’ dinner will be organised at 18:00, and of course, we will cater for you during the workshop. If you have any dietary restrictions (e.g. allergies), please let Christina Levisen (levisen@cas.au.dk) know as soon as possible.


If you wish to use powerpoint, we would very much appreciate it if you could forward your slides by 10 October 2017.