J. Theodore Peña, Professor of Roman Archaeology, Department of Classics, University of California, Berkeley
Imperial Rome was one of the first consumer societies, with the mass production of petty craft goods such as blown glass and ceramic table wares and the manufacture of disposable packaging for foodstuffs in the form of transport vessels. How did the Romans deal with all of these items after they had served their initial purpose? While much of this material was simply discarded onto the massive refuse dumps, a significant amount was reused and recycled in an impressively wide variety of ways.
This talk by internationally-known scholar of Roman ceramics, J. Theodore Peña examines the different ways in which the Romans reused and recycled pottery, providing insights into how the Romans sought to economize and meet the problems involved in refuse disposal, while also highlighting some of the challenges that archaeologists face in trying to make sense out of the pottery that they find on Roman sites
The catalogue for the exhibition Sterling Ruby: Ceramics exhibition features an essay by Peña titled Sterling Ruby: Notes from a Ceramic Archeologist.