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Fish & Ships

 | 
Emmanuel Botte
, 
Victoria Leitch

Troisième partie. Études archéologiques méditéranéennes

Salting the East: evidence for salted fish and fish products from the Aegean sea in Roman times

Tatiana Theodoropoulou

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 Curtis 1984, p. 58.
  • 2 Curtis 2005, p. 38.

1Fish was a staple in the Roman diet. According to Curtis trade in preserved fish, particularly salted, was «a brisk business for many inhabitants of the Mediterranean provinces»1. Modern research is revealing a growing body of evidence for large-scale fish-salting activities in the western parts of the Roman Empire. On the other hand, very little is known about relevant practices in the eastern provinces of the Mediterranean. Curtis states that «salting installations in the Greek East have yet to be discovered»2. Admittedly, this issue has not been extensively studied in Greece so far.

  • 3 Davidson 1997, p. 15-16; Mylona 2008, p. 75, 81.
  • 4 Curtis 2001, p. 318.

2Fresh fish has always been a part of Greek markets as an alternative protein source, and the marketing of fish in Classical societies has been extensively discussed3. This tradition certainly continued down to Roman times, as suggested in the sources. At the same time, processed fish are known to have been preferred and consumed by the Greeks from the Classical period onwards. Although sporadic archaeological finds and ancient sources confirm the production and transportation of such products from across the Mediterranean (Byzantium, Crimea, Spain, Sicily) to the Aegean as early as the Classical period4, the record is far from complete.

  • 5 Højte 2005, p. 133.

3Questions about the fish-salting industry and trade in fish products can be approached though various lines of evidence, as suggested by Højte: fishing equipment, watchtowers, processing facilities, fish remains, transportation equipment, descriptive sources and pictorial representations5. This paper brings together several types of available evidence of salted fish-industry, trade and consumption of salted fish products in the Greek and Graeco-Roman worlds, with the emphasis on zooarchaeological remains. A recent archaeoichthyological analysis of two fish assemblages from the Hellenistic-Roman town of Dion in Northern Greece serves as the backbone of this paper, to address questions of procurement, production and trade of salted fish in the Aegean. Literary and other lines of evidence are used, in order to highlight aspects of this important component of the Roman economy and diet in ancient and Roman Greece.

1. Zooarchaeological evidence of processed fish in the Aegean

4Although archaeoichthyological studies from Aegean sites are increasing, the discovery of zooarchaeological remains associated with processed fish from all periods of antiquity is surprisingly low.

  • 6 Zimmermann Munn 2003, p. 201. There is no precise information on the exact provenance of these bo (...)
  • 7 Maniatis et al. 1984, p. 221.
  • 8 Zimmermann Munn 2003, p. 201, n. 47, cf. fig. 12.5.
  • 9 Zimmermann Munn 2003, p. 203, 207-209 suggests Gades as a possible origin. Cf. idem. n. 134, Athe (...)

5The earliest faunal material hitherto found in Greece comes from 5th c. BC Corinth. Among the transport jars found in the Punic Amphora Building there is a large quantity of Mañá-Pascual A4 amphorae, suggestive of a considerable level of trade and consumption of their contents in Corinth. These amphorae come from Punic centres, known in antiquity for their trade in salted and pickled fish, suggesting that they contained fish, whose remains were found scattered in the building6. Two different types of amphorae seem to indicate two different contents. The archaeometric analysis by Maniatis et al. concluded that «wherever the amphoras were made, the nature of the two technologies is indicative that one ware was probably good enough for carrying fish in oil or brine, its quality being very consistent, while the second ware was very porous, suitable for dry contents»7. The fish remains consisted of packs of scales, while vertebrae and cranial bones were scarce8. Fish bones were primarily attributed to the gilthead sea bream, as well as tunny. According to the specialists who examined the remains, the products found in the amphorae consisted of fillets cut into 4-6 cm lengths so as to fit through the narrow mouth of the Punic amphorae. On the basis of these finds, excavators came to the conclusion that fish salting and trading centers of Southern Spain were known to the Greeks as early as the 5th century BC and that a thriving trade took place between this area and Corinth at that time9.

  • 10 Theodoropoulou 2011.

6Despite the importance of this assemblage to the history of food in ancient Greece, it has long been thought to be a rather isolated find, complementing primary literary evidence of the consumption of salted fish in this part of the Mediterranean. The latter issue is even less well documented archaeologically for the following periods, thus leading to a rather biased record. The recent study of two Roman fishbone contexts from Roman Dion brought forward the issue of salted fish products in Roman Greece. The following paragraphs summarise the results of the zooarchaeological study and related questions10.

  • 11 For a general introduction to the site: Pantermalis 1997; 2000a.
  • 12 Vasileiadou 2011, p. 49.
  • 13 Pantermalis 1992; Praetorium cum tabernis duuabus et apparatura, Pantermalis 2000b, p. 377, 383, (...)

7Dion is a Hellenistic-Roman town situated at the foot of mount Olympus, Northern Greece, today at approximatively 6 km from the shore of the Thermaic gulf (fig. 1)11. The first assemblage was retrieved from inside an amphora excavated in 1994 in the so-called House of the Hydraulis12. The house lies to the east of the main Agora of Dion, opposite the villa of Dionysos, next to the Praetorium with two tavernas13. The complex comprised a number of rooms, organised around a colonnaded courtyard, and was built on two levels. A covered gallery ran across the west side of the building, facing onto the main street. The house yielded a great number of storage jars, metal objects, as well as a musical instrument, the hydraulis. The amphora associated with the fishbones was found intact, however its type remains to be identified (ongoing study). It contained a large number of fish vertebrae, neurocranial fragments, cranial skeletal elements, as well as a many fin spines, ribs and rays (fig. 2, table 1). The state of preservation of most of the bones was good, albeit a higher fragmentation of more fragile cranial bones.

Fig. 1. Map of the Aegean and location of Dion (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Fig. 1. Map of the Aegean and location of Dion (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Fig. 2. External morphology and skeleton of a fish. In black letters the identified skeletal elements from the House of the Hydraulis, in grey the missing ones (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Fig. 2. External morphology and skeleton of a fish. In black letters the identified skeletal elements from the House of the Hydraulis, in grey the missing ones (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Table 1. Skeletal representation of fishbones from the House of the Hydraulis.

Table 1. Skeletal representation of fishbones from the House of the Hydraulis.
  • 14 Collette, Nauen 1983, p. 35.
  • 15 Id.

8The assemblage consisted exclusively of remains of little tunny. The little tunny or καρβούνι (Euthynnus alletteratus Rafinesque, 1810) inhabits temperate and tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea14. Atlantic little tuna is an epipelagic and neritic fish, more coastal than other tuna species, typically occurring in inshore waters. This species lives in schools together with other scombrids, but has a tendency to scatter during certain periods of the year. It is considered less migratory than other tuna species. The maximum size in the Mediterranean is about 100 cm fork length and about 12 kg weight, however size in modern commercial catches ranges roughly from 30 to 80 cm fork length15.

  • 16 The allometric method in archaeo-ichthyology is based on the fact that inferior organisms, such a (...)
  • 17 According to the length/weight ratio provided by Kahraman, Orey 2001, p. 724-725.
  • 18 Ongoing study.
  • 19 Desse et al. 2002. Desse-Berset, Desse 2000, in their experiment with a Dressel 7 amphora, they m (...)
  • 20 Based on the equation provided by Santos et al. 2006, table 2.

9Several skeletal part observations on the faunal assemblage from the House of the Hydraulis pointed to the presence of at least 6 complete or sub-complete individuals. Size reconstruction showed that the remains belonged to fish that measured between 40 and 80 cm (fork length) (fig. 3)16. The reconstructed lengths of little tunnies converted to a total weight for 6 whole fish (2500-8300 g)17 allowed an estimate for the amphora contents of an average of 35 kg of fish each. Although the exact dimensions of the amphora associated with the fish remains are not known18, experimental approaches to similar assemblages can shed light on the capacity of this type of vessel19. Information on amphora mouth diameters may also be useful when it comes to the question of placing whole fish of a certain size (i.e. girth) into an amphora. Estimated girth of reconstructed little tunny lengths from the House of the Hydraulis ranges between 28.5 and 48.5 cm for fresh fish20. On the other hand, it is not clear whether these fish have been deposited whole or in chunks inside the amphora. The presence of whole fish heads inside the vessel is indicated by the recovery of nearly the entire range of bones from the suspensorium (articulating dentaries and articulars) and parts of the skull. Moreover, the whole range of vertebrae is represented, with a relatively high representation of both abdominal and caudal vertebrae (fig. 4). The observed under-representation of caudal vertebrae nos. 28 to 30 might be due either to post-depositional factors or to the processing of fish prior to placing into the amphora, namely cutting the caudal part of the fish from the rest of the body in order for them to fit inside the amphora.

Fig. 3. Length-weight relationship of Eythunnys alletteratus basedon modern specimens and reconstructed lengths of Dion specimens (after Kahraman, Orey 2001, modified).

Fig. 3. Length-weight relationship of Eythunnys alletteratus basedon modern specimens and reconstructed lengths of Dion specimens (after Kahraman, Orey 2001, modified).

Fig. 4. Head and body part representation of little tunnies from the House of the Hydraulis based on the recconstruction of 6 individuals (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Fig. 4. Head and body part representation of little tunnies from the House of the Hydraulis based on the recconstruction of 6 individuals (© T. Theodoropoulou).
  • 21 Pantermalis 1997, p. 48-49; Pantermalis 2000a, p. 212.
  • 22 Vasileiadou 2011, p. 49, n. 142.
  • 23 Id., p. 49.
  • 24 Id. For comparison, see preserved fish scales on amphora fragments from Corinth (Zimmerman Munn 2 (...)

10The second fishbone assemblage identified at Dion came from the so-called House of Euboulos21. This was a luxurious house situated on the main street of the town, with mosaic floors, a central atrium, as well as a fountain in the large room next to it. One of the mosaics depicted sharks22. The owner’s name is frequently recorded in relief on the lead water pipe, although more information on that person is lacking. The paved path adjacent to the house leads to the central square of the Agora. Fish remains from this context were first detected during excavation in 1980, lying inside large body sherds from five amphorae found one next to the other23. The assemblage was left in situ and was collected two years later. The anatomical range of this assemblage is more limited compared to the one from the House of the Hydraulis. It primarily constists of body elements, vertebrae and fins (spines, ribs, rays), as well as few neurocranial fragments and cranial bones (fig. 5, table 2). Archaeologists also mentioned the presence of fish scales, which have either not been recovered or did not survive during their exposure prior to retrieval24. The remains exhibited a relatively good state of preservation. The few cranial elements showed a high degree of fragmentation, probably due to their fragile nature. On the other hand, a significant number of vertebrae (40% NISP) are partly or heavily fragmented. Among them, 9 vertebrae showed a specific pattern of fracturation.

Fig. 5. External morphology and skeleton of a fish. In black letters the identified skeletal elements from the House of the Euboulos, in grey the missing ones (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Fig. 5. External morphology and skeleton of a fish. In black letters the identified skeletal elements from the House of the Euboulos, in grey the missing ones (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Table 2. Skeletal representation of fishbones from the House of the Eubulus.

Table 2. Skeletal representation of fishbones from the House of the Eubulus.
  • 25 Fish vertebrae were identified to genus level, although neural and heamal spines, as well as pre- (...)
  • 26 Identification to the level of species was not possible at this level of study due to the close o (...)
  • 27 Collette, Nauen 1983, p. 80.
  • 28 Following the «Profils Rachidiens Globaux» method (PRG), Desse et al. 1989.

11Species identification of the assemblage from the House of Euboulos was based on the vertebral elements25. At least one Thunnus species, and possibly also an Eythunnus sp. have been identified26. Tunas are mostly oceanic species with an epipelagic to mid-water range (>500 m depth)27. Tunas generally prefer more oceanic habitats, with distributions depending on species and size. Their size, depending on the species, can exceed 1.60 m and 85 kg. It is still too early to draw conclusions about the size of the tunas found in Dion, as a definite attribution to a species is pending. The positioning of the vertebrae by size ranges seems to suggest the presence of two fish, one smaller and one larger, of an estimated length of 40-60 and 80-100 cm, respectively, although more chunks could be present28.

  • 29 ½ antero-posterior and ½ dorso-ventrally; ½ antero-posterior and ¾ dorso-ventrally; zygapophyses (...)
  • 30 Bernal Casasola, Gonzalez 2008, p. 18 and references.

12Fish remains from the House of Euboulos are characterized by the unequal ratio of cranial/post-cranial representation (fig. 6). Even within the cranial region, only bones from the posterior skull and posterior cranial elements are preserved. This observation leads to the assumption of beheaded specimens, or alternatively of a severe post-depositional process having affected the more fragile cranial bones. However, questions arise when one takes into account the description of fish scales in the excavation reports. In this case, the presence of beheaded yet unscaled fish has to be considered. The remains from the House of Euboulos also comprised of a number of fragmented and/or cut vertebrae. Fragmentation patterns fall into several categories (fig. 7)29. Examination of the fragmented surface indicated that some of these fractures have probably occurred some time in the past, possibly when the bone was already dry. However, among fragmented vertebrae, a distinct pattern has been observed. Nine articulating vertebrae were split in a dorso-ventral direction, repeatedly in the middle of the vertebra, next to the centrum. Thorough examination of the fragmented surface under a Leica Wild M10 microscope by bone technology expert Dr. Rozalia Christidou confirmed that the fracture of these bones would have occurred while the bone was still fresh, presumably with a sharp knife. It is possible that these cuts occurred during filleting. Cutmarks are sometimes recorded on tuna bones; filleting can lead to bevel sectioning of the neural and haemal processes of the first abdominal vertebrae, halfway up the trunk, as well as to deep cuts on the caudal vertebrae30.

Fig. 6. Head and body part presence of little tunnies from the House of the Hydraulis (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Fig. 6. Head and body part presence of little tunnies from the House of the Hydraulis (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Fig. 7. Articulated Thunnus vertebrae from the House of Euboulos showing a distinct cutting pattern and stereoscopic views (5-8X) (© T. Theodoropoulou).

Fig. 7. Articulated Thunnus vertebrae from the House of Euboulos showing a distinct cutting pattern and stereoscopic views (5-8X) (© T. Theodoropoulou).

13Summing up, there are several arguments indicating that the two assemblages from Dion can be identified as some sort of food stored for future consumption, rather than a traditional consumption refuse. The fact that these fish remains were found inside a container or in close connection to ceramic vessels might suggest that they represent stored fresh fish or a preserved fish product. This is particularly the case of the fish bones associated with the amphora from the House of the Hydraulis that represent whole or sub-whole larger fish of the same species. Similarly, the remains from the House of Euboulos cannot be considered stray kitchen refuse finds. The presence of a single fish family is significant. The articulating vertebrae and the presence of the back of the head also suggest whole or sub-whole specimens. Furthermore, in both assemblages size reconstruction revealed a rather limited range in body sizes, indicating deliberate size selection. However, an issue that still remains open is how these fish reached Dion, whether fresh or processed. In the following, it is worth examining the various possibilities, in the light of available evidence from ancient Aegean.

2. Fresh vs. salted products in the Graeco-Roman world

  • 31 West 1931, p. 103-104, n. 125; Kent 1966, p. 127-128.
  • 32 Crete (Chersonisos, Siteia, Ierapetra, Zakros), Kenchreiai near Corinth, Aegina, Curtis 1991, p.  (...)
  • 33 Vasileiadou 2011, p. 50, 199-200.
  • 34 Athenaeus Deipnosophistae 6.235e (Ἀριστοτέλης δ’ ἐν τῇ Μεθωναίων πολιτείᾳ (fr. 426 R) ‘παράσιτοι’ (...)
  • 35 Pausanias Periegesis 8.5.8; Aristoteles Rhetoric 6.55; Strabo Geographica 14.2.21.
  • 36 The case of eels from Lake Kopais (Boeotia) brought to Athens is often mentioned, Antiphanes fr. (...)
  • 37 Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 8.348b; Mylona 2008, p. 76.
  • 38 In classical Athens fish fresh was not allowed to be kept over a longer period of time in water, (...)

14Fresh fish was always available in the Greek markets from the classical times down to the Roman period. Fish was a staple in Roman diet, and the Greek provinces would not have made exception to this rule. Among other evidence, two Latin inscriptions from the Roman Agora at Corinth refer to the selling of fresh meat and fish in the Tholos building31. Coming to the Roman town of Dion, the position of the House of Euboulos within the Agora boundaries and that of the House of the Hydraulis in close proximity to it, may indicate that the rich owners of these residences would have easy access to freshly marketed fish, in this case tunas from the Northern Aegean fish catches. The tradition of breeding fish or keeping live fish in fish-tanks was also known to the Greek provinces32. The close proximity of Dion to the shore would favour transportation from the coast to the town on the day of capture. Several bronze fish hooks of different sizes and typologies found at Dion, as well as a net weaving needle, suggest that some citizens of Dion may have been actively involved in fishing activities33, and fishermen from this area had to contribute fish for public dinners, organised by the παράσιτοι34. Transportation of fresh fish to the mainland is attested by ancient authors35, sometimes over long distances36. There are also examples of buyers travelling all the way to the coast for fresh fish37. On the other hand, fresh fish requires careful management and rapid consumption (usually within 1 to 3 days), as it spoils quickly in temperate areas, such as the Mediterranean38. For this reason, bigger fish were usually purchased in fillets or chunks. The rapid spoiling of fish might be avoided when whole fish are kept in sea water in jars, which might be the case of the whole fish kept inside the amphora in Dion.

  • 39 Curtis 2001, p. 407.
  • 40 Eupolis Marikas fr. 199; Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 3.118e, 3.116c.

15However, preservation was a successful way to exploit large quantities of seasonal fish landings through transhipment of preserved fish and fish sauces to distant locations 39. Processing with salt was the most common method for preserving staple foodstuffs in temperate areas of the ancient world. Archaeological finds from Corinth dated as early as the 5th c. BC confirm references by Attic comedy writers mentioning trade and consumption of salted fish in the Athenian Agora40, which seems to have satisfied tastes more than supplementing a flourishing fresh-fish market. The tradition of preserved fish flourished particularly in the Roman period. However, available faunal evidence of such products in the Aegean part of the empire is much less abundant. In light of the Dion assemblages it is worth exploring various methods of preservation and trying to match them with the available faunal record.

  • 41 Curtis 2001, p. 403-406, 413-415.
  • 42 Id., p. 403.
  • 43 Sternberg 2000, p. 148.
  • 44 Pyke 1964, p. 75.
  • 45 Zimmerman Munn 2003, fig. 12.5; cf. τάριχος λεπιδωτόν.
  • 46 Desse-Berset, Desse 2000, p. 91.
  • 47 For instance, a container with many small whole fish, particularly clupeids, like sardines and an (...)

16The methods for processing fish have been extensively discussed in the literature41. Fish could be processed in two basic ways: a. pickling: the term includes all fish that were salted or kept in brine whole or in chunks, forming τάριχος οr salsamenta, or a liquid by-product, muria42; b. fish-sauce: the leftovers from larger fish (heads, entrails, blood) and/or small fry (anchovies, sardines) were left to macerate with salt and ferment, forming various liquids of various qualities and textures (garum, liquamen, allec). From a biological point of view, any fish, provided it has thick flesh and enough liquid, can be salted even without gutting or removal of the head43. Species of the Scombridae family are particularly suitable for salting, due to their high oil content which makes them prone to oxidation when exposed to the air44. Some fish were only gutted and packed with more salt than others, and for some products, the scales were left on the flesh45. Coming to the archaeo-ichthyological remains of these preparations, identification of the exact type of product, fish sauce (garum, liquamen, allec) or pickled fish (salsamenta) is not always very clear, and often remains completely invisible to specialists. Among the criteria that can be used to distinguish both types, N. Desse-Berset and J. Desse mention skeletal element representation, reconstructed body lengths and the anatomical position of the bones46. Small fish can be used in both fish sauce and salsamenta, although some elements help clearly distinguish between the two47. Desse-Berset and Desse conclude that, if the number of fish contained inside is relatively low and, if the fish identified are larger and their bones generally intact, in and articulated position and well preserved, the product would probably be salsamentum.

  • 48 de Saint-Denis 1947; Curtis 1991, p. 6-15.
  • 49 Curtis 2001, p. 317, 403.
  • 50 For a complete list, Curtis 1991, p. 6-8, n. 2.
  • 51 Curtis 2001, p. 317.

17The final product received specific names (cybium, melandryum, trigonum) depending on the method of preparation, the degree of curing, the nature of the fish mentioned, or the fish part used in the case of bigger fish48. Although these names were extensively used in Roman times, Curtis, among others, has noticed that the Romans did not always distinguish all these types to the same degree as the Greeks, and many terms are mere transliterations from the Greek49. A variety of Greek terms are mentioned in the Greek sources, distinguishing different species and ages of fish, shapes of cuts and anatomical parts, types and degree of processing and salting, texture and varieties of final products, which indicate a long tradition of these products in the Greek world50. The earliest faunal assemblage found in Corinth, if anything, confirms a tradition of consumption of such products by the Greeks. Based on faunal analysis, the products would consist of beheaded and unscaled fillets cut into 4-6 cm chunks. In light of these descriptions, these products could be identified as τάριχος λεπιδωτόν (salted fish with scales), as opposed to the τάριχος τιλτόν (scaled salted fish)51. The mixed fish species, namely tuna and gilthead bream, would also give a special character to the product.

  • 52 Morales, Roselló 2008, p. 12.
  • 53 Morales, Roselló are especially referring to individuals under 1 kg, which is not the case of the (...)
  • 54 Curtis 2001, p. 415.
  • 55 Desse-Berset 1993.
  • 56 Curtis 2001, p. 415.

18Turning to the assemblage from Dion, the generally complete or sub-complete body representation as well as the large size of the fish from both contexts, would make it more plausible to identify salsamenta products rather fish sauce. Remains of salsamenta from inside amphorae usually show excellent preservation, as opposed to the fragile and damaged surface of garum remains due to the intense physico-chemical procedures (heating, decomposition, fermenting). Fishbones from both Dion contexts show a relatively good surface preservation. The Hydraulis context consisted of a few whole/sub-whole individuals. These could possibly be identified as θυννίδες/θυννίδια (salted young tunnies). Whole specimens of salted fish, like mackerels, have been found in association with amphorae in the Roman world. Although Columella mentions whole fish, gutted and stacked into the vats, A. Morales and E. Roselló note that the presence of complete specimens of large-sized species, like tunas, presents a number of constraints, which are valid for the Dion material52. With respect to the little tunnies from the House of Hydraulis, «had they been processed as salsamenta, one wonders why their skulls and vertebrae were not removed, as these represented a substantial, non-edible fraction of the total weight of these animals»53. The texture of the products cannot either be further identified. These large-sized fish would be moist and soft if lightly salted, or dryer, rather tight and stretched, with a hard consistency, if salted for an extended period54. In the case of the Euboulos fish, the absence of the frontal part of the skull seems to resemble the method mentioned by N. Desse-Berset of removing the head or cutting-off the frontal part, which allows for the removal of the blood content and prevents the fish from rapid spoiling55. The transversely cut vertebrae may suggest that these are the remains of τεμάχη θυννίδων (cuts of young tunnies), or similar products, such as τετράγωνον (square chunk) or κύβιον (cube chunk). If the excavation reports on the Eubulos context are right to mention the presence of scales, these cuts could be rather coarse looking and rougher to the touch56.

19To sum up, in light of the zooarchaeological evidence from Greece, we are far from having a complete record of available salt-fish products that could match the list of such products compiled through literary sources. Smaller cuts of preserved fish, sparids and tunnies, could have circulated in the Greek markets as early as the 5th c. BC, while later Roman products could include larger cuts of young tunnies and whole tunas. Despite the scarcity of zooarchaeological evidence, the occasional presence of such finds in the Aegean region raises a number of questions with respect to the organisation of production, transport and consumption of these products in the Greek East. In the following section, some of these issues are discussed in light of the faunal material presented above.

3. Local delicacies vs. long-distance trade in fish products in the Graeco-Roman world

  • 57 Curtis 2001, p. 411; Curtis 2005, p. 36-38.

20Ancient authors identify places of production with respect to the preferred salsamenta and garum industries around the Mediterranean57. Ongoing archaeological research in the Western Mediterranean offers a growing list of areas that specialised in these productions. Evidence from the eastern part of the Mediterranean, on the other hand, is far less complete, with respect both to local places of production and to areas that engaged in trade with the Aegean region.

  • 58 Curtis 1991, p. 118, n. 25 and references.
  • 59 Maniatis et al., 1984.
  • 60 For instance, in the 4th c. BC Phaselite merchands would bring jars of τάριχος and Coan wine from (...)
  • 61 Curtis 1991, p. 114.
  • 62 Nicostratus frs. 4, 5 (Edmonds), Antiphanes frs. 77, 181 (Edmonds). On the role of Pontic areas a (...)
  • 63 Antiphanes fr. 77 (Edmonds), Nicostratus frs. 4, 5 (Edmonds), Eupolis fr. 186 (Edmonds), Theopomp (...)

21The earliest archaeological record of trade of fish products from other parts of the Mediterranean into the Aegean comes from 5th c. BC Corinth. Pottery analysis from the Punic Amphora Building suggests a flourishing trade of Punic fish-fillets and sauce amphorae to Corinth, and possibly to Kenchreiai, Athens (Kerameikos), Crete (Knossos) and Delos, where similar salted fish vessels have also been found58. The degree of analysis achieved thus far narrows the provenance to the wider Western Mediterranean, namely to North Africa or Southern Spain59. Future research may shed light on the exact provenance of these finds from Corinth. Remaining evidence is based on literary information deriving from a very precise part of the ancient world, that is ancient Athens60. Citing Curtis, «the athenian population apparently had an insatiable appetite for processed fish since literary sources show that salted fish came to Athens from as far away as Byzantium in the East and Spain and Sicily in the West»61. Most salted fish imports to Athens described in the literary sources came from numerous locations around the Black Sea and were transhipped through Byzantium, a tradition that continued down to Roman times62. However, in other instances, tuna slices were brought to Athens from Italy and Spain63.

  • 64 For similar examples, Van Neer et al. 2005.
  • 65 For a recent overview on usual types of amphorae associated with salsamenta and garum in the West (...)
  • 66 See below.

22Within this wide geographical framework of production sites for fish products, it is intriguing to attempt a hypothesis on the provenance of the fish products found at Dion. A better understanding of this issue could arise from the combined analysis of zooarchaeological and ceramic remains64. In the case of a foreign origin for the vessel and its contents of preserved fish from other parts of the Roman Empire, the finds from Dion would be expected to come from the Western Mediterranean65. On the other hand, the hypothesis of an Aegean salted fish product would be less easily identifiable on the basis of pottery identity unless it came from ascertained production site66. At this point of research, in the absence of final pottery analysis from the site of Dion, it is difficult to attribute the Dion fish assemblages to either a local market or to a long-distance trade market, such as from a distant Roman province. In the following section, the local origin of production is explored with respect to both biogeographical criteria available for the Aegean and literary or other evidence suggesting such activities in this part of the Mediterranean.

  • 67 Papaconstantinou 1988, p. 134-135, 138-139.
  • 68 Megalofonou 1991; Rose 1994, p. 96-97.
  • 69 Curtis 1991, p. 113-115; id. 2001, p. 318; Corvisier 2007, p. 141-142.
  • 70 Attica, Megaris, Peloponese, Central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus, the Aegean islands and Cr (...)
  • 71 Sternberg 2002, p. 98.
  • 72 IG 4(2)1, 163-146 BC.
  • 73 Dumont 1976, p. 97-119.
  • 74 SIG [4]1000, 200-170 BC.
  • 75 Gallant 1985 p. 43.

23Tuna species present in the Aegean are the bullet tuna or bonito (Auxis rochei), the little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus), albacore (Thunnus alalunga) and the bluefin tuna (Thunnus thunus)67. Tuna fisheries are quite lucrative in some areas of the Aegean and at specific times of the year, namely during migration from the Black Sea to the Western Mediterranean and the Atlantic68. Among possible or ascertained areas of tuna exploitation in the Aegean during antiquity are the Argolid, Patra, Megara, Halai Aixonidae, Troizen, Karystos, Samos, Lesbos, the island of Kastelorizo near Rhodes, Cos, and Crete, as well as Minor Asia (Halicarnassos) (fig. 8)69. Several areas in the Aegean were also known in antiquity for their salting factories70. Migratory fisheries have very specific seasonal constraints, to which man has always adapted his fishing strategies71. Some inscriptions offer insights into the organisation of these activities. For example, the well-known inscription from Troizen regulates the revenues from the exploitation of the tuna fishing grounds and the salt pans between the cities of Troizen and Arsinoe72. It is known from other parts of the Roman world, namely Asia Minor, that fishermen’s guilds existed for the exploitation of this seasonal resource73. Another inscription from Cos provides a list of sacrificial obligations to Poseidon, among which the leasing of public watch-towers for observing migratory fish74. In another instance, merchants, such as Chairephilos of Athens, would purchase a portion of the catch in good years and provide the capital to process it75. The preserved fish could then be sold during late winter and early spring.

Fig. 8. Modern fishing grounds and movements of pelagic fish in the Aegean, markets and fish preservation locations, and locations of ancient tuna fisheries and fish-salting industries based on ancient sources (after Ioakimides 1980, p. 100, modified).

Fig. 8. Modern fishing grounds and movements of pelagic fish in the Aegean, markets and fish preservation locations, and locations of ancient tuna fisheries and fish-salting industries based on ancient sources (after Ioakimides 1980, p. 100, modified).
  • 76 Megalofonou 1990, p. 154.
  • 77 Megalofonou 1991; Tselas 1991.
  • 78 Kallianiotis et al. 2001, p. 2.
  • 79 Id.
  • 80 Diamantidis 2011, p. 155.

24Narrowing down the geographical area closer to the town of Dion, to the Northern Aegean zone, combined data on ancient and modern tuna fisheries in the region do not refute the hypothesis of a local production of the fish found at Dion. Tuna fisheries are an important activity in the wider Northeastern Aegean, from the Sporades to the Chalkidiki peninsula76. Immature and adult individuals that have already spawned elsewhere during the summer arrive in the Sporades basin, usually at the end of August, and remain there in surface waters until the end of November77. Modern tuna catches often occur off the Chalkidiki peninsula. They consist mainly of Thunnus thunnus, as well as Thunnus alalunga and Eythunnus alletteratus78. The average length of the catches is estimated to be 100-130 cm79. Some of these species are salted in autumn, when they are at more fleshy80.

  • 81 Casteel 1976; Wheeler, Jones 1989, p. 154-159; Desse, Desse-Berset 1992; Desse et al. 2002.
  • 82 Rodríguez-Maríni et al. 2006, figs. 1-3.
  • 83 Sternberg 2002, p. 99.

25Biogeographical patterns of migration of tuna fish through the Northern Aegean seem to fit well with the seasonality pattern reflected in both fish bone assemblages. The possible use of fish remains as a means of throwing light on seasonal exploitation of these resources has been extensively discussed in the archaeo-ichthyological literature81. Reconstruction of seasonality is based on the observation that fish living in cold and temperate waters are affected by seasonal environmental changes (cold-warm season) which, in turn, influence calcification and growth rates, reflected in the growth rings in their skeletons. Usually, one year’s growth is considered to be one groove and one ridge. Stained rings note the annual slowing down in fish growth82. Careful observation of growth rings in the studied assemblages was in several cases possible, thanks to the good preservation conditions of the centra of vertebrae. The study points to early/late autumn catches of fish. Had the Dion fish been captured off the coasts of the Thermaic gulf, Thasos or in the Sporades, they would have indeed belonged to the abundant late August-November catches in this region. If, on the other hand, the long-distance trade hypothesis is put forward, the fish would belong to what Sternberg calls «thons de retour»83.

  • 84 Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 7.326d.
  • 85 Curtis 1991, p. 117-118, 139. ‘ταρίχου ωραίων απολέκτων πεπονηκός Θάσιον κεράμιον’ (PSI V.53544-4 (...)
  • 86 ‘κυβίων πεπονηκός Πεπαρήθιον κεράμιον’ (PSI V.53537).
  • 87 On the salines of Kitros in Pydna (W. Thermaic gulf), Poulter, Marki 1998 in Vasileiadou 2011, p. (...)
  • 88 Carusi 2008, p. 65; Vasileiadou 2011, p. 52, Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita 45.29.11-12.
  • 89 Hammond 1972, p. 142-149, 160 in Carusi 2008, p. 65.
  • 90 Carusi 2008, p. 66-67.

26Ancient evidence from this region suggests that some fish-salting activities took place in the wider North Aegean area. Although the coastal waters off Dion are only mentioned by Athenaeus with respect to the fishing of squid84, other places in Northern Greece were actively involved in the exploitation of tuna fishing. The island of Thasos was one of the well-known places for pickled fish in Classical and Hellenistic times85. Another production site mentioned was Peparethos, in the Sporades86. Since Thasos and Peparethos traded in preserved fish products in the 5th-3rd c. BC to places as far as Egypt, it could be suggested that this lucrative industry continued down to Roman times. It seems that salteries also existed in the North Aegean, possibly as early as the Late Roman Empire87. The Lex Aemiliana (167 BC) records a prohibition of the import of salt and a regulation of the production in Pieria between the rivers Peneios and Axios in order to supply the Stovoi of Paeonia88. The alcaline lake Χαλέστρα, on the banks of the Axios river, was known to produce « Χαλεστραίον λιτρον » or « νίτρον » (natron). It is possible that the entire estuarine zone to the north of the Thermaic gulf, formed by the deltas of major rivers Axios, Aliakmon and Loudias, would create favourable conditions for salines89. Other known places of salt production in the Northern Aegean coast were located at Thessaloniki, possibly Akanthos (Chalkidike), as well as the lakes Vistonis and Plastiria in the Aegean Thrace90.

27To sum up, careful correlation of ancient sources and biological patterns do not exclude fishing and production of salted fish products in the wider Northern Aegean area. However, secure identification of the provenance of the Dion products is not possible in the absence of relevant pottery evidence. Despite the limitations on the identity of the finds from Dion, it is worthwhile examining the possible ways of procurement of these products by the citizens of the Roman town.

4. Selling salted fish in the Aegean markets

  • 91 See, the 4th c. BC ταριχοπωλείον on Delos, and in Roman times the forum piscatorium in Corinth, a (...)
  • 92 ἅλμαιοπώλης = the seller of almi-a mixture of salt and water, ὡραιοπώλης = the seller of high-qua (...)
  • 93 Cf. the ταριχοπώλων street, Curtis 1991, p. 136.
  • 94 Cf. with Mana-Pascual A4 amphorae identified at Kerameikos.
  • 95 Mylona 2008, p. 76.

28Fish markets had a special place within the life of Greek and Roman agoras. Fresh and preserved fish were usually sold in two distinct areas, especially in the Roman times. Greek, like Roman texts, inform on special areas of the market or close to the market reserved for the sale of different types of fish91, as well as different sellers according to the type of cut and preservation92. According to Aristophanes and others93, salted fish was sold at the gates of Athens and in the Agora94. The famous Punic Amphora Building in Corith has provided evidence of a center for the distribution of Gaditean preserved fish to the Corinthians and beyond. The fish from Dion, whether a long-distance trade product or a local landing, would have arrived at the town either from the town’s nearby port or from a fishing village close to the market; they might have also been purchased from the fishermen themselves in a nearby fishing village, following a Classical habit mentioned by ancient sources95. The proximity of both houses to the market of Dion suggests a more plausible provisioning from this area.

  • 96 For instance, large tunas and specific parts are higly prized in the Akraephnia fish price list.
  • 97 Davidson 1993, p. 55; Wilkins 1993; Mylona 2008, p. 83.
  • 98 Curtis 2001, p. 402.
  • 99 Curtis 2001, p. 403; Corvisier 2007, p. 154-155. Around the time of the Dion assemblage (3rd c. A (...)
  • 100 According to Curtis 1991, p. 136, references to salted tunny slices (ὑπογάστρεια, κύβια, ὡραια) a (...)
  • 101 Corvisier 2007, p. 154-155.
  • 102 Curtis 1991, p. 171. ὑπογάστρεια (stomach) = 2 oboloi and two chalkoi, other portions = 1.5 obolo (...)

29One final comment concerns the price of the acquired products. Evidence for fresh fish prices is scarce, but relevant information from Classical sources suggests that usually specific species and large-sized fish were more expensive than smaller coastal fish96. Purchasing of fresh fish in these times, probably also in the Roman period, was linked to high status, affluence, and a cosmopolitan way of life97. Quoting Curtis, «fresh fish was for many Romans, and no doubt, for all poor Romans, like meat, an expensive food and, so, one not often eaten»98. Yet, it seems more likely that prices for fresh fish were also related to different quality and sized fish. Salted products, on the other hand, must have been affordable to people of all social classes according to Curtis, as prices for salted fish products would be less high than those for fresh ones99. Yet, Curtis’ comment mainly refers to fish sauce as a low quality foodstuff for providing cheap protein to the poor. Although generally salsamenta, especially whole fish, were usually meant for the rich and represented expensive, luxury products, they could also be cheaper depending on the salting process, the size and quantities, and, above all, the fish species100. As Corvisier notes quoting Hikesios and Pline, specific salted pieces of tuna, such as parts of the head and the belly, were more expensive at the fish market101. The late 3rd c. BC Akraiphnia fish price list offers some evidence102. Taste and fashion would also play a significant role in pricing. The final price of these products would also be subject to the modalities of transport from the nearby coast or from distant locations, as well as to their selling in a market connected to a nearby sanctuary.

30Turning to the Dion case study, in the scenario of the two fish assemblages having been freshly caught from the neighbouring coasts, despite the proximity of procurement, their seasonal availability related to their significant size and quantities could have placed them in the higher price range in the local fish market. The quality and type of the transported goods would also define the final price. Finally, the distance covered to the town of Dion before these products rearched the market would also be reflected in the price. An amphora filled with whole tunas or little tunnies sent from Thasos would certainly represent a highly valued foodstuff, yet not as prized as a product from the western margins of the Roman Empire. Although these questions will probably remain unaswered, both the context of recovery and archaeoichthyological analysis seem to reinforce the idea of high-class buyers and consumers.

Conclusions

31The recent archaeoichthyological analysis of two fish assemblages from the Roman town of Dion, Northern Greece, found in association with amphorae, has brought forward the role of salted fish products in the Greek world. The faunal study served as the basis for an overview of the available literary and archaeological evidence of salted fish products and salting industries in the Aegean from Classical to Roman times. The paucity of evidence from this region comes in contrast to the detailed record from the Western Mediterranean. Thriving tuna fisheries and salted products played a major role in the Roman Empire’s commerce and food industry, with evidence of long-distance trade all over the Mediterranean.

32The case study presented can now be added to the hitherto scanty record from the Greek East. Species identification, skeletal part representation and size reconstructions allowed for a detailed description of the faunal contexts, consisting of whole or sub-whole specimens of large little tunnies and tunas, caught from late summer to late autumn. Although scanty examples of long-distance fish products travelling to the Aegean are known from Classical Corinth, it is not clear whether this is the case of Dion, as important information relating pottery associated with the fish assemblages to a local or distant origin is still lacking. On the other hand, the latter allowed us to test the hypothesis for a local Aegean provenance for processed fish and to review available evidence of tuna fisheries and salting industries in Greece, and, more specifically, in Northern Aegean. Although the Aegean does not usually appear as a major area in that matter, tuna fisheries flourished in ancient Greece thanks to the seasonal migration of tuna shoals through the Aegean, and salting industries existed in several migratory fishing grounds across this region, including Northern Greece.

33The fish assemblages from Dion offer a rare possibility for an insight into the everyday life of a Greek Roman town, thus contributing to the hitherto scarce zooarchaeological record of salted fish circulation and consumption in this part of the Empire. This paper points to the need for a reassessment of available literary and archaeological evidence with a special focus on newly excavated faunal material. Only by offering a « fresh » interdisciplinary eye on the « salted » Greek East riddle, will it be possible to connect the Aegean « fish-pond » to the well-documented network of fish industries of the Mediterranean in the Roman period.

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Notes

1 Curtis 1984, p. 58.

2 Curtis 2005, p. 38.

3 Davidson 1997, p. 15-16; Mylona 2008, p. 75, 81.

4 Curtis 2001, p. 318.

5 Højte 2005, p. 133.

6 Zimmermann Munn 2003, p. 201. There is no precise information on the exact provenance of these bones, whether from inside the amphorae or from the filling of the building.

7 Maniatis et al. 1984, p. 221.

8 Zimmermann Munn 2003, p. 201, n. 47, cf. fig. 12.5.

9 Zimmermann Munn 2003, p. 203, 207-209 suggests Gades as a possible origin. Cf. idem. n. 134, Athenaeus Deipnosophistae 3.118d («Let a Byzantine fish-slice come to our revels, and let a Cádiz belly-slice enter beside»).

10 Theodoropoulou 2011.

11 For a general introduction to the site: Pantermalis 1997; 2000a.

12 Vasileiadou 2011, p. 49.

13 Pantermalis 1992; Praetorium cum tabernis duuabus et apparatura, Pantermalis 2000b, p. 377, 383, fig. 1 ; 2002, p. 424, fig. 2.

14 Collette, Nauen 1983, p. 35.

15 Id.

16 The allometric method in archaeo-ichthyology is based on the fact that inferior organisms, such as fish, tend to grow in size and weight steadily. Similarly, almost all elements of their skeletons show remarkable correlations between their various measures and the size (length and body mass) of fish themselves. It is thus possible to reconstruct the size and weight of fish found in archaeological sites, Desse, Desse-Berset 1996.

17 According to the length/weight ratio provided by Kahraman, Orey 2001, p. 724-725.

18 Ongoing study.

19 Desse et al. 2002. Desse-Berset, Desse 2000, in their experiment with a Dressel 7 amphora, they managed to fit 25 large mackerels of an average size of 40 cm and 650 g, equal a total weight of 16 kg, in the vessel.

20 Based on the equation provided by Santos et al. 2006, table 2.

21 Pantermalis 1997, p. 48-49; Pantermalis 2000a, p. 212.

22 Vasileiadou 2011, p. 49, n. 142.

23 Id., p. 49.

24 Id. For comparison, see preserved fish scales on amphora fragments from Corinth (Zimmerman Munn 2003, fig. 12.5).

25 Fish vertebrae were identified to genus level, although neural and heamal spines, as well as pre- and postzygapophyses were barely preserved, thus making it more difficult to position the vertebrae.

26 Identification to the level of species was not possible at this level of study due to the close osteological similarities among different genera of Thunnus sp. (T. albacares, T. alalunga, T. thunnus and T. atlanticus), Starks 1910; de Sylva 1955; Godsil 1984.

27 Collette, Nauen 1983, p. 80.

28 Following the «Profils Rachidiens Globaux» method (PRG), Desse et al. 1989.

29 ½ antero-posterior and ½ dorso-ventrally; ½ antero-posterior and ¾ dorso-ventrally; zygapophyses missing; diagonal anterior laterally; diagonal posterior dorso-ventrally; vertical dorso-ventrally; horizontal antero-posterior.

30 Bernal Casasola, Gonzalez 2008, p. 18 and references.

31 West 1931, p. 103-104, n. 125; Kent 1966, p. 127-128.

32 Crete (Chersonisos, Siteia, Ierapetra, Zakros), Kenchreiai near Corinth, Aegina, Curtis 1991, p. 116 and references.

33 Vasileiadou 2011, p. 50, 199-200.

34 Athenaeus Deipnosophistae 6.235e (Ἀριστοτέλης δ’ ἐν τῇ Μεθωναίων πολιτείᾳ (fr. 426 R) ‘παράσιτοι’, φησί, ‘τοῖς μὲν ἄρχουσι δύο καθ’ ἕκαστον ἦσαν, τοῖς δὲ πολεμάρχοις εἷς· τεταγμένα δὲ ἐλάμβανον παρ’ ἄλλων τέ τινων καὶ τῶν ἁλιέων ὄψον’). The παράσιτοι were assigned by the state to collect the first-fruits.

35 Pausanias Periegesis 8.5.8; Aristoteles Rhetoric 6.55; Strabo Geographica 14.2.21.

36 The case of eels from Lake Kopais (Boeotia) brought to Athens is often mentioned, Antiphanes fr. 191 (Kock); Aristophanes Acharnai 884, 894; Athenaeus Deipnosophistae (various passages), Mylona 2008, p. 76.

37 Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 8.348b; Mylona 2008, p. 76.

38 In classical Athens fish fresh was not allowed to be kept over a longer period of time in water, Motsias 1982, p. 38.

39 Curtis 2001, p. 407.

40 Eupolis Marikas fr. 199; Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 3.118e, 3.116c.

41 Curtis 2001, p. 403-406, 413-415.

42 Id., p. 403.

43 Sternberg 2000, p. 148.

44 Pyke 1964, p. 75.

45 Zimmerman Munn 2003, fig. 12.5; cf. τάριχος λεπιδωτόν.

46 Desse-Berset, Desse 2000, p. 91.

47 For instance, a container with many small whole fish, particularly clupeids, like sardines and anchovies, whose bones are disarticulated and mixed up, probably would have held fish sauce, Desse-Berset, Desse 2000, p. 92.

48 de Saint-Denis 1947; Curtis 1991, p. 6-15.

49 Curtis 2001, p. 317, 403.

50 For a complete list, Curtis 1991, p. 6-8, n. 2.

51 Curtis 2001, p. 317.

52 Morales, Roselló 2008, p. 12.

53 Morales, Roselló are especially referring to individuals under 1 kg, which is not the case of the Hydraulis material.

54 Curtis 2001, p. 415.

55 Desse-Berset 1993.

56 Curtis 2001, p. 415.

57 Curtis 2001, p. 411; Curtis 2005, p. 36-38.

58 Curtis 1991, p. 118, n. 25 and references.

59 Maniatis et al., 1984.

60 For instance, in the 4th c. BC Phaselite merchands would bring jars of τάριχος and Coan wine from Pontos to Athens, Demosthenes Contra Lacritum 31.8. Cf. most references in Athenaeus’ work.

61 Curtis 1991, p. 114.

62 Nicostratus frs. 4, 5 (Edmonds), Antiphanes frs. 77, 181 (Edmonds). On the role of Pontic areas and Byzantium in transhipment, see Braund 1995. Polybios (Historiae 4.38.4, 31.25.5.) notes that salted fish was one of the major products that Pontic areas supplied both to the cities of Greece and to Rome.

63 Antiphanes fr. 77 (Edmonds), Nicostratus frs. 4, 5 (Edmonds), Eupolis fr. 186 (Edmonds), Theopompos fr. 51 (Edmonds), Athenaeus Deipnosophistae 3.116c-f (on ὀρκύνοιο τρίγωνα packed in jars brought by a Bruttian or a Campanian merchant, and on slices of Sicilian tunas).

64 For similar examples, Van Neer et al. 2005.

65 For a recent overview on usual types of amphorae associated with salsamenta and garum in the Western Mediterranean, see Delaval, Sternberg 2007 and Botte 2009, p. 105-168.

66 See below.

67 Papaconstantinou 1988, p. 134-135, 138-139.

68 Megalofonou 1991; Rose 1994, p. 96-97.

69 Curtis 1991, p. 113-115; id. 2001, p. 318; Corvisier 2007, p. 141-142.

70 Attica, Megaris, Peloponese, Central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus, the Aegean islands and Crete, Carusi 2008, p. 45-98.

71 Sternberg 2002, p. 98.

72 IG 4(2)1, 163-146 BC.

73 Dumont 1976, p. 97-119.

74 SIG [4]1000, 200-170 BC.

75 Gallant 1985 p. 43.

76 Megalofonou 1990, p. 154.

77 Megalofonou 1991; Tselas 1991.

78 Kallianiotis et al. 2001, p. 2.

79 Id.

80 Diamantidis 2011, p. 155.

81 Casteel 1976; Wheeler, Jones 1989, p. 154-159; Desse, Desse-Berset 1992; Desse et al. 2002.

82 Rodríguez-Maríni et al. 2006, figs. 1-3.

83 Sternberg 2002, p. 99.

84 Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 7.326d.

85 Curtis 1991, p. 117-118, 139. ‘ταρίχου ωραίων απολέκτων πεπονηκός Θάσιον κεράμιον’ (PSI V.53544-45); ‘Θασία άλμη’ (broiled small fish plunged into a pickle) (Aristophanes Acharnai 671).

86 ‘κυβίων πεπονηκός Πεπαρήθιον κεράμιον’ (PSI V.53537).

87 On the salines of Kitros in Pydna (W. Thermaic gulf), Poulter, Marki 1998 in Vasileiadou 2011, p. 52; Carusi 2008, p. 65.

88 Carusi 2008, p. 65; Vasileiadou 2011, p. 52, Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita 45.29.11-12.

89 Hammond 1972, p. 142-149, 160 in Carusi 2008, p. 65.

90 Carusi 2008, p. 66-67.

91 See, the 4th c. BC ταριχοπωλείον on Delos, and in Roman times the forum piscatorium in Corinth, as well as a mentioning by Libanius (Oration 62.46-8) who speaks of ‘άνθρωπος δε τις γάρου κάπηλος’ (4th c. AD).

92 ἅλμαιοπώλης = the seller of almi-a mixture of salt and water, ὡραιοπώλης = the seller of high-quality salted fish (7th c. AD), τεμαχοπώλης = salted fillets, garopolis = the seller of garon (2th c. AD), ταριχοπράτισσα = the female seller of preserved fish (6th c. AD), Curtis 1991, p. 136, n. 121.

93 Cf. the ταριχοπώλων street, Curtis 1991, p. 136.

94 Cf. with Mana-Pascual A4 amphorae identified at Kerameikos.

95 Mylona 2008, p. 76.

96 For instance, large tunas and specific parts are higly prized in the Akraephnia fish price list.

97 Davidson 1993, p. 55; Wilkins 1993; Mylona 2008, p. 83.

98 Curtis 2001, p. 402.

99 Curtis 2001, p. 403; Corvisier 2007, p. 154-155. Around the time of the Dion assemblage (3rd c. AD) salsamenta were four-times cheaper than fresh fish, Corvisier 2007, p. 155.

100 According to Curtis 1991, p. 136, references to salted tunny slices (ὑπογάστρεια, κύβια, ὡραια) appear in Egyptian papyri in regard to provisions (often imports) for the upper classes.

101 Corvisier 2007, p. 154-155.

102 Curtis 1991, p. 171. ὑπογάστρεια (stomach) = 2 oboloi and two chalkoi, other portions = 1.5 oboloi, quarters of young tunas = 1 obolos, while one far Pontic fish could cost 300 drachmai. Salviat,Vatin 1971 ; Roesch 1974.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1. Map of the Aegean and location of Dion (© T. Theodoropoulou).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 244k
Titre Fig. 2. External morphology and skeleton of a fish. In black letters the identified skeletal elements from the House of the Hydraulis, in grey the missing ones (© T. Theodoropoulou).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 524k
Titre Table 1. Skeletal representation of fishbones from the House of the Hydraulis.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 68k
Titre Fig. 3. Length-weight relationship of Eythunnys alletteratus basedon modern specimens and reconstructed lengths of Dion specimens (after Kahraman, Orey 2001, modified).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 148k
Titre Fig. 4. Head and body part representation of little tunnies from the House of the Hydraulis based on the recconstruction of 6 individuals (© T. Theodoropoulou).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 832k
Titre Fig. 5. External morphology and skeleton of a fish. In black letters the identified skeletal elements from the House of the Euboulos, in grey the missing ones (© T. Theodoropoulou).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 764k
Titre Table 2. Skeletal representation of fishbones from the House of the Eubulus.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 72k
Titre Fig. 6. Head and body part presence of little tunnies from the House of the Hydraulis (© T. Theodoropoulou).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 532k
Titre Fig. 7. Articulated Thunnus vertebrae from the House of Euboulos showing a distinct cutting pattern and stereoscopic views (5-8X) (© T. Theodoropoulou).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 680k
Titre Fig. 8. Modern fishing grounds and movements of pelagic fish in the Aegean, markets and fish preservation locations, and locations of ancient tuna fisheries and fish-salting industries based on ancient sources (after Ioakimides 1980, p. 100, modified).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/1738/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 645k

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Wiener Laboratory. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 43, Souidias st.. GR - 10676 Athens. tatheod@hotmail.com

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