Aarhus Universitets segl


Ancient Fishing and Fish Processing in the Black Sea Region

Edited by Tønnes Becker-Nielsen                                                
Aarhus University Press 2005
Hard copy from Aarhus University Press

This volume challenges the orthodox view that fishing and fish played only a marginal role in the economy of the ancient world. In fact, there is archaeological evidence for ancient fish processing on a commercial scale not only in the Mediterranean itself, but also on the Atlantic coast and in the Black Sea region, especially the Crimea. Our literary sources testify to the widespread culinary and medicinal use of salted fish and fermented fish sauces in antiquity, and especially in the first centuries AD.

In this book, the authors assess the present state of research on ancient fishing and discuss its implications for the history of the Black Sea region, especially the period of Greek colonization along its shores. While grain has traditionally been viewed as the main export commodity of the Pontic colonies, the existence of salting-vats on the coast of the Crimea indicate production of salt-fish or fish sauce on a large scale, presumably for export. However, many questions remain unanswered: for instance concerning ownership and organization of the processing facilities, or how the finished product was transported to distant markets.

Table of contents and download of pdf-files

Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen
Colophon, contents, illustrations, introduction (p. 1-19)

John Wilkins
Fish as a Source of Food in Antiquity (p. 21-30)

Robert I. Curtis
Sources for Production and Trade of Greek and Roman Processed Fish (p. 31-46)

Athena Trakadas
The Archaeological Evidence for Fish Processing in the Western Mediterranean (p. 47-82)

Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen
The Technology and Productivity of Ancient Sea Fishing (p. 83-95)

Anne Lif Lund Jacobsen
The Reliability of Fishing Statistics as a Source for Catches and Fish Stocks in Antiquity (p. 97-104)

Nadezda A. Gavriljuk
Fishery in the Life of the Nomadic Population of the Northern Black Sea Area in the Early Iron Age (p. 105-113)

Vladimir F. Stolba
Fish and Money: Numismatic Evidence for Black Sea Fishing (p. 115-132)

Jakob Munk Højte
The Archaeological Evidence for Fish Processing in the Black Sea Region (p. 133-160)

John Lund and Vincent Gabrielsen
A Fishy Business. Transport Amphorae of the Black Sea Region as a Source for the Trade in Fish and Fish Products in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods (p. 161-169)

Bo Ejstrud
Size Matters: Estimating Trade of Wine, Oil and Fish-Sauce from Amphorae in the First Century AD (p. 171-181)

Abbrevations and bibliography (p. 183-203)

Contributors and indices (p. 205-222)