Christy Q. Schirmer
My project examines the practice of river fishing in the Roman provinces, treating it as a lens through which we can more fully recognize the processes of social and economic change that followed Roman imperial expansion. Exploiting local rivers and streams for food was an important component of regional economies, yet we know relatively little about how these freshwater resources were managed. Focusing on select river settlements in the western provinces (e.g., on the Iberian peninsula and [in] Roman Britain) alongside the well-known Tiber and Nile, I combine literary and documentary sources with archaeological evidence in order to reveal new information about how communities adapted to the changing circumstances that came with Roman rule. By examining the ways diverse populations managed these important food resources during periods of political, social, and environmental change, my project will broaden our understanding of communal responses to the pressures and opportunities that accompanied incorporation into the Roman Empire.