Oxford Roman Economy Project University of Oxford

Dr Candace Rice


2008 - 2012 

Prof. Andrew Wilson

Port Economies and Maritime Trade in the Roman Mediterranean, 166 BC to AD 300


Project Description

My thesis examines the ports of the Roman Mediterranean from a panoptic level in order to address the question of systems of trade and connectivity. I have examined the role of port communities in the facilitation of trade connections. I have investigated ceramic assemblages in various port cities around the Mediterranean, establishing trading connections and highlighting the varying trading patterns which occurred chronologically and typologically. Approaching these questions from the maritime side, I have examined the cargoes of numerous Roman wrecks from the Republican period to the Late Roman period to assess whether trade was predominately characterized by cabotage or directed trade, and whether this changed over the course of the Roman control of the Mediterranean

The second half of the thesis involves a more focused look at two specific areas of coastline, Southern Turkey and Southern France. These regions have been chosen so as to encompass both the western and eastern portions of the Mediterranean, areas which are rarely compared, particularly in economic terms. My primary question involves how, and to what degree, the various ports along these stretches of coastline were integrated into the trading network of the Roman Mediterranean over time.



In 2006, I was granted a BA magna cum laude in Classical Archaeology with Highest Distinction in Classics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My thesis involved geochemical analysis of the bucchero from Poggio Colla. In 2008, I was granted an M.Phil. with Distinction in Classical Archaeology from the University of Oxford. In 2012 I completed my D.Phil in Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford. My initial field experience was at the Etruscan site of Poggio Colla, where I worked for two years as a student and then field and lab assistant. Since 2007, I have excavated at Villa Magna, an Imperial villa south of Rome, and am currently responsible for the publication of the dolia and African Red Slip. In 2010, I began working at the site of Utica in Tunisia.

After completing my DPhil I was a Senior Fellow at Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations. In 2013 I joined the Department of Classics at Edinburgh as a Lecturer.



Rice, Candace (2011) “Ceramic Assemblages and Ports”, in Maritime Archaeology and Ancient Trade in the Mediterranean, Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology Occasional Series, Oxford, 81-92.

Rice, Candace (2011) “Southern Mediterranean Port cities as Microcosms of Connectivity”, in Bollettino di Archeologia On-line (PDF).

Wilson, A. I., Schörle, K. and Rice, C. (in press, 2012) “Roman ports and Mediterranean connectivity” in S. Keay (ed) Portus and the Ports of the Roman Mediterranean (Rome).

Rice, Candace (forthcoming) “Harbours, wharves, rivers and roads”, in Claridge, A. and Holleran, C. (eds) Blackwell Companion to the City of Rome. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA.


Rice, Candace (31 May 2011): The Maritime Economy of Southern Turkey in the Roman Period. At: Harbors and Harbor Cities in the Eastern Mediterranean from Antiquity to Byzantium. Recent Discoveries and New Approaches, DAI, Istanbul.

Rice, Candace (2 December 2010): The Harbour Infrastructure of Southern Turkey in the Theodosian Age. At: Production and Prosperity during the Theodosian Age, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Rice, Candace (27 March 2010): Amphorae and Shipwrecks: Evidence for Directed Trade in the Roman Mediterranean. At: Roman Archaeology Conference (RAC), Oxford, United Kingdom.

Rice, Candace (8 January 2010): Roman Shipwrecks Cargoes: Patterns of Trade in the Mediterranean, At: 111th American Institute of Archaeology Annual Meeting, Anaheim, California.

Contact Details


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