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Commerce in Color: the economy of Roman pigment shops
October 20, 2019 @ 2:00 pm EDT
San Francisco, CA United States
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
AIA Society: San Francisco
Lecturer: Hilary Becker
The discovery of the only known pigment shop in ancient Rome revealed an array of colors in their raw, mineral form waiting to be sold to wall painters. Ancient pigments provide a surprising opportunity to understand how science can be used in archaeology, revealing what pigments were present in the shop and, potentially, the source from which they originated, as well as exploring the supply-side economy of Roman painting and the steps by which these pigments went from the mine, to a shop, to the walls of a Roman house. This lecture also explores the economy of the Roman pigment trade, looking at the prices of pigments as well as the potential for their adulteration.