National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Caroline Cheung

Affiliation: Princeton University

Caroline Cheung is Assistant Professor for the Department of Classics, Princeton University, and holds her degrees from the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.), and Florida State University (M.A.).  Her areas of specialization include Roman archaeology, material culture, and history, ancient agriculture and food, and craft production and industries; her recent work has been on Roman storage and packaging containers and their industries for the wine trade, with special focus on the dolium.  Dr. Cheung’s has done field work with the Pompeii Artifact Life History Project, the Cosa excavations, and the Contrada Agnese Project at Morgantina; she was the recipient of a Rome Prize for 2016/2017.


Rome’s far-flung territorial empire had a sophisticated regime for the storage and distribution of food to feed the city of Rome. Before refrigeration and major advances in transportation, the orchestration of this colossal apparatus relied heavily on artisans, farmers, porters, and other workers living in the shadow of the epicenter of a Mediterranean empire. This talk examines the storage and packaging containers and their industries for the Roman wine trade, with special focus on the dolium, the largest type of container in antiquity. Used primarily for the fermentation and storage of wine, dolia were expensive and labor-intensive investments. Studying dolia brings to light the ingenuity, cross-craft fertilizations, collaborations, and social and economic constraints of humble craftspeople living and working in the Roman Empire.


See Caroline Cheung's work in the American Journal of Archaeology.

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