Sustainable Fuel Practices in Roman North Africa and the Contemporary Mediterranean Basin. / Rowan, Erica.

In: INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA, Vol. IX, No. 2, 31.12.2018, p. 147-156.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print



As a readily available and renewable resource, olive pomace has been used as a fuel throughout the Mediterranean for centuries. This article will first discuss the extensive use of pomace fuel in Roman North Africa, introducing and adding the once coastal city of Utica to our growing list of sites with archaeobotanical evidence for pomace residue. The paper will then focus on the ways in which the Romans linked olive oil and pottery production. While environmental sustainability was unlikely to have been one of the Romans’ conscious objectives, the use of this fuel was vital to the continued production of North African ceramics, particularly in more arid areas. Today, in the face of increasing energy demands, pomace is once again being recognized as an important and sustainable resource. More work, however, still needs to be done to improve the efficiency of pomace use. The article will conclude by highlighting the valuable lessons that can be learned from ancient practices, especially the efficient pairing of olive cultivation and pottery production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Dec 2018
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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