Why innovate? Between politics, the market, and material culture at the dawn of eastern sigillata
chapterposted on 13.10.2015, 09:20 by D. Graham J. Shipley
This paper considers the origin of Eastern Sigillata A (ESA) in its historical context. It argues that the reasons why, and the means by which, a new high-quality ware is developed and introduced deserve investigation no less than its subsequent pattern of distribution; that, in the light of the geopolitical context within which ESA was created in the mid-second century BC, its introduction may have resulted from decisions taken at the highest level; and that in a period of economic growth the increasing popularity of a ware does not necessarily indicate a fall in its status, since aspiration expressed through consumer choice may be as important as emulation and status differentiation.