Run Time: 51:32

Dr. Lancaster, Professor of Classics, Ohio University, presented a lecture that examined a building technique used in Roman North Africa for constructing vaults by means of small hollow terracotta tubes that are inserted one into another and “glued” together with mortar. By examining this unique building technique, it became evident that the building industry in North Africa was intimately connected with the production of olive oil destined for Rome and its use of these tubes ultimately resulted in the creation of new forms of vaulting not found elsewhere in the Empire. Recent field surveys have produced a wealth of new information regarding ancient agricultural technology for olive production, ceramic production for the amphoras containing the olive oil, and also fine ware production. The proliferation of the vaulting tubes was also part of this period of economic growth related to increased agricultural production.

The lecture was part of the Toledo Museum of Art "It’s Friday" series.