Art, Art History and Design, School of


Date of this Version



Poster Session, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Fair, April 4-5, 2017


Copyright © 2017 Rebecca Salem


Finding a roof tile on an archaeological survey demonstrates that a structure had previously stood nearby. Rarely found in their entirety, tiles are fabricated from terracotta, which, while durable when in its proper place, breaks when falling from a roof. The nature of these fragmentary finds has made tile analysis limited and tiles are often not included in publications or only a select few are included with ceramic finds. Additionally, unlike pottery with its typographic chronology, roof tiles have restricted dating potential. However, there are several specific types of tile that can greatly help with dating. Though limited, some of these identifiable tile types are: Early Archaic types, Laconian, Corinthian, and the characteristic swirls of the Late-­‐Roman to Byzantine tiles. Furthermore, specific features of tiles, such as their edges, stamps, engravings, or tiles of unique shapes can provide valuable insight into the structure adorned with tiles that previously stood on the landscape.

Though still developing in practice and execution, roof tile analysis on survey archaeology projects can be seen as an integral part of such studies. As a great deal of tile is seen and collected on survey projects these guidelines can be used for what should be collected for further analysis and what should be left in the field. As this method develops further the collected material will not only be more representative, but also more informative and telling about what was present before us.

In June of 2017 MAP will be having a study season to process, catalogue, and begin publishing the findings from the three years of field work. I have been invited back to the project to work further with the tiles. Processing the tiles will include measuring, drawing both the tiles and their profiles, photography, and identifying fabrics. When this is completed I hope to produce a catalogue of the tile from MAP and a short article on the tile specifically from the Temple of Dionysus. Additionally, the data and images of the tiles will be available for all members of MAP who are working on other research questions.