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Abstract

Ravenna represented an important administrative, commercial and cultural centre in the fifth and sixth centuries. The present study explored the commercial mechanisms of Ravenna in Late Antiquity from the point of view of the marble trade, as well as the trade in other architectural elements. A portion of the research is based on the macroscopic and quantitative study of stone materials (around 1000 fragments) from the Late Antique and medieval complex of San Severo in Classe (Ravenna, Italy). The results indicated that the predominant commercial relationships of Ravenna with respect to stone artefacts (marbles, limestones, porphyry, breccia, granites) were orientated mainly towards the regions of Asia Minor, with some trade also occurring in minor quantities with North Africa, Greece, Italy, and France.

Three representative marble samples were analysed to make determinations of their provenance. The methods used were based upon a combination of petrographic image analysis, polarizing and cathodoluminescence microscopy of thin sections, and stable isotope geochemistry of carbonates. The Proconnesos and, eventually, other Turkish provenance of the selected samples is considered.

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