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Biography: Dr. Souen Fontaine

Dr. Souen Fontaine

Dr. Souen Fontaine of the Centre Camille Jullian (CNRS-Aix-Marseille University) in France was awarded a Rakow Grant for Glass Research to study 4,000 archeological glass fragments uncovered in the 2011 underwater excavation of the Arles-Rhone 3 wreck and surrounding port dumps. Research included an analysis of the fragments (believed to represent 1,000 vases) to better understand and document the routes of glass trade through the port of Arles during the Flavian dynasty.

Dr. Fontaine’s research continued work begun for her thesis, documenting the analysis of archaeological fragments dated to the second half of the first century AD. “The study of this collection is a fundamental and original contribution to our knowledge of the trade of glass during early Roman times.”

The analysis of the fragments were classified according to a typological and chronological approach. “The database will be used to characterize the products commercialized during the Flavian period that passed through the port of Arles, a key point in trade between the Mediterranean and Northern Provinces of the Empire: Gallia, Germania and Britannia.”

The result of the research was to understand the routes of the glass trade in these ports. “Although it is difficult to argue trade flows during this time as we still know little about the center of glass production during this period of economic change, we hope to draw just one of the great lines of direction of these objects: imports from different Mediterranean regions, long-distance trade and local trade, North-South traffic from workshops from/in Lyon to the Mediterranean coast, etc.,” says Dr. Fontaine. The study of this collection of fragments was included in the publication of her thesis, scheduled for 2013.

Dr. Fontaine’s Ph.D. was awarded by Aix-Marseille University/Centre Camille Jullian (UMR 7299) in 2012. Her dissertation, Formes, usages et circulation du verre en Méditerranée nord-occidentale (Ier s. av. / Ier s. de n.è) : L’apport des sites littoraux de la Narbonnaise orientale, received Summa Cum Laude honors. Her publications include La ville au quotidian: Regards croisés sur l’habitat et l’artisanat antiques (Afrique du nord, Gaule et Italie) and in 2013 Du parfum pour les morts: formes et usage du mobilier en verrein Dying in Pompeii: Excavation of a burial area of Roman necropolis of Porta Nocera (2003-2007).