Carla Cioffi (University of Freiburg, Università degli Studi Roma Tre)
Archaeology and Epigraphy intersect within the tables of measure (lat. mensae ponderariae, gr. sekomata), mobile objects of everyday life belonging to the diverse and heterogeneous group called instrumentum. Their corpus has an intriguing epigraphic, metrological and historic-social example: A bilingual inscribed block , currently kept in Sofia (Bulgaria) , that originates from a village close to the Roman-Thracian centre of Nicopolis ad Istrum. The archaeological context is unknown. This mensa contains information about the commercial life along the eastern Danube in the 3rd, or possibly the beginning of the 4th century AD. It gives toponymical information about the Emporium Piretensium which, besides here, is only mentioned in two other inscriptions . Moreover, the mensa provides metrological data in terms of inscribed measure names around the foramina (carved standard-volumes), linguistic data as only the measures are written in a “Romanised” Greek, and social information since the Latin commemorating inscription mentions the administrative figure emporiarcha - an unicum among this kind of finds.
The poster confronts the archaeological find with its inscriptions and compares it with other similar mensae. This approach allows a deeper typological comprehension and a new interpretation and chronology.