The use of fired bricks spread across the Mediterranean during the Hellenistic period, starting from the North Aegean in the fourth century BCE. But the diffusion was slow and hesitant during more than 300 years, until a take-off towards breakthrough took place in early Imperial Rome. My friend Henrik Gerding is finishing a mongraph that discusses all aspects of Hellenistic fired bricks. In the monograph, the spread of fired bricks is compared with the diffusion of other innovations  in antiquity. My contribution to the research project has been to  help develop methods to analyse the archaeological record and to simulate the process.

More information is found at the official  project webpage.

Below I list the publications that I have been involved in. A few years ago Henrik wrote a shorter account of the diffusion of fired bricks. Recently, he also published a paper in which he discusses Latin brick terminology.

Hellenistic brick oven in Mor- gantina, Sicily


Östborn P., Gerding H.

Network analysis of archaeological data: a systematic approach

Journal of Archaeological Science 46, 75-88, March 2014

Östborn P., Gerding H.

The diffusion of fired bricks in Hellenistic Europe: a similarity network analysis

Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 22(1), 306-344, January 2015

Östborn P., Gerding H.

Brick makers, builders, and commissioners as agents in the diffusion of Hellenistic fired bricks: choosing social models to fit archaeological data

Journal of Greek Archaeology 1, 233-270, October 2016

Gerding H., Östborn P.

The diffusion of architectural innovations: modelling social networks in the ancient building trade

In Sinews of Empire: Networks and regional interaction in the Roman Near East and beyond, Oxbow books, Oxford, 2017

Östborn P., Gerding H.

Inference from archaeological similarity networks

In The Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Network Research, Oxford University Press, 2023

Gerding H.

The diffusion of fired bricks in Hellenistic Europe

Monograph in preparation.