Jan Lotz

I finished my studies of Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Cologne with a master thesis on the role of Quintus Fabius Maximus in the roman domestic policy during the Second Punic War in spring 2016. Since March 2017 I am a PhD student at the University Luxembourg. My research under the supervision of Ass.-Prof. Dr. Andrea Binsfeld, Dr. Martin Uhrmacher and Prof. Dr. Christoph Schäfer (University Trier) focuses on trading and transporting networks in the provinces of Gallia and Germania during the Roman Empire and the reconstruction of the road link between the upper Saône and the upper Moselle.

Trading and transporting networks in the provinces of Gallia and Germania during the Roman Empire (27 BC – AD 301)

I work on trade and transport networks in the provinces of Gaul and Germania during the Roman Empire (27 BC – AD 301). My sources are mainly inscriptions and images (esp. reliefs). The information given by the sources are for example findspot of the source, name of the merchant/his family/friends/freedmen/colleagues and their origins, the professional and political career of the merchant, trade route and places or type and origin of the trader/goods. With the geographical information given by the sources, I reconstruct trade and transport networks between cities and regions and visualize them on a map.

Simluation of Roman streets (red) and Recontrsuction of river courses (blue) in QGIS

This visualization leads to the second part of my project which is the reconstruction of possible connections between upper Saône and upper Moselle. Most of the sources were either found in large cities like Lyon, Narbonne or Trier or along important roads or rivers (for example Via Agrippa or Rhône, Saône and Moselle). The distribution of the sources clearly shows that Rhône, Saône and Moselle were used as a transport route. To get from the Saône to the Moselle, the merchants took the Via Agrippa between Chalon-sur-Saône and Metz. Land transport was very slow and expensive (the route between Chalon-sur-Saône and Metz is around 300 km and takes roughly 18-30 days), so why did the merchants already leave the Saône in Chalon-sur-Saône? A shipwreck dated to the 14th century proves that the Saône was navigable at least to Scey-sur-Saône which is around 200 km upstream compared to Chalon-sur-Saône. Because of Tacitus’ description of a planned canal between Saône and Moselle, it is very likely that the Moselle was already navigable at Épinal which is 160 km upstream compared to Metz, maybe even further upstream (for example Remiremont).


Main supervisor: Ass.-prof. Dr Andrea Binsfeld (University of Luxembourg)
Other supervisors: Prof. Dr Martin Uhrmacher (University of Luxembourg), Prof. Dr Christoph Schäfer (Universität Trier)


Reconstructions and Simulations in Historical Research