Calculating dolium capacities and material use

Caroline Cheung, Stanley Chang, Gina Tibbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the ancient Mediterranean, large ceramic storage containers known as dolia, which ranged in capacity from 150 to over 1,000 liters, were important farm equipment for the storage of wine, olive oil, and other foods. Because they are often poorly preserved, little is known about how they were made, much less the scale of their production. This paper draws on data from Pompeii to discuss how mathematical modeling can help us estimate their capacities and weight, and thus what their production and procurement entailed. The paper presents methods adaptable for a range of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-814
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Archaeology


  • Cavalieri's principle
  • Pompeii
  • R coding
  • Rome and Roman Empire
  • ceramics
  • dolia
  • food storage
  • quadratic fit
  • volumetrics


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