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The interpretation of archaeological surface survey data is not straightforward. The aim of this paper is to critically evaluate the interpretative potential of the surface survey record in terms, on the one hand of demography and settlement pattern, on the other hand of consumption and changing social patterns of commodities distribution and access, using the microregional ceramic dataset collected during fieldwork in the region of Thugga (Tunisian High Tell). By analyzing rural surface pottery assemblages among settlements pattern and topography, I will show the application of a spatial and quantitative approach to the survey record and discuss its potential and risks. At the macroregional scale, consumption patterns will be considered in a comparative perspective among urban and rural settlements as well as coastal sites and rural hinterland of the Roman Province Africa Proconsularis. The reconstruction of a geography consumption allows a ceramic view on the economic development of the Roman Province and on its integration in the inter-regional and long distance markets.