The Amazon in Central Italy: Symbol of a New Era
Around the end of the 6th century B.C. a remarkable development occurs in the decoration of terracotta temple roofs. Besides a clear monumentalisation of the sanctuaries, the decorative themes of the roofs change dramatically. The former ‘aristocratic’ scenes are abandoned in favour of depictions of mythological battles. The Amazon was one of the most popular themes at the beginning of the 5th century B.C., appearing on more than ten different temple roofs throughout Etruria and Latium Vetus. The reason for her sudden popularity must be prompted by the turbulent political atmosphere, connected with the transition from the Regal Period to the Roman Republic.
The early Christian Catacombs of Malta and Sicily: how Early, how Christian?
Although often ignored in the study of catacombs, there are more regions than just Rome which have Early Christian burial places. This study wants to show how these different catacombs fit into the development of Christianity in Late Antiquity. The iconography of these catacombs illuminates the lives of people who differed a lot from each other both within a region and from region to region, on a cultural as well as a religious level. The catacombs clearly point to a situation of relative harmony between Christians, Jews and pagans in this period.
Between West and East: the self representation of Mark Antony
To donate portrait statues in honour of Roman aristocrats was an important part of political life in the city of Rome during the last decades before the end of the 1st century BC. Statues were bestowed upon aristocratic individuals to honour their deeds and achievements, therefore being an important element in the self advertisement of aspiring politicians. Mark Antony was such an individual. A few sculpted portraits have been identified as Mark Antony, largely by comparison with his portraits preserved on coins. Three main themes can be identified: an association with Alexander the Great, Hercules and Dionysos. These associations can be linked with Antony’s political aspirations and in the case of Hercules, physical appearance. Furthermore Antony’s portraits show, depending on the characteristics of their context, traditional Roman and newly introduced Hellenistic portrait styles. In this Antony’s portraits are not unique but rather the products of their time, going back to a long tradition of Roman officials being honoured similarly.
The second century AD: a “forgotten” period in the archaeology of Roman Galilee
Roman Galilee’s importance in Christian and Jewish history has caused a focus on two periods, the Early and Late Roman period. The period in between, the second century AD, has largely been neglected. Considering the archaeological excavations of the last 40 years however, the second century seems to have been a period of cultural integration with the Roman Mediterranean world. In this article, I will discuss this period, therefore, as a transitional period in Galilee’s Roman history. It changes from being a somewhat marginal region in the Early Roman period to a dynamic one in the Late Roman period when Roman, Jewish and Christian cultures become heavily intertwined.
Lapicidinae Ammaiensis: a geoarchaeological case-study of the Civitas Ammaiensis (northern Alentejo, Portugal)
This paper presents the results of geoarchaeological research in the north-eastern Alentejo region of Portugal. The study focuses on the exploitation of granite in the territory of the Roman town of Ammaia. Until recently, the town and its hinterland were poorly studied, notwithstanding the high level of preservation. Through a non-destructive survey approach by an interdisciplinary team of archaeologists, geomorphologists and geologists, the three main granite quarries in the Civitas Ammaiensis were identified and investigated. The geomorphological component of the research consisted in locating possible quarries. Subsequently, the archaeologists examined the cutting marks and estimated the age of the quarrying activities. Finally, the geological contribution involved the comparison of the granite types in the quarries with those used in the town’s constructions. This research provided a clearer insight in the economic and spatial organization of the Civitas Ammaiensis and in the stone exploitation techniques.
Survey in de Steppe, het Džarylgac( Survey Project (DSP) (Noordwestelijke Krim, Oekraïne)
One of the many intriguing questions on the Greek colonization of the northern coasts of the Black Sea concerns the socio-economic relationships that developed during the Hellenistic period between incoming groups of colonists and the indigenous peoples in the steppe. However, to investigate these relationships, detailed knowledge of both the Greek and the indigenous settlement pattern is imperative. To this end the Dzargulhach Survey Project (DSP) was formulated, a ‘Mediterranean style’ landscape archaeological project designed to reveal even the smallest activity locus in a landscape known to have been the object of Greek colonial interest. The landscape central to this project is the hinterland of the colonial coastal settlement of Panskoe in the northwestern Crimea (Ukraine), which inHellenistic times was part of the `distant’ chora of the Greek colony of Chersonesos. The fieldwork for this project is carried out byDanish,Dutch, German, Russian and Ukrainian researchers specialized in intensive survey, physical geography, geophysical prospection and excavation. In this paper the preliminary results of two campaigns are presented in light of current thinking on Greek colonization in the northwestern Crimea. The DSP is a collaborative project of the Centre for Black Sea Studies (CBSS) at Aarhus University (Danmark), the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA) (Netherlands) and the Crimean branch of the Institute of Archaeology (NASU) (Ukraine). The project directors are dr. Pia Guldager Bilde of Aarhus University and director of the CBSS and prof. dr. P.A.J. Attema of the GIA. Currently the publication of the 2007 and 2008 campaigns is being prepared by the project team for publication as a monograph in the series Black Sea Studies of CBSS (Aarhus University Press).
Landscape archaeology and local communities. Research and heritage perspectives of the Salento Istmus Project
Classical archaeology has always played an important role in substantiating western society’s claim to being the keeper of the Graeco-Roman heritage. In recent decades, such claims have been vigorously challenged. Not only have classical scholars themselves deconstructed the idea that western society is rooted inGraeco-Roman civilization, but national and local communities in Greece, Italy and elsewhere have been increasingly claiming Graeco-Roman material culture as their legitimate heritage. In this paper, the author proposes some possible responses to these challenges, focusing on research and heritage perspectives of the Salento Istmus Project of the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. First, he discusses the recent field work at the site of L’Amastuola, which questions traditional perspectives on Greek colonisation and demonstrates the heterogeneity of the ancient local community. Second, with regard to heritage issues it is argued that modern classical archaeologists still have much to contribute, for example by conducting fieldwork and by providing the results to the relevant authorities, while also engaging local communities. This is illustrated by focusing on the authors’involvement in an EU-funded project geared towards setting up archaeological parks on the Salento Istmus.
Greek archaeology: theoretical developments over the last 40 years
Classical archaeology has for a long time been considered a self-contained and conservative discipline.However, the discipline is undergoing a dramatic transformation, as practitioners adopt new interpretive approaches and innovative methods of analysis, inspired by developments in the neighbouring fields of prehistoric archaeology and ancient history. These changes in practice and orientation do not really constitute a unified phenomenon. Rather, different academic traditions are developing, diverging approaches are adopted, and even competing definitions of classical (or Mediterranean?) archaeology are used alongside each other. Archaeology has not only changed; it has also become a diversified, growing and vibrant field. This paper will attempt to outline some of the theoretical and methodological changes that have taken place in classical archaeology in the last forty years or so. Although the emphasis will be on Greek archaeology, developments in all areas of the Mediterranean and examples from different periods will be brought into the discussion.
Roman Archaeology: theoretical developments over the last decades. A Dutch perspective.
Both inside and outside the Netherlands, Roman archaeology has changed dramatically over the last few decades. This article has aims to describe this paradigm shift in more general terms and to evaluate the present situation in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore it explores how the situation in the Netherlands relates to the international field and asks what kind of opportunities and threats exist for the practice of Roman archaeology in theNetherlands. Two points of consideration pertain:
– Greek and Roman archaeology in the Netherlands is somewhat unbalanced because of the dominant position of survey archaeology, which creates a too one-sided perspective for the field as a whole.
– Roman archaeology in the Netherlands is still much too often actually perceived and practised as the archaeology of the Netherlands in the Roman period. In both respects there is clearly a need for a better balance.
Recent developments in the social and economic archaeology of the Mediterranean region from a long-term perspective
This article will present some of the significant trends in archaeological scholarship focussing on the Mediterranean over the Longue Durée. Firstly, Environmental and Physical Science continue to exercise a not to be underestimated impact on our understanding of cultural changes, as well as offering often unexpected evidence causing us to rethink our scenarios of the past. In Prehistory, popular themes such asWorld Systems and the phenomenology of landscape can be balanced against the ongoing insights from anthropological approaches, e.g. in demography and social structure. For Greco-Roman antiquity, the role of regional survey remains central to issues of human impact, population fluctuations, and the political organisation of town and country. Refinements in ceramic studies and aspects of ancient technology have brought challenging evidence against Finley’s long-popular model of ancient stagnation. The study of ancient mentalities through works of art has been given new impetus and is brought into the mainstream of current interest in Hellenisation, Romanisation and Christianisation, through the more sociological and ideological approaches pioneered by Zanker and his school. In Medieval and Post-Medieval archaeology, approaches developed in North-West Europe and the States have been spreading throughout the region, notably in the combination
On holiday? Dutch archaeological research in the Mediterranean world
This paper gives an overview of research in the Mediterranean by Dutch archaeologists in the period since the TMA began. A shift can be traced away from office-based archaeology and the art history of Greek and Roman culture and towards large large fieldwork projects. The Dutch have made name in regional projects in which, sometimes over several decades, teams have returned to the same area to develop different types of field work (survey, excavation, cultural heritage). Greece and Italy were and are the main countries in which Dutch archaeologists are active. Attention is still directed to the Greeks and Roman themselves, but the scope of interest has also widened to include indigenous groups and their attitudes towards colonists and invaders. At the same times, there are also scholars working in museum archaeology (especially Amsterdam) and studying monuments previously excavated at sites such as Rome and Pompeii. The author observes, to his regret, a certain decrease in the variety of research methods and programmes, so that regional studies seem ubiquitous.