What does it matter? Real and painted marble in the house of Apollo in Pompeii
In the course of the first century AD marble became a popular means of decoration in the Roman world. Both the real and the painted variant were used to decorate the rooms of many houses. Traditionally, painted marble has been indicated as the cheap alternative for Romans who could not afford the real stuff. However, the finds from cities like Pompeii tell differently.
The house of Apollo in Pompeii is an excellent example to refute this traditional idea. An analysis of the marble and marbled decorations found in this house shows the high appreciation of particularly the painted variant.
Round about Crustumerium: an alternative application of the rank-size rule
During the Archaic period (roughly the sixth century BC) the settlement of Crustumerium developed into a typical urban centre. Situated on the northern border of Latium Vetus one could enter other cultural regions such as Etruria, Sabina Tiberina and the territories of the Faliscan and Capenates within a day’s travel. It is no wonder then that the material culture of Crustumerium shows signs of hybridization and selection. But apart from being a cultural melting pot the question as to which place this city state took within the settlement hierarchy of the surrounding regions remains largely unanswered.
This article aims to tie the different cultural regions which were in direct contact with Crustumerium together. By applying the rank-size rule to an interregional case study the image of an integrated settlement system appears. Through the analysis we can see that during the Archaic period a relatively stable situation existed between the four adjacent regions. During this period the major centers Rome and Veio did not dominate medium sized city states such as Crustumerium. Neither did the settlements strongly compete with one another but instead fulfilled autonomous positions within a fairly interdependent settlement system.
This example shows that the functioning of settlement systems is not hampered by physical or political barriers and that it is possible to use certain analytical methods in order to study settlement hierarchy on an interregional level.
Ritual murder in Rome and Tarquinia? A methodological study of deposition of human sacrifice during the
Italic Iron Age and Orientalising period (ninth to sixth century BC)
Human sacrifice is a problematic theme in archaeological research, partly because its practice is difficult to reconstruct based on the sole presence of archaeological data. Therefore, the criteria with which depositions of sacrificed humans can be distinguished from regular graves are hardly ever discussed. This can be noted in the case of a number of burials found in Rome and Tarquinia. These have been interpreted as both graves and cases of human sacrifices, but the criteria used for either of these interpretations are unclear. In order to create a more objective way to study potential cases of human sacrifice, this article proposes a methodology through which the depositions of sacrificed humans and graves can be distinguished from one other with the use of three indicators: physical anthropological data, the location of the burial and traces of ritual activities.
The Roman colonial past of the Pontine region, Central Italy
The Pontine region, located at a distance of only ca. 60 km south of Rome, already boasted a rich colonial heritage in the Mid-Republican period, at a time that regions further from Rome were confronted with Roman expansion and its impact on indigenous Italic urban and rural landscapes for the first time. This heritage not only figured in the literary sources, but was also prominently present in the landscape. This paper discusses two dynamics that helped shape the Late-Republican and Early Imperial landscape of the Pontine region. One was the development of Roman urban settlements in the Mid-Republican period, a partly organic and partly steered process in which the role of Rome became ever more evident. The other was the planned expansion of agricultural land into marginal areas through land reclamation during that same period.
The Galleria dei Vasi in the cave of Sant’Angelo II: New data on the Protoapennine period in the Sibaritide and
its relations with the shores of the Adriatic Sea
The Cave of Sant’Angelo II is located northwest of Cassano allo Jonio, in the province of Cosenza (Italy). Some sherds of handmade impasto pottery collected in the 1960’s have been retrieved during an inventory project recently carried out by the Groningen Institute of Archaeology in the storerooms of the Soprintendenza della Calabria. The analysis of these finds provide new relevant data on the transitional period between the Early and the Middle Bronze Age in Calabria and indicate long range cultural interactions with the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Thousand sherds on the ground… a long breath, a deep sigh
Systematic field walking is a well known archaeological tool to assess a region’s history. It explores large scale developments in space and time, and agrees to a relatively low resolution in chronological precision. A multi-disciplinary archaeological project on the island of Zakynthos (Greece) was carried out between 2006 and 2010. The systematic field walking program investigated the archaeological record in three research areas that cover the variety of geological, geomorphological and historical landscapes on the island. The survey produced, among other things, about 30,000 ceramic fragments dating from the Prehistory to the Modern periods.
Based on these survey finds, my PhD research investigates the development of ancient technological traditions in ceramic production and aims to map and comprehend major patterns in the circulation of ancient ceramics within the island. This paper reflects on the limitations and possibilities of the analysis of survey ceramics and presents a systematic approach to the study and analysis of a large body of survey ceramics that is characterized by a serious lack of stylistic and typo-morphological
Hybridity in times of colonization
Greyware in the context of the Phoenician colonization of the Iberian Peninsula
This article tries to find a transparent way to detect morphological hybridity in the Céramica Gris (greyware) of Early Iron Age Iberia. This type of pottery developed through the influence of local preference for ceramics, but was made with techniques introduced by the Phoenician ‘colonists’. A case study investigates this issue through the greyware assemblage from the site of Cerro Manzanillo in the province of Badajoz, Extremadura. The analysis of this assemblage poses theoretical as well as practical problems. The obscurities around the parameters to classify greyware, together with a general lack of knowledge about the boundaries and meaning of the stylistic evolution of material culture, lead to the conclusion that hybridity is not a good concept to describe greyware. However, the concept of cultural hybridity, together with ceramic studies can be used to define the underlying processes of cultural change that was a result of the Phoenician colonization.
Inleiding: De demografie van Romeins Italië
– Peasants, Citizens and Soldiers. Studies in the
demographic history of Roman Italy
– Peasants and slaves. The rural population of Roman Italy
(200 BC to AD 100)
Black-Gloss Ware in Italy.
Production management and local histories
The City in the Roman West
c. 250 BC – c. AD 250
Pathways to Power. New Perspectives
on the Emergence of Social Inequality
Early Roman Warrior 753-321 BC
The First Mediterranean islanders:
initial occupation and survival strategies
The Džarylgač Survey Project
introducties op lopend onderzoek
Onderzoeksproject Dr. Lidewijde de Jong
Promotieproject Frits Heinrich MA, MSc. (Oxon.)
Promotieproject Olivia Jones MA
Het OpenArchaeoSurvey project
Karian, Greek or Roman?
The layered identities of Stratonikeia at the sanctuary of Hekate at Lagina
In the Greek world after Alexander the Great, urbanization took place at an unprecedented rate and scale. Based on the Greek model of the polis, this introduced a new landscape of social and political organizations, which had a great impact on the complexities of local and regional identities and how these were displayed. Religion played an important role in this process. As case study for these issues, this article examines how Stratonikeia in Karia (Asia Minor) used the sanctuary of Hekate at Lagina as an instrument to integrate the social and political identity of the local Karian population into the interstate world of Greek civic networks and Roman authority.
Tableware, local identity and choice: Hellenistic Sardis in context
Pottery distribution patterns are often taken for granted and seen as self-explanatory. Interpretations usually focus on trade and economy. Most research concentrates on the similarities between sites, e.g. the presence of a certain ware or shape, whereas distributional differences have received less attention. This paper adopts a different view and analyses the tableware of Hellenistic Sardis from the perspective of local consumers. Tableware distribution patterns are not coincidental, on the contrary, they reflect the choices of individuals and communities. By zooming in on Hellenistic Sardis this paper shows that local producers and consumers were making different choices than contemporaries elsewhere. It is shown that these choices are reflective not only of the opportunities available to Sardian consumers, but equally reflect the identity of the community as a whole and its engagement with the wider Hellenistic world.
Gladiatorial displays and the imperial cult in Asia Minor.
The case of Pessinus
This article focuses on archaeological evidence for the imperial cult and its vital role in the introduction of Roman blood sports in Asia Minor. In central-Anatolian Pessinus, the introduction of the cult of Sebastos (the Greek equivalent of Augustus) came with the erection of a purpose-built gladiatorial theater which constituted an integrated unit of the Sebasteion. Epigraphic, architectural, numismatic and ceramic evidence indicates that construction works took place during the last years of the reign of Augustus. The date of construction of the theater (and temple) may be reflected by recently reanalysed epigraphic evidence which suggests that a priest of the imperial cult organised gladiatorial games in Pessinus in AD 9. It looks as if elites in Pessinus were committed to integrating the imperial cult in the townscape from early on. However, this was done by adopting Roman architectural models in an eclectic and nonconforming manner which allowed flexibility and non-Roman traditions to persist.
Fringe archaeology: the study of the eastern suburb of Sagalassos (SW Turkey)
We are brought up with the image of the ancient city as a compacted stronghold within an oasis of open farmland, only interrupted by the occasional villa. The picture, as always, is a lot more complex. Town walls could rarely confine the city sprawl associated with a growing population, nor were these the only markers that define the urban boundaries. Moreover, several activities were excluded from the city centres for reasons of taboos, safety or simply because of space limitations. It is difficult for us to imagine the bustle going on outside many ancient town walls, not in the least because these transitional zones between the urban and the rural area have only rarely been the focus of archaeological research in the Mediterranean. This article wishes to address the topic through one specific case study: the Eastern Suburbium of Sagalassos, a mountain site in southwest Anatolia. The area under study manifests more than a millennium (Classical to Early Byzantine Era) of human activities that were ‘banned’ to the city’s fringes. An important part of these activities are of an artisanal or funerary nature, competing for space with spectacle buildings, communal organisations and waste dumps.
Exploring the fine line between Jewish and pagan. A socio-contextual study of the House of Dionysos, Sepphoris
The House of Dionysos is probably the most salient example of private architecture that has been uncovered in Sepphoris (northern Israel) so far; it is a symbol of the settlement’s cultural transformation during the second to third centuries AD. Earlier research focused extensively on understanding who may have lived in such a lavish peristyle house with a triclinium of which the mosaic floor depicts scenes from the life of Dionysos. Could the household have been Jewish, the Jews being the predominant population group in Sepphoris at that time? This article aims to contribute to this debate by examining the House of Dionysos as a social space within the wider context of peristyle housing in the Roman Empire. By concentrating on the architectural differences especially, this article ultimately argues that the house should be understood as arising from a local development. The owners of the House of Dionysos seem to have borrowed and adapted the cultural concept of peristyle housing, with all its physical elements, according to their particular understanding of the house as an introverted social space. Consequently, these most probably Jewish occupants seem to have been competent in both cultural traditions from which they draw upon in the construction of this house. Put differently, both local Jewish and Roman norms and values were understood and respected.
Remains of a Jewish household in Perea?
The results of the first excavation season at Tell Abu Sarbut
Resistance against globalization and hellenization was powerful among some Jewish communities during the first centuries BC and AD. This found its expression in the material culture, such as the rejection of decorated table vessels, Italian-style cooking pans and foreign modes of dining. Instead, locally made cooking vessels, undecorated lamps and certain chalk stone vessels were used as markers of ethnic solidarity and, perhaps, religious attitudes. This `household Judaism’ (Berlin 2005) has been documented widely in the areas of Judaea, Galilee and Gaulanitis; the traditional Jewish regions west of the river Jordan.
Another region with many Jewish inhabitants, Perea across the Jordan, has as yet not yielded any of these traits. The renewed excavations of Tell Abu Sarbut in the eastern Jordan Valley may readily change this picture. What started as research into a local rural community from the third century AD, could now include the excavation of the remains of a Jewish community from the first centuries BC-AD.
The Udhruh lines of sight: connectivity in the hinterland of Petra
The region around Udhruh, in the hinterland of the Nabataean Capital Petra in southern Jordan, was actively exploited in antiquity with investments of great effort and ingenuity. In the 48 sq km research area around the town of Udhruh, best known for a Roman legionary fortress, a communication system consisting of eight watchtowers on territorial markers has been retrieved. This system was built in the Nabataean era for the protection and communicative control of the water management and field systems and the possible caravanserai of Udhruh. The microregion of Udhruh was through this signalling system not only connected with Petra, but also with its network along the trade routes. In the Roman period the Udhruh-region became part of a different globalised network through this connectivity: the Roman armies, although the security of the site and the agro-hydrological schemes remained important.
Colonia Augusta Achaica Patrensis, cemetery and identity in a Roman colony in Greece
Patras, a harbour town in the northwest Peloponnese, was colonized by Augustus in order to benefit from its strategic location for both communication with the West and to exert control over the region. When the colonists, who were veterans of the Roman army, arrived at Patras they found a city with a history of over 300 years. The established order was overthrown as the original inhabitants of Patras had to give up their lands and their rights in favour of the Roman immigrants, who were now landowning citizens of the colony. These major disruptions meant that social roles had to be redefined: the cemetery seems to have been the place to do so. This paper discusses how the various groups or individuals negotiated their social and cultural identity in the cemeteries of the newly founded colony.
Roman Palmyra: Identity, Community, and State Formation
The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Economy
The Archaeology of the Holy Land.
From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple
to the Muslim Conquest
Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit.
Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus
Petra: Wonder in de Woestijn. Tentoonstelling RMO Leiden
Kingdoms and Principalities in the Roman Near East
The Ancient Near East, a life! Festschrift Karel Van Lerberghe
Edge of Empire: Pagans, Jews, and Christians
at Roman Dura-Europos
introducties op lopend onderzoek
Urban landscape history of a Roman rione
Onderzoeksproject (KNIR, SSBAR), Gert-Jan Burgers
en Renato Sebastiani (projectleiders)
‘Building tabernae’: How commercial investment changed
the cities of Roman Italy (200 BCE – 300 CE)
Postdoc onderzoek (NWO), Miko Flohr
The City Anatomy: Spatial Dimensions of Urban Societies.
Reconceptualising the Ancient Urban Cityscape in
Bronze Age Central Syria
PhD-project (UvA), Matteo Merlino
Mapping the Via Appia
Onderzoeksproject (NWO, KNIR, VU, RU),
Stephan Mols, Eric Moormann en Jeremia Pelgrom
Landscapes of Early Roman Colonization:
Non-urban settlement organization and Roman expansion
in the Roman Republic (4th-1st centuries BC)
Research project (NWO), Tesse Stek and Jeremia Pelgrom