Context in caves, caves in context. Experimental geophysical research in four caves in Central Italy
Archaeological cave research is a highly specialized discipline with a strong focus on local detail, in which geophysical methods are only marginally applied for prospection. This article presents an experimental project to test the application of two common geophysical techniques, ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity, for the detection of prehistoric deposits in limestone caves. Four partially excavated caves in Central Italy were selected with typical cave situations: high ceilings, low ceilings, fine cave sediments, rock debris, and collapsed rooms. The available archaeological documentation of the caves provided an interpretative framework for the geophysical data. The work and results in the four caves are presented, as well as an outlook to the wider use of geophysical techniques in cave research.
The coastal basins of Southern Lazio in the Early Bronze Age around the time of the Avellino eruption (Somma-Vesuvius): a welcoming place or a hostile environment?
Ongoing research on the impact of the Avellino eruption on Early Bronze Age migration to the southern basins of Lazio, where the distal Avellino tephra is preserved, aims for a palaeogeographical reconstruction of the Early Bronze Age landscape. This reconstruction pinpoints locations where both the chance of tephra preservation and Early Bronze Age habitation are highest. A suitability map indicates those areas: fluvial levees, lake edges and infilled palaeovalleys. Additionally, initial palaeo-ecological analysis of peat in the Fondi basin shows that tephra deposition did have a local effect on vegetation, but a limited effect on regional vegetation, while the overall human signal in the pollen record is weak. This suggests that the Pontine plain was thinly populated during and directly after the Avellino event. Nevertheless, the suitability map can be used to investigate yet unknown locations for Early Bronze Age stratigraphy.
The importance of honorary statues on Roman fora and the possibilities of archaeological research in locating them: some case studies from Italy
This article explores the practice of dedicating honorary statues in the Roman world and, more specifically, the forum as ultimate setting for these statues. The main purpose is to reconstruct, on the basis of case studies in modern Italy, how places of statues can be localized archaeologically and where these honorary statues were situated. Determining their exact placement can enable us to reconstruct social hierarchy and some of the power relations within Roman society. The potential of combining written evidence, invasive archaeological methods and to a lesser extent urban survey methods within the study of honorary statues on Roman fora are presented here.
The right of the victor
This article examines movement to the right as detected in figurative images found on different mediums on the central Greek mainland of the first centuries of the Middle Helladic period (2100-1800 BC) and the following Transitional Period (1800-1500 BC) into the Late Helladic era. This rightward movement seems to indicate victorious power of men over men, men over animals, and/or animals over animals. Some considerations are made regarding this inclination to the right and its relation to right-hand handwriting and the human biological disposition.
The ‘archaeology of hate’: mnemotopes of Persian destruction in Greece
This article discusses the problematic relationship between Herodotus’ account of Xerxes’ invasion of Greece and the archaeological record. It introduces the term ‘archaeology of hate’ to refer to interpretations of material culture (whether justified or not) which confirm certain notions of enmity. This term may apply both to ancient commentators reflecting on ruined buildings and other structures in the landscape, but also to modern archaeology, which sometimes attributes destruction to certain actors as a result of uncritical usage of the historical record, and in response to political concerns. The article next reviews this ‘archaeology of hate’ for the Persian Wars as it appears in historical sources from the Roman period, and ends with the problematic nature of the archaeological evidence for the destruction reported by Herodotus for Eleusis, the Acropolis and sites in Phocis.
A Middle-Late Chalcolithic settlement at Chlorakas-Palloures, Cyprus
Excavations at Chlorakas-Palloures, Cyprus, have yielded the remains of a substantial Middle to Late Chalcolithic settlement. Thus far the material remains comprise of stone walls, plaster floors, ground stone installations, many ceramic, lithic and ground stone artifacts, a few metal objects and several human burials. Similar, largely contemporary settlements have been excavated in the surrounding area. These have been described to be relatively homogeneous in layout and house variability. A reassessment of these settlements and the results from Palloures challenge this notion. Additionally, differences in raw material sources between settlements indicate that there was also significant inter-settlement variation. To clarify and illustrate these issues, in this article the results from the first two seasons of excavation at Palloures are presented and discussed in their regional context.
Globalisation and the Roman World. World History, Connectivity and Material Culture
Cult in Pisidia. Religious Practice in Southwestern Asia Minor from Alexander the Great to the Rise of Christianity
introducties op lopend onderzoek
Schrijver zijn en schrijver worden. De Beroepensatire en haar gebruik in het onderwijs van het Oude Egypte
Interdisciplinair 3D-onderzoek naar een protohistorische heuvel te Crustumerium (Rome, Italië)
Beyond the Rivers of Babylon. Settlements and Rural Landscape in Hellenistic Mesopotamia
More than people and pots: identity and regionalization in ancient Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, ca. 1650-1550 BC
TMA 58 – Publieke Werken
Benefactors, civic governments and public buildings in the Roman East: ‘oligarchy materialized’ or ‘an architecture of collectivism’?
Urban elites in the Hellenistic and Roman East often contributed as benefactors to public buildings in their cities. In this paper, I argue that the historical importance of these contributions does not lie primarily in the economic sphere but in the sphere of politics. Hellenistic and Roman-era Greek cities have often been portrayed as stifling oligarchies. If this view is correct, one would expect elite contributions to public buildings to reflect such an oligarchic political culture. Closer inspection of elite gifts towards buildings in the Roman East has revealed, however, that civic elites primarily contributed to the upkeep of a public “architecture of collectivism” that reflects the traditional political and cultural ideals of the Greek polis.
The Upper Agora of Sagalassos: the architectural mirror of the local community
In Antiquity, public space was used as part of the construction of cultural identities which could be multi-faceted. The Upper Agora of the Pisidian city of Sagalassos (southwestern Turkey) was such a dynamic space with a rich collection of images, inscribed texts and monuments that contributed to the construction of local and regional identities. It was the space where, through the use of monuments, images and symbols, these identities were acted out to remind the community at large of who they were. This paper presents results of a research project that studies the Upper Agora as an architectural mirror of the processes of urbanisation that unfolded at Sagalassos. Urban development was one of the tools in the hands of the locals for the creation and display of identity, and by examining its constituting elements, the paper aims to establish the successive waves of urbanisation and their role in the articulation of different identity-aspects.
ἀναγράψαι δὲ τὸ ψήφισμα. The public monuments of Iasos and their function as Schriftträger
This article examines the subject of ‘public monuments’ from an epigraphical perspective to provide a better understanding of the function of these monuments that seems to have been particular for Asia Minor in the Hellenistic and Imperial period. This is the function of Schriftträger and concerns the publication of collections of civic inscriptions on pre-existing buildings. In this article two examples from the Carian city of Iasos are discussed – the theatre, and the stoa of Poseidon and the archeion – to illustrate how public monuments turned into important civic places of memory through the presence of documents essential to the civic community on their walls. Besides this phenomenon, several characteristics of the Iasian epigraphic habit are discussed, such as the publication clauses, the different locations of publication, and the type of documents concerned.
SETinSTONE? A retrospective impact assessment of human and environmental resource usage in Late Bronze Age Mycenaean monumental architecture, Greece
The influence of monumental construction on its human and material surroundings can be explored excellently in the context of Late Middle and Late Bronze Age (LBA) Mycenaean Greece. The overall aim of the ‘SETinSTONE’ project is precisely this: to assess if and how monumental building activities in LBA Greece impacted the political and socio-economic structures of the Mycenaean polities in the period between 1600 and 1100 BC, and how people responded to changes in these structures. We are especially concerned with the processes and practices that created such monumental and public works in the Aegean Late Middle to LBA Argolid and how these compare to contemporary structures from both Attica and Achaia.
Roman baths: dissection of a success story
When approaching Roman bathhouses from within a larger chronological framework, they often figure as an apogee of collective baths, with the Greek-Hellenistic baths as prelude and the Late Antique and Medieval baths as epilogue. However, if we look at the cultural basis of for development and success of the Roman bathhouse, we must admit that the ideas about the power of water and its effects on the human body go back further. Mediterranean bathing habits were shaped by medical theories about the human body, not only in the Greek-Hellenistic and Roman period, but also in Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval and Islamic Period. The construction activity of bathhouses, however, is mainly dependent on the economic context. Therefore, the boom of large and luxurious bath buildings during the High Empire has distorted our view of a bathing habit that is much more continuous over the longue durée.
Marble and munificence on the stage: architectural decoration of the Roman theatre
Roman society was highly hierarchical and its elite class was in constant search of means to showcase, maintain and increase their power and prestige. Sponsoring the construction and decoration of monumental, public architecture was one of the most powerful material means for this. Monumental public architecture was often decorated excessively. The orchestra and scaenae frons of the Roman theatre stand out as the object of benefaction par excellence. For the architectural decoration of Roman theatres in the Western Mediterranean area, white marble elements (capitals, column bases, cornices, etc.) were generally combined with elements in coloured marbles (column shafts and wall and floor veneer), thus creating an impressive polychromatic effect. In Southern France and Italy, this effect was achieved by using marbles imported from Greece, the Aegean Islands, Asia Minor and North Africa. On the Iberian Peninsula, locally and regionally available marbles (white and coloured) were combined with imported stones. From the second century AD onwards, valuable marbles from the Eastern Desert in Egypt were imported and incorporated in the decoration of the theatres in the Western Mediterranean.
Understanding Relations Between Scripts: The Aegean Writing Systems
Sicilië en de zee
Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World
introducties op lopend onderzoek
Tracing the potter’s wheel: investigating technological trajectories and cultural encounters in the Bronze Age Aegean
Itinerant semantics in Late Hellenistic Samosata: the impact of global objects
Een statement maken in tijden van crisis. Grafrituelen en de expressie van sociale relaties in West-Griekenland tijdens de Midden-Bronstijd (2000-1600 voor Christus)
Een portret van de keizer: dynastieke verandering en politieke innovatie in het Romeinse Rijk (50 voor Christus – 565 na Christus)