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The Identification of Domestic Architecture in Archaic Rome Beyond Tufa and Tiles

AS A PREVENTIVE MEASURE AGAINST THE SPREADING OF COVID-19, THIS EVENT HAS UNFORTUNATELY BEEN CANCELLED. Lecture at Roman Archaeology Conference 2020 by PhD student Nikoline Sauer.

2020.02.18 | Mette Lang

Date Sat 18 Apr
Time 09:00 12:00
Location Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Split, Croatia.

Abstract

In the early archaic period (second half of the 7th century BC) house architecture advanced significantly in Rome. The development included an important shift in the use of building techniques and materials: domestic houses changed from oval huts built of posts, clay and straw to large, rectangular houses with foundations of squared tufa stones and tiles roofs. This architectural development has been commonly summarized by the phrase “from huts to houses”. However, our understanding of these changes is extremely partial because only high-status domestic houses have been recognised from this period, often from the remains of tufa foundations and roof-tiles. This paper will investigate if it is possible to identify domestic houses in the archaic period on the basis of elements apart from tufa and tiles, such as hearths, pavements of stamped clay, remains of domestic pottery and animal bones and the location of the house. It will thus be possible to discover the lower-status domestic architecture of early Rome. The area of the later Forum of Caesar in Rome will be used as the focal case study in the paper since the site, with its rich archaeological habitation levels, provides an excellent baseline for archaic domestic architecture. 

Lecture/talk, History and archaeology