Session: #200

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Block by Block. Archaeologies of Urban Life from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages
In recent research on ancient cities, interest has shifted from individual habitations, buildings, or single constructive units towards the study of more complex urban entities: housing clusters, city blocks, neighbourhoods or residential quarters. For example, in the city of Pompeii, on-going archaeological projects have increasingly adopted approaches by city block, not by single houses. Such entities form the fabric of the ancient city as organic, lived spaces. A similar shift of interest can be discerned in studies of the Classical world in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, and is applicable also to the urban conglomerates of Late Antique and Medieval periods. Approaches by city block can be applied both in the study of urban sites, with no residential continuity, like Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ostia, Olynthus and Ephesus, and in cities that have had a long continuum of urban life like Rome, Cartagena, and Calleva Atrebatum/Silchester.
The aim of the session is to promote discussion on the theoretical basis, working methods and results already obtained by the use of urban archaeology applying the scale of city block. It also invites diachronic confrontations of research problems between Classical sites and Late Antique and Medieval cities.
ancient cities, cityblock, cityscape
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Main organiser:
Ria Berg (Italy) 1
Antonella Coralini (Italy) 2
Arja Karivieri (Sweden) 3,4
1. University of Tampere
2. University of Bologna
3. University of Stockholm
4. Institutum Romanum Finlandiae