Portrait of Dr Luke Lavan

Dr Luke Lavan

Lecturer in Archaeology

About

Dr Luke Lavan was educated at the universities of Durham, Oxford and Nottingham. He joined the University of Kent as a Lecturer in Archaeology in 2007 from the Katholieke University Leuven (Belgium), where he had worked as a Post- Doctoral Fellow on the Sagalassos Project (in modern Turkey). Before that he was Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Humboldt Foundation, University of Cologne, the British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara, and the Collège de France in Paris. 

Research interests

Luke is the series editor of Late Antique Archaeology and is director of the Centre for Late Antique Archaeology.  

He is particularly interested in the everyday use of space in the Late Antique and Early Medieval city (AD 300-700), drawing on archaeological, textual and epigraphic evidence from across the Roman Empire. Luke is currently responsible for field archaeology instruction, and was co-director of the Kent-Berlin Ostia Project.

Teaching

Luke teaches modules on archaeology and late antiquity.

Publications

Article

  • Lavan, L. (2013). Local Economies in Late Antiquity? Some thoughts. Late Antique Archaeology [Online] 10:1-11. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1163/22134522-12340045.
  • Lavan, L. (2012). Public Space in Late Antique Ostia: Excavation and Survey by the University of Kent 2008-2011. American Journal of Archaeology [Online] 116:649-691. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3764/aja.116.4.0649.
    This article presents the work of the University of Kent section of the Late Antique Ostia Project, which since 2008 has studied the evolution of public space in the central area of the city, in conjunction with the Humboldt University of Berlin. This research has sought to detect and document Late Antique remains within a clearance-excavated classical site using minimally invasive methods. It has demonstrated that Ostia saw a level of investment in secular public buildings that surpassed other cities in Italy outside of Rome. Thus, Russell Meiggs' view that the construction of Portus led to the demise of Ostia, in terms of its political and economic vitality, now seems unlikely. Until the mid fifth century, Ostia was still significant as a center of political representation that followed the urban fashions of the age, which now came from the eastern Mediterranean rather than from Rome. English summaries of the work of the Berlin team are provided by its director, Axel Gering; that work is published in greater detail in a parallel report in Römische Mitteilungen.
  • Lavan, L. (2012). The Agorai of Sagalassos in Late Antiquity: An Interpretive Study. Late Antique Archaeology [Online] 9:289-353. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22134522-12340012.
    This article investigates the history of the agorai and minor plazas, excavated at Sagalassos in SW Turkey, during late antiquity (A.D. 283 to ca. 650). It presents new field observations made by the author, based on a survey of stone surface markings, epigraphic context, and spoliation history, and offers an interpretive study of these spaces in terms of their function during the 4th–7th centuries A.D. An assessment of the significance of these observations for the nature of urban government in this period is also offered.
  • Lavan, L. (2012). Distinctive Field Methods for Late Antiquity: Some Suggestions. Late Antique Archaeology [Online] 9:51-90. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1163/22134522-12340005.
    Abstract
    Our understanding of late antique archaeology has now reached a point where it is possible to suggest specific field methods better adapted to the material evidence and historical problems of the period, at least for urban archaeology. We need to be more sensitive to patterns of evidential survival that are particular to this era, and especially to engage with the evidential traces provided by patterns of reuse, and by the slight relaxation of civic rules seen in the period. If we focus on stone surface archaeology, study spolia contexts, behavioural epigraphy, small-scale repairs and decorative traces, then we can obtain a great deal of information from poorly excavated sites which were previously considered archaeologically barren. This may, perhaps, reveal the futility of clearance archaeology, which is still being practised on some eastern sites.
  • Lavan, L. (2012). Field Methods and Post Excavation Techniques in Late Antique Archaeology: Anyone for Discussion?. Late Antique Archaeology [Online] 9:1-13. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1163/22134522-12340003.
  • Lavan, L. (2004). Agorai in Turkey and Greece during Late Antiquity. Anatolian Archaeology 9:31-32.
  • Lavan, L. (2001). Late Antique Urbanism: A Bibliographic Essay. Journal of Roman Archaeology [Online] 24:9-26. Available at: http://www.journalofromanarch.com/supplements/S42.pdf.
  • Lavan, L. (2001). The Praetoria of Civil Governors in Late Antiquity. Journal of Roman Archaeology [Online] 42:39-56. Available at: http://www.journalofromanarch.com/supplements/S42.pdf.
  • Lavan, L. (1999). Residences of Late Antique Governors: A Gazetteer. Antiquité Tardive [Online] 7:135-164. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1484/J.AT.2.300808.
    Ce catalogue commenté des bâtiments qu’on a proposé d’interpréter comme palais de gouverneur tardifs cherche à faire le tri entre résidences probables, possibles (selon divers degrés de vraisemblance), peu probables ou improbables. L’auteur ne retient comme probables que Cologne, Aquincum, Gortyne et Ptolémaïs, praetoria auxquels il associe, par ressemblance, le palais du dux à Doura Europos. Parmi les possibles (sans qu’on ait vraiment les moyens de trancher) figurent Circencester, Gorsium, Césarée (où deux sites sont candidats) et Carthage. Peu probables ou improbables lui paraissent, en revanche, les hypothèses avancées pour Cordoue (Cercadilla), Caric±in Grad, Serdica, Sardes, Éphèse, Aphrodisias et Apamée. Dans bien des cas, il s’agit tout au plus de luxueuses domus privées. En appendice sont rappelés les monuments pour lesquels l’identification anciennement proposée comme palais de gouverneur a été définitivement écartée. [J.-M. C.]

Book

  • Swift, E. and Lavan, L. (2008). Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology 5). [Online]. Lavan, L. A., Swift, E. V. and Putzeys, T. eds. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. Available at: http://www.brill.com/objects-context-objects-use.

Book section

  • Lavan, L. (2018). Chronology in Late Antiquity: A lesson from the Palaestra. In: Laubry, N., Zevi, F. and Cébeillac-Gervasoni, M. eds. Terzo Seminario Ostiense. Rome: Ecole Francaise de Rome. Available at: https://books.openedition.org/efr/3814.
    This article deals with the fundamental problem of working in Ostia : how to devise a respectable chronology for a city that was mostly cleared of soil in a few years, with the aid of railways and poor families, for the World Exhibition of 1942. In the absence of photographs and serious notes, we have little to fall back on. I offer a field methodology against despair, applied to the difficult case of the Palaestra. What we need to do is clean up large areas, establish phases between them, and undertake selective excavation of pottery-rich rubbish deposits. From the resultant Harris Matrix, a more nuanced history of Ostia can emerge, of late antique centuries, extending far beyond the « Hadrianic » fantasy of Mussolini. The scale of this exercise makes it possible to assess the reliability and relative utility of different dating methods. Most early methods now fail, but others remain. It seems that future chronology will depend on an uncomfortable cohabitation of old and new.
  • Hori, Y. and Lavan, L. (2015). The Potential of Laser Scanning for the Study of Roman Buildings. In: Lavan, L. A. and Mulryan, M. eds. Field Methods and Post-Excavation Techniques in Late Antique Archaeology. Leiden: Brill, pp. 595-660. Available at: http://www.brill.com/products/book/field-methods-and-post-excavation-techniques-late-antique-archaeology.
  • Lavan, L. (2012). From Polis to Emporion? Retail and Regulation in the Late Antique City. In: Trade and Markets in Byzantium. Washington D. C.: Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposia and Colloquia, pp. 333-377.
  • Lavan, L. (2012). Fora and Agorai in Mediterranean Cities: Fourth and Fifth centuries AD. In: Bowden, W., Gutteridge, A. and Machado, C. eds. Social and Political Life in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology 3.1). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, pp. 195-249.
  • Lavan, L. (2011). The End of the Temples: Towards a New Narrative. In: Lavan, L. A. and Mulryan, M. eds. The Archaeology of Late Antique ’Paganism. Leiden: Brill, p. xv-ixv. Available at: http://www.brill.com/archaeology-late-antique-paganism.
  • Lavan, L. (2011). Political Talismans? Residual ’Pagan’ Statues in Late Antique Public Space. In: Lavan, L. A. and Mulryan, M. eds. The Archaeology of Late Antique ’Paganism’. Leiden: Brill, pp. 439-478. Available at: http://www.brill.com/archaeology-late-antique-paganism.
  • Lavan, L. (2008). Explaining Technological Change: Innovation, Stagnation, Recession and Replacement. In: Lavan, L. A., Zanini, E. and Sarantis, A. eds. Technology in Transition A.D. 300-650 (Late Antique Archaeology 4). Leiden: Brill, p. xv-xl.
  • Lavan, L., Swift, E. and Putzeys, T. (2008). Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity: Sources, Approaches, and Field Methods. In: Lavan, L. A., Swift, E. V. and Putzeys, T. eds. Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology 5). Leiden: Brill, pp. 1-44.
    This introduction to the volume discusses sources for the reconstruction of material spatiality, problems with the evidence, potential approaches to interpretation, and methodologies of field archaeology in relation to the recovery of the high quality evidence necessary for spatial approaches to the material.
  • Lavan, L. (2008). Religious Space in Late Antiquity. In: Lavan, L. A., Swift, E. V. and Putzeys, T. eds. Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology 5). Leiden: Brill, pp. 159-201.
  • Lavan, L. (2008). Social Space in Late Antiquity. In: Lavan, L. A., Swift, E. V. and Putzeys, T. eds. Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology 5). Leiden: Brill, pp. 129-157.
  • Putzeys, T. and Lavan, L. (2008). Commercial Space in Late Antiquity. In: Lavan, L. A., Swift, E. V. and Putzeys, T. eds. Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology 5). Leiden: Brill, pp. 81-109.
  • Lavan, L. (2008). Political Space in Late Antiquity. In: Lavan, L. A., Swift, E. V. and Putzeys, T. eds. Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity (Late Archaeology 5). Leiden: Brill, pp. 111-128.
  • Swift, E. (2008). Decorated Vessels: The Function of Decoration in Late Antiquity. In: Lavan, L. A., Swift, E. V. and Putzeys, T. eds. Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology 5). Leiden: Brill, pp. 385-412.
    This paper re-integrates decoration with the function of the object and with its social context in Late Antiquity. It examines the way that decoration prescribes the function of objects, for example, through the representation upon an object of the activity for which the object is intended to be used. It is suggested that in some instances decoration may also be matched to the interior decor of a room, i.e., to the context within which an object was used. These correlations of decoration with function and context correspond to Roman ideas of ‘appropriateness’ in decor and, in turn, contribute to the structuring of social identities and social relations in Late Antiquity.
  • Lavan, L. (2008). A. H. M. Jones and "The Cities" 1964-2004. In: Gwynn, D. ed. A.H.M. Jones and the Later Roman Empire. Leiden: Brill, pp. 167-192.
  • Lavan, L. (2008). The Monumental Streets of Sagalassos in Late Antiquity: An Interpretative Study. In: Ballet, P., Dieudonné-Glad, N. and Saliou, C. eds. La Rue Dans l’Antiquité. Presses Universitaires de Rennes, pp. 201-214.
  • Lavan, L. (2007). The Agorai of Antioch and Constantinople as seen by John Chrysostom. In: Drinkwater, J. and Salway, B. eds. Wolf Liebeschuetz Reflected. London: University of London, Institute of Classical Studies, pp. 157-167.
  • Lavan, L. (2006). Political Life in Late Antiquity: A Bibliographic Essay. In: Bowden, W., Gutteridge, A. and Machado, C. eds. Social and Political Life in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology 3.1). Leiden: Brill, pp. 1-40.
  • Bowden, W. and Lavan, L. (2004). The Late Antique Countryside: An Introduction. In: Bowden, W., Lavan, L. A. and Machado, C. eds. Recent Research on the Late Antique Countryside (Late Antique Archeaology 2). Leiden: Brill, p. xvii-xxvi.
    This book surveys a variety of themes relating to the late antique countryside. It covers social and economic life, the archaeology of pilgrimage and the fate of rural temples, villas, monasteries and landscape change. There is a special section on rural survey in Turkey, a region of the Roman empire for which our knowledge of the countryside is poor. A bibliographic essay, on the rural archaeology of the entire empire, provides an excellent introduction to the volume and to the subject as a whole. Essays range from Northern Gaul to Egypt and draw on many sources: from papyrology and epigraphy to field survey and paleobotany. A complex picture of differing regional trajectories emerges, whilst cultural change is everywhere apparent, in phenomena such as Christianisation, settlement nucleation and fortification. Contributors include Beat Brenk, Beatrice Caseau, Douglas Baird, Archie Dunn, Etienne Louis, Fabio Saggioro, John Mitchell, Joseph Patrich, Lynda Mulvin, Carla Sfameni, Marcus Rautman, Peter Sarris, Frank Trombley, Joanita Vroom and Marc Waelkens.
  • Lavan, L. (2003). Late Antique Urban Topography: From Architecture to Human Space. In: Lavan, L. A. and Bowden, W. eds. Theory and Practice in Late Antique Archaeology (Late Antique Archaeology 1). Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 171-195.
  • Lavan, L. (2003). Late Antique Archaeology: An Introduction. In: Lavan, L. A. and Bowden, W. eds. Theory and Practice in Late Antique Archaeology (Late Antique Archaeology 1). Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, p. vii-xvi.
  • Lavan, L. (2003). The Political Topography of the Late Antique City: Activity Spaces in Practice. In: Lavan, L. A. and Bowden, W. eds. Theory and Practice in Late Antique Archaeology (Late Antique Archaeology 1). Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 314-340.

Edited book

  • Lavan, L. and Mulryan, M. (2015). Field Methods and Post-Excavation Techniques in Late Antique Archaeology. [Online]. Lavan, L. A. and Mulryan, M. eds. Leiden: Brill. Available at: http://www.brill.com/products/book/field-methods-and-post-excavation-techniques-late-antique-archaeology.
  • Lavan, L. (2015). Local Economies? Production and Exchange of Inland Regions in Late Antiquity. [Online]. Lavan, L. A. ed. Leiden: Brill. Available at: http://www.brill.com/products/book/local-economies.
    The Roman economy was operated significantly above subsistence level, with production being stimulated by both taxation and trade. Some regions became wealthy on the basis of exporting low-value agricultural products across the Mediterranean. In contrast, it has usually been assumed that the high costs of land transport kept inland regions relatively poor. This volume challenges these assumptions by presenting new research on production and exchange within inland regions. The papers, supported by detailed bibliographic essays, range from Britain to Jordan. They reveal robust agricultural economies in many interior regions. Here, some wealth did come from high value products, which could defy transport costs. However, ceramics also indicate local exchange systems, capable of generating wealth without being integrated into inter-regional trading networks. The role of the State in generating production and exchange is visible, but often co-existed with local market systems.
  • Lavan, L. (2011). The Archaeology of Late Antique ‘Paganism’ (Late Antique Archaeology 7). [Online]. Lavan, L. A. and Mulryan, M. eds. Leiden: Brill. Available at: http://www.brill.com/archaeology-late-antique-paganism.
  • Lavan, L. (2008). Technology in Transition AD 300-650 (Late Antique Archaeology 4). [Online]. Lavan, L. A., Zanini, E. and Sarantis, A. eds. Leiden: Brill. Available at: http://www.brill.com/technology-transition-ad-300-650.
  • Lavan, L. (2007). Housing in Late Antiquity: From Palaces to Shops (Late Antique Archaeology 3.2). [Online]. Vol. 3.2. Lavan, L. A., Özgenel, L. and Sarantis, S. eds. Leiden: Brill. Available at: http://www.brill.com/housing-late-antiquity-volume-32.
  • Bowden, W., Lavan, L.A. and Machado, C. eds. (2004). Recent Research on the Late Antique Countryside (Late Antique Archaeology 2). [Online]. Vol. 2. Leiden: Brill. Available at: http://www.brill.com/recent-research-late-antique-countryside.
    This book surveys a variety of themes relating to the late antique countryside. It covers social and economic life, the archaeology of pilgrimage and the fate of rural temples, villas, monasteries and landscape change. There is a special section on rural survey in Turkey, a region of the Roman empire for which our knowledge of the countryside is poor. A bibliographic essay, on the rural archaeology of the entire empire, provides an excellent introduction to the volume and to the subject as a whole. Essays range from Northern Gaul to Egypt and draw on many sources: from papyrology and epigraphy to field survey and paleobotany. A complex picture of differing regional trajectories emerges, whilst cultural change is everywhere apparent, in phenomena such as Christianisation, settlement nucleation and fortification
  • Lavan, L.A. and Bowden, W. eds. (2003). Theory and Practice in Late Antique Archaeology (Antique Archaeology 1). [Online]. Vol. 1. Leiden: Brill. Available at: http://www.brill.com/theory-and-practice-late-antique-archaeology.
  • Lavan, L.A. ed. (2001). Recent Research in Late Antique Urbanism (Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 42). Vol. 42. Portsmouth, Rhode Island: Journal of Roman Archaeology.

Review

  • Lavan, L. (2009). What killed the Ancient City? Chronology, Causation, and Traces of Continuity. Journal of Roman Archaeology [Online] 22:803-812. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1047759400021528.
  • Lavan, L. (2003). Christianity, the City and the End of Antiquity. Journal of Roman Archaeology 2003:705-710.

Thesis

  • Bates, A. (2017). Making the Invisible Visible; New Survey and Investigation of the Iron Age Hillforts of Bigbury and Oldbury in Kent.
    Bigbury and Oldbury are two significant monuments of the Iron Age, yet their dates, use and importance are not well understood. This Thesis has employed a series of methods and approaches, with the aim of addressing the shortfall in our knowledge. The results help to place these sites in a wider landscape and contextual setting.
    Oldbury, at an area of 50ha, is one of the largest Hillforts in Britain; despite the scale of endeavour in constructing its massive earthwork circuit, it has been suggested by its excavators that it was probably not permanently occupied. This research, (in particular by the application of an extensive geophysics survey of over 50% of the interior), revealed that this suggestion requires further examination. The survey identified potential zones of activity within the interior and a possible indication that there may have been a smaller Hillfort or enclosure before the present ramparts were constructed. The research also brings together all of the available previous studies of the site for comparative analysis as well as relevant finds data from the Kent HER and other sources. Coupled with this data, the study investigates the location and visibility of Oldbury within the Iron Age landscape to understand the possible uses of the monument.
    Famous for its multifarious ironwork hoard, the Hillfort at Bigbury is thought by some to have been a forerunner to present day Canterbury and there is a consensus amongst the modern commentators that Bigbury was the Hillfort attacked by Caesar during his 54BC campaign in Britain (though this remains unproven). In fact, beyond the ramparts, little detail is known of the pre-historic character of Bigbury or the hinterland of Bigbury and how the monument sits within the much wider Iron Age landscape. This research, using a combination of disciplines, shows that stratified and dateable archaeology exists around the immediate Hillfort environs, much of it at depth not easily detectable with standard geophysics equipment. The results of the present study also reveal a much longer chronology to the site than hitherto realized, showing that an area just outside of the ramparts was occupied probably during the Bronze Age and through to the early Iron Age. When this is coupled with the evidence of Middle and Late Iron Age activity previously discovered on the ridge (a probable ancient route way), which the ramparts straddle, it clearly demonstrates a continuity of settlement in and around the Hillfort for at least 1500 years before the Romans arrived.
    This study also shows that the complex at Bigbury is not only the visible, spatially discrete, centred ramparts we see today but was probably part of a two tier complex of linear earthworks. One of these two is around 150m from the south eastern ramparts and could define the extent of the Hillfort overlooking the River Stour and the second is more extensive, stretching back west along the ridge several kilometres, putting Bigbury potentially in a similar category to that of the oppida at Chichester and Colchester with their associated dyke system.
  • Veitch, J. (2017). Acoustics of Roman Ostia: Aural Architecture, Noise and Urban Space in the Second Century CE.
    This thesis introduces a methodology for the acoustic analysis of Roman urban space, through an in-depth study of Ostia Antica. The archaeological site of Ostia offers the opportunity to analyse the acoustic effects of second century CE building techniques in a variety of spaces. The acoustic analyses introduced are the first application of a quantitative and qualitative sensory study approach to Roman urban space. The original approach draws on digital humanities tools in combination with traditional archaeological site analyses in the interpretation of noise and acoustics.
    The thesis is developed in three main parts. First, an exploration of the Roman literary sources through a digital humanities approach, which contextualises the literary urban image of noise in Rome. Noise was a key element in the social perception of urban space. The Latin literary sources display an urban image of noise, especially noise relating to movement. This concern did not manifest itself in legal control of noise, but instead relied on social stigma and moral judgements. Second, an acoustic model was developed and analysed some of the primary building types and streets in second century CE Ostia. Sound isolation was only possible in certain places, a product of other construction techniques and design choices. Third, a social historical investigation of the everyday rhythms of work, which were the background noise of Ostia, was undertaken to develop an approach to urban divisions of space not visible in architecture. These three parts are grounded in spatial and social theory, drawing on work from urban geography and sensory studies.
    This thesis shows the importance of acoustic analysis in understanding Roman architecture and urbanism in the second century CE. It develops an original approach to modelling and analysing architecture through acoustics. The application of such a model to the urban arrangement and layout of a Roman site has not been undertaken before. This thesis, therefore, forms an original contribution to the field of classical archaeology through the implementation and interpretation of acoustic modelling of partially preserved buildings, as well as the models application to the urban arrangement of second century CE Ostia.
  • Walsh, D. (2016). Development, Decline and Demise: The Cult of Mithras Ca. AD 270 - 430.
    This thesis provides an overview of the cult of Mithras from the late third to early fifth centuries across the entire Roman world. It seeks to illustrate what developments occurred in the cult during this period and how it subsequently came to an end. In doing so, it elucidates alterations in the environment and architecture of mithraea, the patrons and adherents of the cult, and Mithraic ritual practices. It demonstrates that by the fourth century the cult of Mithras had become increasingly localised, with a significant degree of variation evident among different Mithraic communities. Furthermore, it will be shown that, contrary to the traditional narrative, the end of the Mithras cult was not the product of an Empire-wide persecution by Christian iconoclasts, but a more gradual process that occurred over a long period of time. Additionally, it explores whether adopting a sociological approach, as has been suggested by other scholars in the past, can be used to explain how the transformations evident in the cult may have contributed to a decline in the commitment of Mithraic adherents in the fourth century. This study contributes to the wider field of research on the late antique period in three ways. Firstly, it is to my knowledge the only analysis of a non-Christian cult in Late Antiquity to cover the entire Roman Empire and thus hopes to contribute to a greater understanding of the sacred landscape in this period. In particular, it sheds some light on areas which are generally understudied in this regard, such as the Rhine and Danube frontiers. Secondly, it seeks to place the end of a cult in this period in its sociocultural context, rather than focusing only on the evidence from cult sites alone as previous studies have often done, thus providing a more nuanced explanation for why this occurred. Finally, through comparing the Mithras cult to other cults in this period it also shows that there is little to support any notion of a uniform 'decline of paganism' in late antiquity, with various cults experiencing divergent rates of decline which began at different times.
  • Pennick Morgan, F. (2014). Dress and Personal Appearance in Late Antiquity: The Clothing of the Middle and Lower Classes.
    This thesis examines the dress and personal appearance of members of the middle and lower classes during Late Antiquity. Although members of this social stratum are often represented in Late Antique written sources, their clothing is rarely described in any detail, nor can artistic depictions be relied upon to illustrate their garments realistically.

    Information has therefore been assembled on garments and garment fragments from over 52 museum and archaeological collections, in order to assess the ways that cloth and clothing was made, embellished, cared for and recycled during this period. Together with knowledge gained by making and modelling exact replicas based on extant garments, this has enabled both the accurate depiction of the dress of ordinary people during this period, and the more precise interpretation of Late Antique descriptions and depictions of the clothed figure.

    By further assessing this information using different theoretical approaches including that of ‘object biography’, this thesis goes on to explore the ways in which cultural meaning is invested in clothing, and what this tells us both about the people who made, wore and used it, and about the society of which they were a part.
  • Kamani, S. (2014). Neglected Architectural Decoration from the Late Antique Meditteranean City : Public Porticoes, Small Baths, shops/Workshops, and ’middle class’ Houses.
    This thesis examines the neglected architectural decoration from the late antique Mediterranean city (ca. 300-650 A.D.). It aims to address the omission in scholarly literature of any discussion about the decoration of non-monumental secular buildings, namely porticoes flanking streets, agorai, macella and ornamental plazas, small public baths, shops/workshops and ‘middle class’ houses.
    The decoration of non-monumental secular buildings has been overlooked at the expense of more lofty buildings and remains thus far one of the least known aspects of the late antique city. Considering that public porticoes and their associated structures (shops and workshops), along with small public baths and
    ‘middle class’ houses were crucial elements and accounted for the large part of any urban built environment starting from the Hellenistic period, the examination of their architectural decoration in this thesis represents the first attempt to redress this imbalance.
    Drawing upon an array of archaeological evidence, written sources, and depictions this thesis attempts to reconstruct how public porticoes, small public baths, shops/workshops, and ‘middle class’ houses might have looked on a daily basis. The geographical area entailed in this study presents more challenges than when focusing on a single site or province. Such a cross-regional approach of the topic allows to consider the decoration of public these structures as both as part of the history of individual cities and as part of Mediterranean-wide trends, guiding as such toward a more reliable visualisation of the late antique built environment.
    The picture conveyed in the Mediterranean cities is inevitably not the same. It is argued that as much as they shared similarities on the decoration of these structures, so did they also vary. The topic of this thesis is broad and definite answers cannot be given, nevertheless, it is hoped that a preliminary synthesis can be
    offered as a basis for future work.
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