Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity (Late Antique Archaeology)

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Some years ago, I refused to accept the identification of a number of grandiose houses in the Agora in Athens as the residences of the philosophers, with the exception of the possible house of Proclus. However, there is nothing to differentiate between these houses and others of the generic aristocratic type that I have dis- cussed above. Hanoune has also shown that some sentences may well reflect more personal choices, as, for example, in houses at Cirta The righteous is his own law for him- self : Justus sibi lex est and Bulla Regia Put your hopes in yourself.

I and II. Balty has argued that a similar transformation is apparent in the philosophi- cal cycle found under the cathedral of Apamea, 38 where Christian imagery itself sometimes borrowed from pagan iconography, as in the example of the Apostolic College was reversed to reflect pagan ideology. In some houses, as for example in Carthage, the tone could be Christian or pagan Omnia Dei sunt; agimur, non agimus , using a vocabulary, however, that reflected the same philosophical debates.

Whatever the identity or religious persuasion of the owner, all these residences are of a type which is present throughout the whole Mediterranean, within both urban and rural environments. They feature the same repertoire of architectural devices reflecting the same ideology, which mixed otium and politics in a setting of halls and triclinia, fountains, nymphea and baths.

They are decorated with mosaics, paintings and statuary, which display mythological and philosophical themes including portraits and the sentiments of philosophers and poets or celebrating Hesiodian Works and Days with scenes of rural life and hunting. The statuary in particular is indicative of the antiquarian taste of the aristocrats, and features statues collected from Hellenistic or earlier Roman periods, or so- phisticated copies from the workshops of the Aphrodisian sculptors and their followers.

Other Symbols of Status The elites, whether they were urban-based as was predominant in the East and in Northern Africa, or whether they lived in the coun- tryside as in Britain, Gaul, Spain and Sicily, shared the same way of life, deriving the majority of their income from land. This lifestyle was also adopted by the ruling classes of the Vandals, Visigoths, and Franks.

At the end of the 5th c. When considering, for example, some of the huge houses in the Djebel Zawiye the Syrian limestone massif , at El Bara, and the splendid mausolea with pyramidal roofs at Hass and El Bara fig. Around and after , a certain Megas offered two silver jugs now in the Abegg Founda- Fig. These were found in the famous Kaper Koraon treasury, reconstructed some years ago by Marlia Mundell Mango. Under Maurice, he was elevated to the function of curator and was the recipient of a letter from Childebert Why did he give all these pieces to the church of Kaper Koraon?

He may well have been a native of the village itself, or perhaps possessed some land in the vicinity. The same may be true of other donors to Kaper Koraon, including Sergios, tribune and argyroprates E 33, 34, 36 , and the magistrianos Symeon E1. John, the bishop of Kyrenia , another Syrian donor who contributed to the Phela treasure E66 , was perhaps born in Phela or had previously been a priest in the village. Even in death, the elites retained their pre-eminence, evidenced by grandiose mausolea or by a tomb with a privileged position in- side the church.

Naturally, bishops, who were generally members of aristocratic families, would have the best places inside the church or in the first rows of tombs near and around the apse, along with 42 Mundell Mango Triclinium of Stelecos residence Blanchard-Leme M. However, high-ranking members of the laity recommended by leading churchmen were also accepted, even though on some occasions saints such as St.

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Thecla, reportedly re- belled against the introduction of lay people. Equally, although the Late Roman dead were not buried in their full finery or with their weap- ons, as were the barbarians, they could be represented in this fash- ion on their sarcophagi, as with a recently published example found in the Theodosian Walls fig.

Some metal dress ornaments are also symbolic of rank, such as fibulae of Fig. El Bara, mausoleum For figs see plates. These items could some- times be imperial gifts. Elite wealth is also well attested by silver vessels, which were ac- quired for domestic use as well as being donated to churches as we have already seen, and by the widespread appearance of gold jewellery, attributed to the Near-East and dated from the 5th to the 7th centuries inclusive.

The Middle Classes The Urban Middle Classes Between the ever-present rich and the invisible poor, it is rather difficult to define a middle-class. Certainly, a family belonging to this group was always vulnerable to the dangers of impoverishment. This was especially true of widows and orphans, helped by the church and ranked among the poor and destitute, but belonging in fact to the fragile margin of the middle class as brilliantly shown by Peter Brown. The Church recruited many of its priests and clerics, and even bishops, from the middle classes, who included shop-keepers, craftsmen, low-ranking state employees, soldiers and non commis- sioned officers, as well as free-peasants or tenants outside the cities.

Many of these people could read and write and a good half may have owned their houses or shops. They belonged to the populus or plebs and some of them were members of the curia. This number fell to 10, toward the end of the 6th c. Most of them were members of guilds and participated in the activities of the circus factions.

For this reason their skills were much appreciated. Chosroes relocated those of Antioch after the capture in the city in , in order to stimulate Persian crafts. He established them in a new city equipped with a hippodrome, providing a further indica- tion of their involvement in factions. They may have represented a desirable source of wealth production in the eyes of a foreign sov- ereign.

Their pride in their skills is evidenced by the mention of their job in their epitaphs, which are very specific about these activities, using terms that indicate a high degree of craft specialisation. These epitaphs were displayed in normal graves, and are certainly not indicative of poverty. There are examples of even richer graves, which indicate a social level closer to that of the curiales. At Sardis the tomb of two high officers ducenarii of an imperial factory of shields and weapons that was established in the city in the early 4th c.

The vaulted tomb of the second officer, Chrysanthios, who boasts of being a zographos was painted by his own hand. Jewellers argyropratai were also very rich and considered similar to bankers. Naucleroi ship- owners were of differing social status, depending on their level of success, and their popularity and wealth is often indicated by texts. They were connected with merchants emporoi whose activity was also lucrative. Craftsmen who worked in textiles were also among the wealthier citizens: the Tyre necropolis has shown that eighty textile specialists constructed one or more monuments for themselves.

They were not the wealthiest of the Tyrians but obviously belonged 50 Zuckermann For the plebs of Rome, see Purcell Liebeschuetz does not connect Guilds and circus factions see, however, We possess their shops in the large emboloi of the cities. Examples have been found in Scythopolis Beth Shean and in Beirut, where the numbers of the shops were marked on the pavement. The excavations at Sardis, which was burnt by the Sassanids in , allow us through Crawfords fine publication to glimpse the interiors of these shops, which included restaurants, hardware stores, glass sellers, and dye workshops fig.

Shops participating in the same activities tend to be clustered together, reminding us of the presence of the thriving craftsmens guilds, who seem to have been particularly influential at Sardis where a violent strike in was ended by a sworn declaration of the builders corporation. The discovery within the shops of objects decorated with crosses or with menorahs probably indicates that the shopkeepers belonged to two communities: the Jews around the synagogue and the Christians further to the west.

However, the economic situation of craftsmen and shopkeepers varied greatly in relation to the size and importance of the shop, the nature of the crafts practised cop- persmiths, for example, were poorer than the argyropratai and chrysochooi 54 and the location of the shop, whether in city and country. Craftsmen were also active in Egyptian cities, at least so the texts inform us, although archaeology has not yet produced much evi- dence.

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The restricted nature of this space suggests that if they were living in this place, we may assume that they were on a low income. In general, however, archaeological evidence for free craftsmen and shopkeepers is rather scarce and does not allow us to determine the position of the various crafts within a social hier- archy, for which we are obliged to use the evidence of texts, inscrip- tions, and papyri. A large number of artisans are mentioned in funerary inscriptions, those of Korykos being of particular note in this respect.

As noted above, we are told by the sources that some were living above their shops but this may not have been the general rule. Some public spaces were also progressively turned over to private dwellings as in Luni, and in a more coherent way at Cyrene where from the 3rd c. In these two cases, the urban attributes of the site were rejected by the populace, even though Heraclius rebuilt an aqueduct in Gortyn. Small houses were clustered together and were inhabited by craftsmen evidenced by glass kilns, pottery workshops, metal workshops and by peasants evidenced by agricultural tools and equipment like rotation querns, olive and wine-presses.

At Gortyn, there seems to be little differ- ence between the houses of the mid 5th c. However, at Olympia the two phases give a different impression. The houses built prior to the earthquake of which probably destroyed the first late antique settlement are composed of large rooms, although these are no longer arranged around a peristyle. Following the earthquake, the houses that were built between the second half of the 6th c. They give an im- pression of impoverishment but the inhabitants still belong to a 57 For Luni, see Ward Perkins For Cyrene see Sodini Some social differentiation is shown within the graves, but wealthy people are absent.

Archaeology in Turkey has also revealed settlements that may be representative of the habitations of the middle classes. These are sometimes labelled as towns, and include, for example, Mokissos and also Levisi. Part of this last site is clustered on the island of Aghios Nikolaos and is known to have been a bishopric during the reign of Heraclius. More frequently these settlements are known as bourgades, of which good examples had been found at Alakisla, at Arif in Lycia and near Osmaniye in Caria.

At least some may be the archaeological equivalent of the rich metrokomiae near Antioch de- scribed by Libanius, like Imma, or to the komai of the provinces of Palestine, Arabia, and, in eastern Europe, Dacia and Thracia. These inscriptions record three cousins, two of whom were married to each other, a union which was not authorized by the church, who lived in a fortified house set in a village.

They were sufficiently learned to write two inscriptions in verse boasting of their family and their wealth, thereby providing a glimpse of the social and economic milieu of an Apamene peasantry who were proud of their origins and culture.

The peasants were no longer the builders of their houses but instead paid specialised workers, either in money or in kind. We can also see differences in the size of the houses, which vary between the larger houses with six to ten rooms and smaller ones with five rooms or less. Can we go one step further and iden- 60 Sodini ; Ruggieri and Giordano ; Dagron ; Gatier When we try to decide whether the village was occupied by free peasants or by tenants, the same difficulties arise.

Although we may surmise that the largest houses may perhaps not belong to tenants, for the remainder it is difficult to draw a line between the houses of free peasants and those of tenants. However, these distinctions are blurred by the subsequent evolution of the villages. Some, for example, may have refused to pay taxes to their landlord and acquired freedom or became the clients of a high ranking army officer, while at the opposite extreme, others may have relinquished their freedom to become the possession of a single landlord, without adjusting their names to the new situation.

In terms of their layout there is not a great deal of difference between Baziher and a village like Dehes, even if the former is surrounded by a wall and does not develop between the 4th and 6th c. It remains clear that there was a significant degree of social mobility in 6th c. Syria and other regions. The wealthy, the bish- ops, the monks and the peasantry were all dependent upon one another for their wellbeing and that of their community.

Christian- ity, in particular, was a unifying force in villages, and not only those in Syria. In the Negev, the development of the hinterland was due to sig- nificant demographic pressure and bourgades and even cities were flourishing in the early Christian period. Their resources may not have been principally derived from pilgrimage or from caravan traffic but rather from cultivation. Vineyards were important and are well attested archaeologically by the holes left by each vine and by the wine-presses, as well as by texts such as the Life of Hilarion. This wine 63 Tchalenko In regard to the ownership of land, at Nessana the land was held by free owners with no hint of colonus or emphyteusis, except perhaps in three documents.

The family had more than acres or The fields were either leased or farmed by rural labourers, the second being more dependant upon the landlord. Michael Mackensen tried to explain the presence of these terra sigillata pottery workshops in a rural en- vironment from the beginning of the 4th c.

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He suggested that they belonged to landlords who had also at their command the means of the potterys regional and trans-Mediterra- nean distribution. The potters would therefore be the conductores of the landlords workshops. There is certainly evidence for such an arrangement in Egypt during the 3rd c. Equally, what does this tell us about the social status of potters working in the outskirts of the cit- ies, in Africa and elsewhere, especially in the East? It remains dif- ficult to define the social context of these crafts using archaeologi- cal evidence in isolation. The society that emerged from the documents found in the ex- cavations in Palestina III or from Egyptian papyri was apparently a peaceful one, therefore, where civil law was respected, with soldiers and civilians, landowners and peasants co-existing with one another.

For example, the weight of taxation could threaten the income of the craftsmen. The Syrian Life of Symeon Stylites relates many inter- ventions of the saint in cases where the rich were oppressing wid- ows, orphans and the poor. One is of particular interest because it provides us with the precise circumstances surrounding Symeons intervention. In this case, a curialis of Antioch, who had received for one year as pater civitatis perhaps the revenues of the city, decided to triple the yearly tax received by the city from the poor who dyed skin red.

The counsel- lor refused and became sick. He asked all his villages and the priests in them to persuade the saint to pray for him. In this in- stance, however, God was inflexible and he died. We may also re- call the joy described in the Life of Josuah the Stylite when Anastasius suppressed the chrysargyron that had condemned so many crafts- men and shopkeepers to poverty. In the countryside also, taxes and rents were a permanent threat. Theodoret of Cyrus, as we have already mentioned, wrote to Ariobindus, the owner of the village of Sergitheum, to request that the peasants of this village, who could not give the quantity of olive oil requested as rent, be released from their obligations for a year.

An inscription found on a mosaic at Kefr Zelih in Apamene has revealed part of a local chronicle which re- fers to a frost that killed the olive-trees on the 27th of January , which may have also reduced the peasants to poverty. The most famous account of calamities combining plague, locusts and famine occurred at Edessa in and gives a clear evidence how eas- ily a famine may break out, disturbing shaking all the society to its foundations such as that of Basil of Caesarea, Severus 69 Doran Their workshops already existed in the 1st c.

The generosity of a wealthy citizen of Hama, paying salaries for unemployed craftsmen, shows also their vulnerability: IGLS V, n o Mango A pauper is even represented on the frame of the Megalopsychia mosaic found at Yakto near Antioch fig. Texts and inscriptions also frequently mention hospices, hospitals, and hostels for the poor, called xenodochia and ptochotropheia.

One example, which celebrates the construction of an hospital in , was found in Firkia and is now housed in the Museum of Maaret en Noman. Their houses were split into smaller apartments or farms with agricultural equip- ments such as the olive press in Maison de lHuilerie at Salamis in Cyprus. There are, however, an increasing number of shops and workshops as for example in the episcopeion of Apamea , indicating a certain triumph of the middle classes.

Written sources may sug- gest a different picture, with old Christian families in Damascus and Fig. Plan and possible reconstruction of a house dated at the end of 6th c; beginning of 7th. Vlling fig. In conclusion, social structures are hard to trace by excavation only. In some respects, recognition of social structures is a by-prod- uct of archaeology, the real task being to interpret the evolution of the archaeological deposits and structures within their own particu- lar context. We may note differing standards of living, some higher than others, in contemporary and successive contexts, although their meaning is often difficult to interpret.

In a normal excavation, so- cial contrasts are not accentuated, objects do not intrinsically symbolise wealth or poverty and inscriptions are infrequent. For the purpose of this paper, I was obliged to draw upon the entire corpus of Late Roman archaeology and to stress particular cases from which conclusions can be drawn, almost invariably with the help of epigraphy.

We discover palaces of known emperors, governors or ministers and on this basis, feel justified in attributing residences that present more or less the same features to this same aristocratic milieu. Similarly, jewellery, and dress-fittings can also indicate membership of the upper classes. From this way of life, we can make suggestions as to the origins of this wealth, which may derive from properties given to tenants or farmers or other activi- ties, the nature of which can only be guessed. In relation to the shopkeepers and the craftsmen, the few examples that we have show little sign of luxury, and I have tried to interpret their social struc- ture in line with what we know of the social status accorded to the different crafts and the new definitions given by Zuckermann.

For the peasantry, the situation is more complex because we have no access to their relationship with the land. We may suspect that the difference between a small free landowner and a farmer may not have been marked, while the size and decor of the houses can give indications of social status and allow us to perceive an hierarchy among the peasantry. However, we need criteria based on known landowners, as is the case at Nessana due to the evidence of the papyri , which instantly allows us a much deeper understanding of these issues, or at least so we believe.

There is still a gap between the material remains of anonymous individuals, and their interpretation in terms of social structures. We have to face this issue using different hypotheses, which are increas- ingly based on statistics and models. Our main concern, however, must always be to construct our theories regarding social structure using well-established facts. Balty Un programme philosophique sous la cathdrale dApame : lensemble no-platonocien de lempereur Julien, in Texte et image, Actes du colloque international de Chantilly oct.

Francovich and G. Noy Florence Balmelle C. Ouzoulias, C. Pellecuer, C. Raynaud, P. Stern Paris Blockley, R. A Retrospective After Two Millennia, edd. Raban and K. Prix de la terre, rente foncire et prix des crales dans lEgypte romano-byzantine in Economie antique. Prix et formation des prix dans les conomies antiques edd J. Andreau, P. Briant, and R. A propos du rle des curiales dans la leve des impts, in La fin de la cit antique et le dbut de la cit mdivale, ed.

Lepelley Bari Deichmann F. Lepelley Bari 86 Feissel D. Sevcenko and I. A City Forgotten and Rediscovered edd. Frsn and Z. Fiema Helsinki King and A. Pour une gographie historique de la Syrie intrieure protobyzantine, in Conqute de la steppe et appropriation des terres sur les marges arides du Croissant fertile, ed. Giardina Rome Le domus tardoantiche di Roma come sensori delle trasformazioni culturali e sociali, in The Transformations of Urbs Roma in Late Antiquity, ed. Webster and M. Brown London Kraemer C. Bakirtzis Thessalonica in press.

Laniado A. Svoronos Rethymno reprinted in C. Malte Johansen I. Holum, A. Raban, and J. Burns and J. Eadie Michigan Pavolini C. Du Caucase la Gaule, Ve s. Roug J. Tate, B. Bavant, J. Biscop, and Orssaud D. Balty Fouilles dApame de Syrie, Miscellanea, fasc. Actes du colloque de Crteil , edd. Duval et J. Picard Paris Habitat de lantiquit tardive 1 , Topoi 5 Habitat de lantiquit tardive 2 , Topoi 7 Srejovic D. Monograph 9 Cambridge, Mass. Denzer and W. Paris Tompkins I. Watt transl. Around this time the practice of furnished burial was adopted by sections of the population.

This transition has traditionally been interpreted as reflecting an expression of ethnic identity on the part of an indigenous population. This paper argues, however, that these post-Roman cemeteries are a re- flection of the more localised and fluid social structures that emerged in post-Roman Epirus rather than an attempt to construct or maintain ethnic identities. Late Antique Ethnicity and National Archaeologies in the Southern Balkans In the late 6th and early 7th centuries, tribes of Slavonians report- edly overran, among other areas, the provinces of Epirus Nova and Epirus Vetus, forcing much of the existing population to migrate elsewhere.

The exact nature of this incursion and the extent of subsequent Slavic occupation have been contentious subjects since Greece and Albania were established as nation states in the 19th c. The demands of Albanian and Greek nationalism required that the populations of both countries were ethnically distinct from those which surrounded them. In both countries a process was envisaged in which successive incoming groups were assimilated into a domi- nant autochthonous culture, which thereby retained its ethnic in- tegrity.


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This gave rise to a very particular brand of culture-historic archaeology, which played a key role in the establishment of ethnogenesis myths in both countries. In Greece, archaeology has so far played a largely passive role, providing illus- trative material for a narrative history, the basic parameters of which are broadly accepted by Greek nationals.

Under the communist re- gime of Enver Hoxha, who ruled Albania from until his death in , the archaeology of Late Antiquity was used to underpin a highly specific narrative history of the Albanian people. Archaeo- logical research also tended to reflect modern national borders. As a consequence, post-Roman Albania, although it may appear to be a very artificial construct in the same way as Roman Norfolk , is therefore a very real concept in Albanian archaeology. The basic thesis of Albanian archaeology has been a relatively simple one, namely one holding that the Albanians were the direct descendants of the Illyrians, a loose confederation of tribes who con- stituted the pre-Roman population of the western Balkans.

Accord- ing to the Albanian model they had been subjugated by the slave-owning Romans, but had never been fully assimilated into the Roman world and had consequently remained ethnically indepen- dent while under the Roman yoke. When the Roman occupation ended, the Illyrians had reasserted their independence, reoccupy- ing the sites of their earlier settlements and reviving pre-Roman forms of material culture and burial. Despite the historically-attested pres- ence of Slav settlers in the region, members of this proto-Albanian leagues from the Butrint project, and in particular the work of our Albanian col- league, Etleva Nallbani, whose forthcoming doctoral thesis promises to be a de- finitive statement on the Komani cemeteries.

I am very grateful to Etleva for allowing me to quote her research on two important issues and for pointing out some of my errors. She is, however, absolved from responsibility for those that remain for the opinions expressed. I am also very grateful to Neil Christie for his cogent criticisms of an earlier draft of the paper and to James Crow for suggesting additional ref- erences. I am also grateful to the German Archaeological Institute in Athens for permission to use photographs from Heinrich Bulles excavations on Corfu.

A new generation of Albanian scholars have similarly rejected the nationalist position of their predecessors. For a fuller discussion of the effects of Albanian and Greek nationalism on late an- tique archaeology see Bowden forthcoming , in particular Chapter 2. They are often referred to by Yugoslavian archaeologists as representing the Komani- Kruja culture, although Albanian archaeologists generally refer to them in terms of the Arbr or proto-Albanian culture. The burials were usually placed in tombs constructed of slabs of limestone although occasionally a tent-like roof was adopted reminiscent of Roman cappucino burials.

Excavation reports tend to suggest that the tombs were standing proud of the ground, although this seems to reflect the excavation tech- niques adopted rather than the way that the tombs were constructed. This style of tomb construction including the use of limestone slabs and pitched covers is highly reminiscent of Late Roman graves in Albania. These could include gilded disc brooches and crescent shaped gold earrings, which were probably imported from Byzantine Sicily, as well as local variants of the same items.

Explicit statements of the Albanian model can be found in Anamali ; Anamali On the Slavs in the Balkans see Avramea and in general Curta There is a sub- stantial body of literature on the cemeteries and associated settlements. For Komani Kalas se Dalmaces see Spahiu ; a. For Kruja see Anamali and Spahiu Popovi provides a useful summary of the evidence for the Komani-Kruja culture and a further overview is given by Anamali On the Aphiona cemetery on Corfu, see Bulle and Bowden forthcoming.

These appear to have functioned as a kind of chatelaine from which other objects were suspended. The fibulae are common to both sexes; it is unclear whether this observation is based on real osteo- logical distinctions of sex or whether it has become a self-perpetu- ating axiomatic truth. The weapons are commonly axes, accompanied by arrowheads and short daggers.

Spear heads and swords are ex- ceptional, although they appear at Komani in a form that Popovi suggests finds parallels in Merovingian and Lombard contexts. For southern Italian examples see DAngela Prendi Tab. XXII, for Lezh. Anamali and Spahiu Tab. VII, for radiate brooches from Kruja. See also Popovi There is some suggestion that material recovered from the cemeteries that was perceived as Slavic was deliberately suppressed during the communist period, although the extent to which this oc- curred is impossible to quantify E.

Nallbani pers. Anamali and Spahiu 75 for Kruja. For parallels in Lombard contexts in Italy see, for example, Tagliaferri V, V, VI. For Italian examples see Arthur with references. For the division of the grave goods on gender lines, see Spahiu a This last point is ambiguous. Although considerable effort seems to have been made in some cases for example at Aphiona to maintain an E-W orientation, at Kruja, 14 out of 28 graves had a N-S orientation, while 8 further graves were orientated NW-SE. This is particularly likely in the case of Shurdah, where the remains of the settlement may well date to the late medieval period.

The use of a furnished burial rite could also call into question the Christianity of the occupants. This issue will be discussed further below. While the case for Christianity remains unproven, it is likely that the population represented in the cemeteries was Latin speaking or at least Latin literate, as indicated by the concentration of surviving Latin toponyms in the vicinity.

This concentration of Latin place names is accompanied by a marked absence of the Slavic names that frequently occur elsewhere in Albania. However, the first documentary reference to the Albanians or Arbers appears in the 11th c. This was solved by Namik Bodinakus identification of the so-called southern Arbr culture, in which burials containing similar items to the Komani burials were found inserted into Bronze Age tumuli in the south of Albania.

A series of tumuli excavated at Piskova in the upper reaches of the Aoos river valley were of particular importance in this sense. However, the presence of the Komani type cemetery at Aphiona on Corfu, beyond the present Albanian bor- der, and more importantly, outside the area considered to have been Illyrian in antiquity, was rarely discussed. The reaction of non-Albanian archaeologists to this overtly na- tionalist interpretation of the Komani-Kruja cemeteries has been un- derstandably negative. John Wilkes has written of the highly improbable reconstruction of Illyrian history in this period, although Nicholas Hammond was more sympathetic to the idea that the Albanians were the direct descendants of the Illyrians.

The best overview of the present chronology is provided by Popovi Miraj and Zeqo This term describes the conception of the human past in terms of the history of groups whose behaviour is explained by reference to shared cul- tural norms rather than wider social, economic or environmental processes. Particular patterns of archaeological evidence were asso- ciated with particular peoples who were often equated with past and present ethnic groups. Western archaeologists now view the history of their discipline in essentially evolutionary terms, in which antiquarianism gave rise to culture historic archaeology, which in its turn was displaced by the New or processual archaeology, itself subsequently rejected and revised in post-processual or interpreta- tive theories.

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The idea of progression through a series of stages of increasing sophistication is implicit, and in many ways valid, but has imbued the discipline with a fear of quiescence or regression. Environmental changes in the Jebleh plain Syria. Contextual analysis at Sagalassos In: Objects in context, objects in use: material spatiality in late Antiquity, ed. Late Antique Archaeology. An evaluation of analytical and interpretative methodologies for the extraction and identification of lipids associated with pottery sherds from the site of Sagalassos, Turkey Archaeometry, 49 4 — Van Neer, W and Waelkens, M Economic and ecological reconstruction at the Classical site of Sagalassos, Turkey, using pig teeth In: Pigs and humans.

Two late antique residential complexes at Sagalassos In: Housing in late Antiquity: from palaces to shops, ed. Anfruns, J and Oms, JI Buxo, R Chantier E. Bowden and J. Mitchell pers. Map after Gilkes et al. XVII, 34 , Vienna, probably 1st half of 6th c. Von Hartel and Wickhoff pls. According to the written sources, one element of the protocol was that diners reclined to eat, which was a mark of high status, with their left arm supported on a bolster, taking food from a serving table with the right hand.

Its shape is that of a half circle sofa on several banister-like legs, with a decorated bolster on its front. The rest of the dining room in this picture is left clear for the service of food, as well as for entertainment. Photo author. See also Marquardt I —11 on dining room textiles. There is a Roman relief of the 1st c. On the relief one can distinguish square cushions or cloth with tassels, as well as long sashes hanging down. Garrucci —81 Tav. A rough estimation of the amount of fragments of Coptic textiles found varies from 20, to , pieces.

Of these, most are fragments of garments or tunics, but large curtains, hangings and covers for altars, tables and mattresses have also been recovered. Although the survival of large textiles is rare, some curtains and other textile furnishings have been preserved in Egypt through their use as burial wrappings. A few linen curtains or hangings from Egypt of the 7th and 8th c.

It has been suggested that these hangings would have been used as door-curtains or room dividers rather than as window-curtains, which has also been proven by archaeological evidence in Apamea. Contemporary depictions of curtains certainly show them hanging as if provided with loops or rings.

These large rectangular textiles often have the same types of decoration as those found on garments. The most interesting form of decoration is the applied or embroidered medallion or roundel in wool or silk on a natural linen background, such as a 4th c. A late 5th c. VII; Buckton —, no. According to Baldini Lippolis 85—86, large textiles with decorated scenes of the Dionysiac cycle were also used for the dining room. In the centre is a large dish with food, surrounded by round bread rolls marked with a cross for each diner.

Below, on the right of the roundel, is a servant carrying a jug on the shoulder. The written sources also mention napkins, made of textile. Kendrick 57—58, no. It must be remembered that a fair amount of this late antique silver must have survived for many generations and remained in use for a long time before burial.

Silver was particularly used for plates and dishes, rather than other items within the dinner-service. These vessels include 4 big plates, 5 jugs or ewers, a basin, an amphora, two buckets and a casket for toilet items. In her study of the treasure, M. Mundell Mango has concluded that the vessels were probably made in various parts of the Roman Empire between around A. The Hunting Plate of the mid-late 4th c. Servants below bring more food and drink to the diners, and other vessels and containers stand in front.

A close parallel to the Hunting Plate in iconography, technique and date is the so-called Cesena plate from northern Italy now in the Biblioteca Malatestiana, Cesena , which is a silver gilt plate inlaid with niello Figs. The display of food on silver dishes can be seen on a 3rd c.

First there is a starter, such as the large silver dish with boiled eggs, arti- chokes, and legs of pork, served with a pair of small spoons and a bowl 45 Mundell Mango in Mundell Mango and Bennett Non-precious Metal Table Ware During Late Antiquity the use of non-precious metal is fairly widespread for a variety of objects found in both domestic and ecclesiastic contexts. Many copper metal objects were excavated in the Byzantine shops of Sardis in Turkey, mainly in 7th c.

The few examples of paterae that survive are usually made in bronze or copper-alloy, and may well come from Africa and Egypt. See also Swift, this volume, on the relationship between decoration and function. On this last plate the jug has a distinctive thumb-hold on top of the handle, for serving and pouring liquid from the vessel. Similar jugs with thumb-holds, made in copper-alloy or in bronze, have been recovered from excavations in Europe and at the Plemmyrion shipwreck near Syra- cuse in Sicily—sometimes found together with a patera-type vessel.

Some metal lamps were hung from chains; others were designed to be supported from below, such as a bronze lamp on a bronze lamp stand probably Egyptian dating from the 6th or 7th c. Maria ad Praesepe, Rome. Garrucci —81 98—, pls. Metal hot-water heaters have been found in archaeological contexts from the 1st to the 4th centuries, as is shown by excavated examples from Kayseri and Sardis in Turkey.

An authepsa of unalloyed copper from Sardis, for instance, has an ovoid body with tall neck and grill on the underside for hot coals, while within the vessel there is a tall tubular chimney. By the 3rd and 4th c. Various miniatures from a Middle Byzantine manuscript of the 11th c. I will restrict myself here to the shapes of table wares especially open vessels , which were used for serving food and drink, and I will not discuss utilitarian domestic wares such as cooking pots, mortaria, and amphorae. Pottery was considered in Late Antiquity to be of a lower quality than table ware of gold, silver, or glass.

Rabbula, the 5th c. Recent research by B. Pitarakis has shown that copper hot-water heaters have been found in archaeological contexts of the 5th—7th c. In her conclusion Pitarakis also uses 9th—10th c. See also Overbeeck , nn. They seem to have served as large bowls, dishes, and plates. The rim diameters of open Red Slip vessels from northern Africa can be quite large, ranging from 29 cm to nearly half a metre.

Calculations by J. Hawthorne on the mean vessel volume and the calibrated sherds volume of African Red Slip Ware show how the average vessel volume of African Red Slip Ware dishes increased during Late Roman times. The shape of the dishes looks quite similar to contemporary forms of Late Roman Red Slip Ware, such as forms 61 to 64 of Hayes type series of 69 Of course, closed forms did exist in Red Slip Wares, but mostly in early forms of the Roman period; see Hayes pls. It is well known that closed forms are less susceptible to breaking, but that is not relevant to the argument here.

In excavated contexts glass tableware is less common than pottery because it is more friable. Shapes found in the Mediterranean vary from huge plates or shallow bowls to conical and stemmed beakers, usually of a pale greenish colour. II; see also Dunbabin —64, n. According to Hayes , during the 6th—7th c. The glass shallow bowl and conical beaker in the hands of a diner and a servant are noteworthy, as well as the square glass bottles in wicker baskets for the preparation of the meal, in front of the stibadium-cushion.

They were probably stored for safety in baskets and stands, like the 6th c. At excavations in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and the Near East, many glass lamps were found in churches, but they also occurred in domestic contexts. The second group includes cup-shaped vessels with a stem, of the so-called polycandelon type, which were hung in clusters using different types of chandeliers. It is known from archaeological and pictorial evidence that both types of glass lamps continued to be used until later times. On a miniature of a 9th c.

Marquardt I Table Wares in Other Materials From the Byzantine written sources, it is noticeable that there was a clear-cut hierarchy of materials in this period, in which gold and silver occupied a higher place than other metals, glass and ceramics, while ivory was more highly regarded than ordinary bone. In fact, a late 12th c. Benedict and St. Because of the arid climate there is also much evidence for wooden furniture from Roman and Byzantine Egypt, such as beds and couches, benches, stools and chairs, tables, cupboards and aediculae household shrines racks.

Cutlery The use of cutlery seems to be limited.

Constantinople, Hospital of Sampson - weqycyjizu.cf

Exceptions to the rule were spoons. One type of spoon had an oval, pear-shaped bowl the so-called ligula, no. Another type of spoon with a small, round bowl and a long, pointed handle the so-called cochlear, no. Hauser studied 11 groups of silver cochlearia in total spoons of the mid 5th—mid 7th c. For instance, at the excavations in Corinth, most bronze, ivory or bone spoons found date to the Roman period, with considerably fewer examples from later 92 Marquardt I There is also an example of an ivory spoon ligula from Corinth with the end of the handle broken off probably of the 1st—2nd c.

Early Medieval examples made of horn have been found in Frisia, in the northern part of the Low Countries, and look similar to excavated spoons of bone and wood from England and Norway. The written sources mention knives which were made of iron with bronze or bone handles, while the wealthy classes used silver ones which were sometimes decorated with ivory handles.

Excavated examples are extremely rare and can be dated to the Roman period, for instance a silver example dating to the 3rd c. XXX, no. For instance, two uncompleted silver implements intended to be a combined fork and spoon were found at Sevington, Wiltshire. The depiction of a two-pronged fork of the Sasanian type on a 10th—early 11th c.