HISTART 340 - Archaeology of Ancient Housing
Section: 001
Term: FA 2007
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

All of us have a home, whether it consists of a whole house or a single room, and most of us have strong views about how our home should be furnished and decorated. We all know that entering into someone else’s house can reveal much about his or her character. In the same way, studying the physical remains of domestic buildings — including their decoration and furnishings — reveals much about the behaviour and character of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The course will tackle a series of topics, starting with the emergence of private housing in the Greek Dark Ages (tenth and ninth centuries B.C.) and moving forward in time through the Classical and Hellenistic periods, looking at housing from sites such as Athens, Olynthos and Vergina. Questions raised will include how and why the organisation and decoration of houses changed so dramatically over a relatively short time, and what the remains of houses tell us about broader issues such as the character of the Greek economy and the nature of social relationships. We will then move on to compare the Greek ‘core’ with the ‘diaspora’ areas, using the evidence from sites such as Himera in Sicily and Euesperides (Benghazi) in Libya. The second half of the course will cover households in various areas of the Roman world, starting in Italy itself with Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Ostia, and moving outwards to look at contrasting groups of evidence from some of the provinces, including North African settlements (such as Dougga, Bulla Regia, Volubilis, Timgad and especially, the Michigan excavations at Karanis in Egypt) and the Greek East (Ephesos, Doura Europos, Antioch). Questions raised will include the extent to which it is possible to talk about a standardised ‘Roman house’ and the degree to which housing in different areas provides evidence for the continuity of indigenous cultural traditions.

HISTART 340 - Archaeology of Ancient Housing
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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