By Peg Lourie
Nov 19, 2012
Christopher Ratté, U-M Professor of Classical Archaeology and History of Art, and Peter D. De Staebler, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, have published a new volume on their excavations at the Hellenistic and Roman town of Aphrodisias in southwest Turkey. These excavations have revealed an unusually well-preserved ancient city of approximately 10,000 inhabitants, famous in antiquity for its sanctuary of Aphrodite and its virtuoso sculptors.
Aphrodisias V: The Aphrodisias Regional Survey, published by Philipp von Zabern, presents the results of an archaeological survey of the surrounding region, carried out between 2005 and 2009. This project combined intensive and extensive survey, remote sensing, and geological reconnaissance in an interdisciplinary study of the interaction between human habitation and the natural environment in an 800-square-kilometer area around Aphrodisias from prehistory to the present day. The volume includes special studies on pre-Roman and Roman tombs; pottery; geology and marble quarrying; olive-oil production; aqueducts and water supply; inscriptions; and suburban and rural churches.
The excavations at Aphrodisias have made significant contributions to the history of the ancient Mediterranean city. Regional survey has extended our knowledge of the site in both time and space--providing new information about Aphrodisias and environs before and after the heyday of the city and illuminating the interaction between town and countryside in numerous ways.
The Aphrodisias Excavations are sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Additional support for the Aphrodisias Regional Survey was provided by the University of Michigan and the Leon Levy Foundation