The Chora of Metaponto 4

[ Classics and Ancient World ]

The Chora of Metaponto 4

The Late Roman Farmhouse at San Biagio

By Erminia Lapadula

Based on archaeological investigations in southern Italy by the Institute of Classical Archaeology, this volume features a small but viable social and economic entity that was an unexpected find from a period generally marked by large landholdings.



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8.5 x 11 | 256 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-72877-6

This volume in the Institute of Classical Archaeology's series on rural settlements in the countryside (chora) of Metaponto presents the excavation of the Late Roman farmhouse at San Biagio. Located near the site of an earlier Greek sanctuary, this modest but well-appointed structure was an unexpected find from a period generally marked by large landholdings and monumental villas. Description of earlier periods of occupation (Neolithic and Greek) is followed by a detailed discussion of the farmhouse itself and its historical and socioeconomic context. The catalogs and analyses of finds include impressive deposits of coins from the late third and early fourth centuries AD. Use of virtual reality CAD software has yielded a deeper understanding of the architectural structure and its reconstruction. A remarkable feature is the small bath complex, with its examples of window glass. This study reveals the existence of a small but viable rural social and economic entity and alternative to the traditional image of crisis and decline during the Late Imperial period.

Preface (Joseph Coleman Carter)

1. The Farmhouse at San Biagio and the Agricultural Landscape of Basilicata in the Roman Period (Liliana Giardino)
Basilicata under Roman Rule

2. The Excavation and Structures (Erminia Lapadula)
The Setting
The 1980 Excavation
Re-evaluation of the Site’s Occupation
Building Materials
Interpretation of the Roman Structure
Virtual Archaeology: A Proposed Reconstruction (Massimo Limoncelli)

3. The Materials: Prehistoric through the Roman Republican Period (Erminia Lapadula)
Pottery and Other Neolithic Artifacts (Cesare D’Annibale)
Figured Pottery (Francesca Silvestrelli)
Black Gloss and Grey Ware (Eloisa Vittoria)
Banded Ware, Miniatures, and Plain Ware (Anna Cavallo)
Cooking Ware (Antonietta Di Tursi)
Transport Amphorae (Oda Teresa Calvaruso)
Architectural Terracottas (Anna Lucia Tempesta)
Coroplastic (Rebecca Miller Ammerman)
Loom Weights (Lin Foxhall)

4. The Materials: The Roman Imperial Period (Erminia Lapadula)
Study and Presentation of Material
Eastern Terra Sigillata
African Red Slip Ware
Slipped Common Ware
Plain Ware
African Cooking Ware
Cooking Ware
Transport Amphorae
Glass Finds
Metal Finds
Milling Finds

5. Furnishings, Utilitarian Artifacts, and Coins (Erminia Lapadula)
Personal Artifacts
Household Instruments
Spinning, Weaving, and Sewing
Tools for Fire-lighting, Carpentry, and Woodworking
The Repair of Dolia
Window Glass
Coins (Anna Rita Parente)

6. Archaeozoology, Archaeometry, and Ceramic Analysis
The Archaeozoological Data (Joseph Coleman Carter)
A Goat Skeleton from the Roman Period (László Bartosiewicz)
Archaeometric Analyses of Metal, Glass, and Plaster (Claudio Giardino)
Microscopy of Selected Pottery Fabrics (Keith Swift with Victoria Leitch)

7. Conclusions (Erminia Lapadula)

Reference Materials
Illustration Credits

Erminia Lapadula is an archaeologist currently working with the Archaeological Superintendency of Basilicata and the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin. She has participated in numerous archaeological excavations in Italy and abroad and published in journals and collective works on Roman and Medieval archaeology, with special attention to Roman Medieval pottery items and clothing accessories in the Middle Ages.

Joseph Coleman Carter is Director of the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a former fellow of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the American Academy in Rome.

“This beautifully-produced volume forms part of the rapidly expanding series of publications resulting from the long-term fieldwork directed by Joseph Coleman Carter across the hinterland (chora) of the Greek colony of Metaponto, on the instep of the Italian boot… In summary, this is an exemplary report: well-contextualised, neatly summarised, beautifully-illustrated (especially the maps), and well worth the wait.”
―Robert Witcher, New Book Chronicle in Antiquity