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.
By Erminia Lapadula
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