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Beyond the Steppe and the Sown

Proceedings of the 2002 University of Chicago Conference on Eurasian Archaeology


Edited by D. L. Peterson, L. M. Popova and A. T. Smith

In this collection of 29 articles, leading researchers and a generation of new scholars join together in questioning the dominant opposing dichotomy in Eurasian archaeology of the ‘steppe and sown,’ while forging new approaches which integrate local and global visions of ancient culture and society in the steppe, mountain, desert and maritime coastal regions of Eurasia. This ground-breaking volume demonstrates the success of recently established international research programs and challenges readers with a wide variety of fresh new perspectives. The articles are conveniently divided into four sections on Local and Global Perspectives, Regional Studies, New Directions in Theory and Practice, and Paleoecology and Environment, and cover a broad period from the Copper Age to early Mediaeval times in the Independent States of the former USSR, as well as Turkey, China and Mongolia.

Living and Working with the Gods

Studies of Evidence for Private Religion and its Material Environment in the City of Ostia (100-500 AD)


J.T. Bakker

This study deals with hitherto unpublished evidence of private religious practice, found in the ruins of Ostia. The selected environment consists of domus, rented apartments, workshops, depots, shops, bars, markets, hotels, and also all mithraea and the compita. These chapters contain concise introductions to the categories of buildings, including lists, notes on the dates, appearance, lay-out, size and distribution, and notes on the owners, inhabitants, visitors, workers and personnel.


L. Lavan, E. Swift and T. Putzeys


Edited by Saskia T. Roselaar

Processes of Cultural Change and Integration in the Roman World is a collection of studies on the interaction between Rome and the peoples that became part of its Empire between c. 300 BC and AD 300. The book focuses on the mechanisms by which interaction between Rome and its subjects occurred, e.g. the settlements of colonies by the Romans, army service, economic and cultural interaction. In many cases Rome exploited the economic resources of the conquered territories without allowing the local inhabitants any legal autonomy. However, they usually maintained a great deal of cultural freedom of expression. Those local inhabitants who chose to engage with Rome, its economy and culture, could rise to great heights in the administration of the Empire.

Michael J. T. Lewis

This paper presents an overview of the extent to which the Byzantine Empire preserved the engineering traditions of the ancient world, passed them on to Islam and back to the West, and modified them to meet its own requirements. After about A.D. 600, expensive works of civil engineering became rare, but machines for military and agricultural purposes remained in constant and even increasing use, while fine technology saw some revival.

Zbigniew T. Fiema

Excavations of some Byzantine churches in Palestine and Jordan have revealed the existence of stored material in rooms adjacent to the churches. Room I of the Petra church yielded a particularly interesting corpus of material, ranging from papyrus scrolls through glass and metal objects to wooden storage furniture, which provided the opportunity for a detailed study of artefacts and their spatial relationships, both to each other and to their architectural context. The following text summarises this discovery, concentrating on patterns of storage and changes in the function of Room I within the framework of the history of the Petra church.