HistArt / ClArch Theoretical Issues: Domestic Space in Classical Antiquity
Study of domestic space in Greek and Roman contexts has been one of the liveliest areas of research in classical archaeology in the last twenty years. Scholarship has moved well beyond the traditional description and classification of domestic buildings. These structures have been used to address a range of specific questions about the households once occupying them, including their social statuses, cultural identities, economic strategies and patterns of gender relationships. The methods which have been applied have been equally diverse, ranging from statistical study of artifact distributions through to detailed iconographic analysis of wall paintings. In this seminar we will explore a range of approaches which have been taken to understanding the architecture, organization and decoration of houses in Greek and Roman contexts. An explicit goal of the discussion will be to compare the perspectives taken by archaeologists working on material of different dates and from different parts of the Greco-Roman world. We will also explore the potential of domestic space as a tool for understanding wider social issues. Assessment will be based on class participation (in discussion and a presentation) and on a final written paper.