Urban Network Evolutions
308 pages
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308 pages
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For millenia, urban networks have shaped the development of human societies. Today, new archaeological approaches are unveiling the evolution of these networks in unprecedented detail. Urban Networks Evolutions reviews the new approaches to urban evolution as archaeology endeavours to characterise both the scale and pace of historical events and processes. Issuing from the work of the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), the book compares the archaeology of urbanism from medieval Northern Europe to the Ancient Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean World. The 40 contributors demonstrate how new techniques for refining archaeological dates, contexts, and the provenance ascribed to material culture, afford a new high-definition approach to the study of global and interregional dynamics. This opens up for far-reaching questions as to how and to what extent urban networks catalysed societal and environmental expansions and crises in the past.
Acknowledgements by the editors INTRODUCTION Urban network evolutions: Exploring dynamics and flows through evidence from urban contexts Rubina Raja & Soren M. SindbAek ROME AND ITS CITIES A high-definition approach to the Forum of Caesar in Rome: Urban archaeology in a living city Jan Kindberg Jacobsen & Rubina Raja Burial and birds in pre-urban Rome Nora M. Petersen Caesars Forum: Excavating Italian Iron Age Sine Grove SaxkjAer & Gloria Paola Mittica The Archaic period on the Forum of Caesar: The urbanisation of early Rome Nikoline Sauer Petersen A space for Caesar: The heart of Rome and urban development Line Egelund Caesars, shepherds and cities Trine Arlund Hass Doliche and the exploration of Graeco-Roman urbanism in ancient Greater Syria Michael Blomer Public spaces and urban networks in the Roman Empire: Messene in the Peloponnese as an example of an approach Christopher Dickenson PALMYRA: THE URBAN DESERT Urbanizing the desert : Investigating the diversity of urban networks through the images of deceased Palmyrenes Rubina Raja Behind the scenes: Cataloguing as a tool for exploring urban networks Olympia Bobou & Rikke Randeris Thomsen Producing funerary portraits: An urban tradition in the Syrian Desert Julia Steding The urbanization of Palmyra: The dynamics of the family cemeteries Signe Krag JERASH: FROM ROMAN TO ISLAMIC CITY Urban networks and dynamics seen through urban peripheries: The case of Gerasa on the golden river Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja Mortar and plaster production in Jerash: Changingaperspective from macro to micro Kristine Damgaard Thomsen Small change in big cities: Characterising the development of everyday coinage in Jerash Thomas Birch & Vana Orfanou River archaeology and urban resilience in Jerash Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja Urban networks seen through ceramics: Formal modelling approaches to pottery distribution in Jerash Iza Romanowska, Tom Brughmans, Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja Medieval Jerash: Investigating the pottery of a Middle Islamic hamlet in the Northwest Quarter Alex Peterson Travellers and early urban archaeology in the Levant: The case of Jerash Eva Mortensen Archaeoseismology in Jerash: Understanding urban dynamics through catastrophic events Christian Svejgard Lunde Jorgensen RIBE: GATEWAY TO THE VIKING AGE Northern Emporium: The archaeology of urban networks in Viking-Age Ribe Soren M. SindbAek 3D scanning as documentation and analytical tool: First field experiences at the Northern Emporium excavation project, Ribe Sarah Croix Geoarchaeology and micromorphology at Ribe: A Northern Emporium in high definition Barbora Wouters Geoarchaeology of the early northern cities: Microscopic and geochemical investigations of urban spaces in Denmark Pernille LAerke Krantz Trant Viking-Age metals and urbanisation: The case of Ribe in Denmark Vana Orfanou & Thomas Birch A new calibration curve for improved radiocarbon dating of urban contexts Bente Philippsen & Mikkel Fristrup Schou Missing links: Viking-Age silver rings and urban networks Mahir Hrnjic THE MAKING OF MEDIEVAL URBANITY An urban way of life: How to approach the study of networks and practices in medieval Odense, Denmark Kirstine Haase Towards the making of a town: Urbanity as practice and way of life in medieval Copenhagen Hanna Dahlstrom The chronology of two medieval cemeteries in central Copenhagen: Bayesian modelling and archaeo logical relative age information Jesper Olsen, Bjorn Poulsen & Hanna Dahlstrom Trade, import and urban development: An archaeobotanical approach to economic change in medieval Denmark Neeke M. Hammers Urbanisation and commercialisation on the periphery of medieval Europe Olav Elias Gundersen High-definition urban fashion: Proteins reveal preferred resources for medieval leather shoes Luise Orsted Brandt Interdisciplinary methods in town archaeology Johan Sandvang Larsen Gardening and food security in early southern-Scandinavian urbanism: Existing evidence and the need for a high-definition approach Soren M. Kristiansen SWAHILI EMPORIA: AFRICAN NETWORK CITIES Defining space in house contexts: Chemical mapping at Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar Federica Sulas & Stephanie Wynne-Jones Iron production technologies and trade networks in Swahili East Africa Ema Bauzyte Dating Kilwa Kisiwani: A thousand years of East African history in an urban stratigraphy Stephanie Wynne-Jones, Mark Horton, Jeffrey Fleisher & Jesper Olsen BETWEEN URBAN WORLDS Through the looking glass: Glass, high-definition archaeology and urban networks in the 8th century CE from North to South Rubina Raja & Soren M. SindbAek About the authors

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Date de parution 31 décembre 2018
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EAN13 9788771846386
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Eds. Raja & Sindbæk
Urban Network Evolutions
“These chapters illustrate the diversity and
strengths of the archaeological research
projects associated with the Centre for Urban
Network Evolutions. Two features of this work
are particularly noteworthy. First, the authors
take network connections seriously for three
diverse regions of premodern cities; and,
second, they apply the latest technology
and tools of high-defnition archaeology to
excavated contexts. The result is a series of
real advances in our understanding of cities,
their infuence, and their signifcance before
the modern era.”
For millenia, urban networks have shaped the development of human Michael E. Smith
societies. Today, new archaeological approaches are unveiling the Arizona State University
evolution of these networks in unprecedented detail.
 
Urban Networks Evolutions reviews the new approaches to urban
“This volume has an impressive scope.
evolution as archaeology endeavours to characterise both the scale
Spanning from East Africa to Scandinavia and
and pace of historical events and processes. Issuing from the work of
from the Syrian Desert to the forum of Rome,
the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Excellence, the
this volume presents research pushing the
Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), the book compares
limits in urban archaeology. Well-known and
the archaeology of urbanism from medieval Northern Europe to the
less famous archaeological and historical
Ancient Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean World.
narratives are challenged, refned and revised
The 40 contributions demonstrate how new techniques for refning employing high-defnition scientifc data and
archaeological dates, contexts, and the provenance ascribed to state-of-the-art methodologies, thus
highlightmaterial culture, aford a new high-defnition approach to the study ing the potential of network approaches and
of global and interregional dynamics. This opens up for far-reaching cross-disciplinary perspectives to enhance
questions as to how and to what extent urban networks catalysed our understanding of the human past.”
societal and environmental expansions and crises in the past.
Eivind Heldaas Seland
University of Bergen
108464_cover_urban network_r3.indd 1 11/06/18 08:24Urban network
evolutions
Towards a high-
definition archaeology
Edited by Rubina Raja
and Søren M. Sindbæk
Aarhus University Press |
108464_urban_r1.indd 2 08/06/2018 09.56.57 108464_urban_r1.indd 3 08/06/2018 09.56.58Urban network evolutions
Towards a high-definition archaeology
© The authors and Aarhus University Press 2018
Cover by Louise Hilmar
Illustrations: View of the Temple of Artemis in Jerash, Jordan (copyright: Rubina Raja);
Comb cut from multiple pieces of deer antler and assembled with iron rivets. The word ‘comb’ is
carved onto the surface in the Viking runic alphabet (copyright: Museum of Southwest Jutland);
Segmented glass beads found in Ribe (copyright: The Museum of Southwest Jutland);
Glass vessel sherds, beads and other finds from Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar (copyright: Jason Hawkes).
Back cover: Boats being loaded at Mkokotoni, Zanzibar (copyright: Søren M. Sindbæk).
The book is typeset in Adobe Garamond Ebook production: Nar ayana Press
ISBN 978 87 7184 638 6
Aarhus University Press
Finlandsgade 29
DK-8200 Aarhus N
www.unipress.dk
/ In accordance with requirements of the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, the certification
means that a PhD level peer has made a written assessment justifying this book’s scientific quality.
108464_urban_r1.indd 4 08/06/2018 09.56.59Urban network evolutions
Towards a high-definition archaeology Acknowledgements by the editors
© The authors and Aarhus University Press 2018
Cover by Louise Hilmar
Illustrations: View of the Temple of Artemis in Jerash, Jordan (copyright: Rubina Raja);
Comb cut from multiple pieces of deer antler and assembled with iron rivets. The word ‘comb’ is
carved onto the surface in the Viking runic alphabet (copyright: Museum of Southwest Jutland); Te editors would like to thank the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF
Segmented glass beads found in Ribe (copyright: The Museum of Southwest Jutland); grant 119) for giving us the opportunity to pursue research on urban societies and their
Glass vessel sherds, beads and other finds from Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar (copyright: Jason Hawkes). network dynamics in such a grand way, which the grant makes possible. Without the
Back cover: Boats being loaded at Mkokotoni, Zanzibar (copyright: Søren M. Sindbæk). generous support of the foundation, this book and many other publications, which
have come out over the last few years, would not have been possible to realise. Centre
The book is typeset in Adobe Garamond and printed by Narayana Press for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), which is based on the grant awarded by the
Printed in Denmark DNRF, has grown immensely over the last years and this book showcases much of the
ongoing work undertaken within the framework of the centre.
ISBN 978 87 7184 623 2 We furthermore also thank the Carlsberg Foundation for funding several projects,
which have served as springboards for developing the centre idea and which have also
Aarhus University Press allowed us to run large-scale feldwork projects testing out some of the ideas developed
Finlandsgade 29 within the framework of the centre. A number of other funders should also be thanked
DK-8200 Aarhus N and they have been mentioned in all the relevant contributions.
www.unipress.dk We are grateful to all funders, who have contributed in a variety of ways to make
UrbNet a reality and let us undertake research, despite the costs, which this involves.
We would also like to thank Mie Egelund Lind and Eva Mortensen warmly for the
minutious copy-editing of the book and for keeping everything together during the
process. Without them the book would not have come together this speedily. Tanks
go to Aarhus University Press for turning around the peer-review process quickly as
well as the lay-out of the book and the printing of it. Finally, the biggest thanks goes
to our wonderful colleagues and staf at UrbNet and in its many projects, who have
contributed their energy and acumen to this great research venture in general and to
the making of this volume in particular.
Rubina Raja and Søren M. Sindbæk, UrbNet, Aarhus
June 2018
/ In accordance with requirements of the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, the certification
means that a PhD level peer has made a written assessment justifying this book’s scientific quality.
Acknowledgements by the editors 5
Contents
This page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.
108464_urban_r1.indd 4 08/06/2018 09.56.59 108464_urban_r1.indd 5 08/06/2018 09.57.01108464_urban_r1.indd 6 08/06/2018 09.57.02Contents
Acknowledgements by the editors 5
INTRODUCTION 11
Urban network evolutions: Exploring dynamics and
flows through evidence from urban contexts 13
Rubina Raja & Søren M. Sindbæk
ROME AND ITS CITIES 19
A high-definition approach to the Forum of Caesar in Rome:
Urban archaeology in a living city 21
Jan Kindberg Jacobsen & Rubina Raja
Burial and birds in pre-urban Rome 27
Nora M. Petersen
Caesar’s Forum: Excavating Italian Iron Age 35
Sine Grove Saxkjær & Gloria Paola Mittica
The Archaic period on the Forum of Caesar:
The urbanisation of early Rome 39
Nikoline Sauer Petersen
A space for Caesar: The heart of Rome and urban development 45
Line Egelund
Caesars, shepherds and cities 51
Trine Arlund Hass
Doliche and the exploration of Graeco-Roman
urbanism in ancient Greater Syria 57
Michael Blömer
Public spaces and urban networks in the Roman Empire:
Messene in the Peloponnese as an example of an approach 65
Christopher Dickenson
108464_urban_r1.indd 6 08/06/2018 09.57.02 108464_urban_r1.indd 7 08/06/2018 09.57.03PALMYRA: THE URBAN DESERT 73
Urbanizing the desert : Investigating the diversity of urban
networks through the images of deceased Palmyrenes 75
Rubina Raja
Behind the scenes: Cataloguing as a tool for
exploring urban networks 81
Olympia Bobou & Rikke Randeris Thomsen
Producing funerary portraits: An urban tradition in the Syrian Desert 87
Julia Steding
The urbanization of Palmyra: The dynamics of the family cemeteries 93
Signe Krag
JERASH: FROM ROMAN TO ISLAMIC CITY 99
Urban networks and dynamics seen through urban peripheries:
The case of Gerasa on the golden river 101
Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja
Mortar and plaster production in Jerash:
Changing perspective from macro to micro 109
Kristine Damgaard Thomsen
Small change in big cities: Characterising the
development of everyday coinage in Jerash 117
Thomas Birch & Vana Orfanou
River archaeology and urban resilience in Jerash 125
Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja
Urban networks seen through ceramics: Formal modelling
approaches to pottery distribution in Jerash 131
Iza Romanowska, Tom Brughmans, Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja
Medieval Jerash: Investigating the pottery of a Middle
Islamic hamlet in the Northwest Quarter 139
Alex Peterson
Travellers and early urban archaeology in the Levant:
The case of Jerash 147
Eva Mortensen
108464_urban_r1.indd 8 08/06/2018 09.57.05Archaeoseismology in Jerash: Understanding urban PALMYRA: THE URBAN DESERT 73
dynamics through catastrophic events 153
Urbanizing the desert : Investigating the diversity of urban
Christian Svejgård Lunde Jørgensen
networks through the images of deceased Palmyrenes 75
Rubina Raja
RIBE: GATEWAY TO THE VIKING AGE 159
Behind the scenes: Cataloguing as a tool for
Northern Emporium: The archaeology of urban
exploring urban networks 81
networks in Viking-Age Ribe 161
Olympia Bobou & Rikke Randeris Thomsen
Søren M. Sindbæk
Producing funerary portraits: An urban tradition in the Syrian Desert 87
3D scanning as documentation and analytical tool:
Julia Steding
First field experiences at the Northern Emporium
excavation project, Ribe 167The urbanization of Palmyra: The dynamics of the family cemeteries 93
Sarah CroixSigne Krag
Geoarchaeology and micromorphology at Ribe:
JERASH: FROM ROMAN TO ISLAMIC CITY 99 A Northern Emporium in high definition 175
Barbora WoutersUrban networks and dynamics seen through urban peripheries:
The case of Gerasa on the golden river 101 Geoarchaeology of the early northern cities: Microscopic and
Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja geochemical investigations of urban spaces in Denmark 183
Pernille Lærke Krantz TrantMortar and plaster production in Jerash:
Changing perspective from macro to micro 109 Viking-Age metals and urbanisation: The case of Ribe in Denmark 189
Kristine Damgaard Thomsen
Vana Orfanou & Thomas Birch
Small change in big cities: Characterising the A new calibration curve for improved radiocarbon
development of everyday coinage in Jerash 117 dating of urban contexts 197
Thomas Birch & Vana Orfanou
Bente Philippsen & Mikkel Fristrup Schou
River archaeology and urban resilience in Jerash 125 Missing links: Viking-Age silver rings and urban networks 203
Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja Mahir Hrnjic
Urban networks seen through ceramics: Formal modelling
THE MAKING OF MEDIEVAL URBANITY 209approaches to pottery distribution in Jerash 131
Iza Romanowska, Tom Brughmans, Achim Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja
An urban way of life: How to approach the study of networks
and practices in medieval Odense, Denmark 211Medieval Jerash: Investigating the pottery of a Middle
Kirstine HaaseIslamic hamlet in the Northwest Quarter 139
Alex Peterson
Towards the making of a town: Urbanity as practice
and way of life in medieval Copenhagen 217Travellers and early urban archaeology in the Levant:
Hanna DahlströmThe case of Jerash 147
Eva Mortensen
The chronology of two medieval cemeteries in central Copenhagen:
Bayesian modelling and archaeo logical relative age information 223
Jesper Olsen, Bjørn Poulsen & Hanna Dahlström
108464_urban_r1.indd 8 08/06/2018 09.57.05 108464_urban_r1.indd 9 08/06/2018 09.57.06Trade, import and urban development: An archaeobotanical
approach to economic change in medieval Denmark 229
Neeke M. Hammers
Urbanisation and commercialisation on the
periphery of medieval Europe 235
Olav Elias Gundersen
High-definition urban fashion: Proteins reveal preferred
resources for medieval leather shoes 241
Luise Ørsted Brandt
Interdisciplinary methods in town archaeology 249
Johan Sandvang Larsen
Gardening and food security in early southern-Scandinavian urbanism:
Existing evidence and the need for a high-definition approach 255
Søren M. Kristiansen
SWAHILI EMPORIA: AFRICAN NETWORK CITIES 261
Defining space in house contexts: Chemical
mapping at Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar 263
Federica Sulas & Stephanie Wynne-Jones
Iron production tech nologies and trade
networks in Swahili East Africa 271
Ema Baužytė
Dating Kilwa Kisiwani: A thousand years of East
African history in an urban stratigraphy 277
Stephanie Wynne-Jones, Mark Horton, Jeffrey Fleisher & Jesper Olsen
BETWEEN URBAN WORLDS 287
Through the looking glass: Glass, high-definition archaeology and
urban networks in the 8th century CE from North to South 289
Rubina Raja & Søren M. Sindbæk
About the authors 297
108464_urban_r1.indd 10 08/06/2018 09.57.08Trade, import and urban development: An archaeobotanical
approach to economic change in medieval Denmark 229
Neeke M. Hammers
Urbanisation and commercialisation on the
periphery of medieval Europe 235
Olav Elias Gundersen
High-definition urban fashion: Proteins reveal preferred INTRODUCTION
resources for medieval leather shoes 241
Luise Ørsted Brandt
Interdisciplinary methods in town archaeology 249
Johan Sandvang Larsen
Gardening and food security in early southern-Scandinavian urbanism:
Existing evidence and the need for a high-definition approach 255
Søren M. Kristiansen
SWAHILI EMPORIA: AFRICAN NETWORK CITIES 261
Defining space in house contexts: Chemical
mapping at Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar 263
Federica Sulas & Stephanie Wynne-Jones
Iron production tech nologies and trade
networks in Swahili East Africa 271
Ema Baužytė
Dating Kilwa Kisiwani: A thousand years of East
African history in an urban stratigraphy 277
Stephanie Wynne-Jones, Mark Horton, Jeffrey Fleisher & Jesper Olsen
BETWEEN URBAN WORLDS 287
Through the looking glass: Glass, high-definition archaeology and
urban networks in the 8th century CE from North to South 289
Rubina Raja & Søren M. Sindbæk
About the authors 297
Contents
This page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.
108464_urban_r1.indd 10 08/06/2018 09.57.08 108464_urban_r1.indd 11 08/06/2018 09.57.10108464_urban_r1.indd 12 08/06/2018 09.57.12RUBINA RAJA & SØREN M. SINDBÆK
Urban network evolutions :
Exploring dynamics and
flows through evidence
from urban contexts
Now in earlier times the world’s history had consisted, so to speak, of a series of
unrelated episodes, the origins and results of each being as widely separated as their
localities, but from this point onwards [after the Second Punic war] history becomes
an organic whole: the afairs of Italy and Africa are connected with those of Asia and
of Greece, and all events bear a relationship and contribute to a single end.
Polybius, Histories 1.3
Te rise of urban societies as the vehicles of societal processes has long been recognized
as a turning point in history. However, the nature of urbanism and the way in which
scholars defne it remains a point of ferce discussion. While one might argue that
there is no one way of defning urbanism and the forms it takes, it is important to
try to tackle the underlying issues of what distinguishes urban societies, in particular
what qualities make them urban. Urbanism and urban development are often discussed
and researched within a diachronic perspective, giving the subject an evolutionary or
linear framing. Such a framing insists that there is a defned beginning, trajectory
and model, as well as, potentially, a defned end to urban societies and urbanism
that can be studied through the interpretation of urban remains or historical sources.
Tus urbanism is often taken to have emerged in a recognizable, coherent form at
one point in time – and fairly rapidly – and thence developed into something more
refned and elaborate.
Moreover, the emergence of urban societies is often assumed to be embedded in the
emergence of states and political organizations. While this mode of inquiry has colored
our conception of what it meant to be urban, there are other useful approaches that
might shed light on how societies developed and which mechanisms lay behind such
developments. One mode is to consider urban networks as dynamics and fows, which
can inform us about the ways societies respond and develop, and which tell us about
their thresholds of resilience (Raja and Sindbæk forthcoming).
Urban network evolutions 13
Contents
This page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.
108464_urban_r1.indd 12 08/06/2018 09.57.12 108464_urban_r1.indd 13 08/06/2018 09.57.13Te quote opening this chapter clearly shows how, already by the time of the Punic
Wars, a contemporary observer could perceive his world as intimately connected across
a wide geographical space; Polybius even notes the idea of an interlinked world history.
Networks are underlined as central to understanding developments in the world. Cities
were indeed the glue that bound regions together both internally and externally. Cities
and their societies were the drivers of both contact and development. Since relation -
ships and connections might be seen as imperative to urban behavior and dynamics,
we are interested in exploring them from a network perspective. Understanding the
nature of such connections and their meanings might allow for a more nuanced view
of the diversity of urban societies and their behaviors over time. While much empha -
sis has been given to the material culture, particularly its monumental expressions, a
network perspective brings new means of viewing diferent urban societies and how
they interacted with the surrounding world as well as the strength of these networks.
Te Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), based at Aarhus University,
Denmark, was established in 2015 with a grant awarded by the Danish National
Research Foundation. Its mission is to study urban societies in terms of their social
networks in the broadest sense. In archaeological and historical research, this approach
represents a new, explorative, even experimental perspective on a crucial topic. Tere
is much debate among researchers about the transformative signifcance of urbanism
in human history. Still, this development has often been studied as a byproduct of
the development of political institutions, particularly state power; otherwise it is seen
in material terms as a rise in settlement complexity rooted in regionally founded
demographic growth. UrbNet explores an alternative suggestion: that what is distinct
about urban civilizations and their role in world history is a property of the com -
munications that they facilitate within and between societies. In this perspective, the
networks of societies take center stage and become benchmarks for the ways in which
those societies act and prioritize.
Urbanism can be a catalyst for changes in ways of life marked by social complexity
and networks of wider, ultimately global, interdependence. Current research sug -
gests that urban networks may have been critical in rapidly triggering societal and
environmental changes across vast spaces a number of times in history. Crucial – and
thcontroversial – examples include the 4 -century BCE Hellenistic expansion, the rise of
th ththe Roman Empire, the 6 -century CE Justinian Plague, the 8 -century CE
AbbasidthTang ‘maritime silk road’ and the 13 -century CE Mongol World System. In situations
like these, it is crucial that we investigate and understand the relevant networks in
detail. Here, a high-defnition archaeological approach is one way to gain insight into
specifc situations that may have marked turning points. By investigating materials,
such as glass or bones in a high-defnition perspective (Barfod et al. forthcoming;
Ashby et al. 2015) – and guided by new questions pertaining to wider networks and
local developments, for example, availability of local fuel or import possibilities – new
patterns and explanations emerge.
Te development of urbanism afects social networks in a number of ways. Family
afliations may become more entangled and focused on individuals in urban
societ14 Rubina Raja & Søren M. Sindbæk
Contents
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108464_urban_r1.indd 14 08/06/2018 09.57.15Te quote opening this chapter clearly shows how, already by the time of the Punic ies as compared, for instance, to societies primarily organized through clans, tribes
Wars, a contemporary observer could perceive his world as intimately connected across or lineages. Te frequency of day-to-day meetings, and the likeliness of encountering
a wide geographical space; Polybius even notes the idea of an interlinked world history. strangers, are multiplied in urban centers, whence reciprocal non-kinship (‘civil’)
Networks are underlined as central to understanding developments in the world. Cities relations and modes of dealing with others are stimulated. Political societies in urban
were indeed the glue that bound regions together both internally and externally. Cities populations tend to involve a negotiation of interest between interdependent,
crisscrossand their societies were the drivers of both contact and development. Since relation - ing groups, which could weaken and balance power hierarchies and encourage wider
ships and connections might be seen as imperative to urban behavior and dynamics, participation in political afairs. Perhaps the most widely debated aspect of urbanism
we are interested in exploring them from a network perspective. Understanding the and social networks, however, concerns the emergence of commercial networks of
nature of such connections and their meanings might allow for a more nuanced view exchange, which may also be tied to the networks linked to social structures. How
of the diversity of urban societies and their behaviors over time. While much empha - we can disentangle networks, which on the one hand pertain to close afliations and
sis has been given to the material culture, particularly its monumental expressions, a on the other hand stretch beyond these, remains to be seen.
network perspective brings new means of viewing diferent urban societies and how Commercial exchanges are seen in some historical studies as an almost universal
they interacted with the surrounding world as well as the strength of these networks. catalyst for social complexity, particularly for the emergence of urban places as markets
Te Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), based at Aarhus University, in the widest sense – be it for politics, trade or religion (e.g., Taylor 2013). At the
Denmark, was established in 2015 with a grant awarded by the Danish National other end of a wide continuum of models, others regard it as a derived mechanism
Research Foundation. Its mission is to study urban societies in terms of their social of distribution, dependent on the political institutions of state power (e.g., Wickham
networks in the broadest sense. In archaeological and historical research, this approach 2005). A pervasive lack of data on the early stages of many urban societies has allowed
represents a new, explorative, even experimental perspective on a crucial topic. Tere widely diverging reconstructions of their origins and development to persist. Research
is much debate among researchers about the transformative signifcance of urbanism on urbanism is still chiefy informed by the privileged view aforded by the extensive
in human history. Still, this development has often been studied as a byproduct of records left by later, sometimes millennium-old urban societies (e.g., Ancient
Mesothe development of political institutions, particularly state power; otherwise it is seen potamia, Classical Rome and Greece, medieval Europe and China). Consequently,
in material terms as a rise in settlement complexity rooted in regionally founded whether urbanism and exchange patterns are viewed as developing as (in a pertinent
demographic growth. UrbNet explores an alternative suggestion: that what is distinct metaphor) two sides of one coin or as developments that unfolded independently
about urban civilizations and their role in world history is a property of the com - depends on the convictions of the individual scholar.
munications that they facilitate within and between societies. In this perspective, the UrbNet seeks to expand our knowledge beyond these – often politicized – concep -
networks of societies take center stage and become benchmarks for the ways in which tions by focusing on case studies that are considered marginal to, or at odds with,
those societies act and prioritize. established defnitions or narratives. Tis may come about by considering sites that
Urbanism can be a catalyst for changes in ways of life marked by social complexity seem to diverge from the pattern of ‘normal’ towns and cities, such as maritime
and networks of wider, ultimately global, interdependence. Current research sug - emporia, caravan stations, or religious centers. It could also come about by focus -
gests that urban networks may have been critical in rapidly triggering societal and ing on aspects of citizens’ life that have not been considered specifcally ‘urban’, for
environmental changes across vast spaces a number of times in history. Crucial – and example religion, family patterns, or economic activities such as urban gardening or
thcontroversial – examples include the 4 -century BCE Hellenistic expansion, the rise of fshing. Or it may be by tracing the fow of materials – metals, glass, furs and hides,
th ththe Roman Empire, the 6 -century CE Justinian Plague, the 8 -century CE Abbasid- etc. – that challenge the traditional, conceptual divide between bulk consumption and
thTang ‘maritime silk road’ and the 13 -century CE Mongol World System. In situations luxury commodities as well as between long-distance trade and local circulation. Tis
like these, it is crucial that we investigate and understand the relevant networks in research may provide a better basis for determining, for example, if the development
detail. Here, a high-defnition archaeological approach is one way to gain insight into of long-distance trading networks always involves the emergence of sites and societies
specifc situations that may have marked turning points. By investigating materials, with urban characteristics; or how often the emergence of large, dense and complex
such as glass or bones in a high-defnition perspective (Barfod et al. forthcoming; settlements stimulate exchange networks.
Ashby et al. 2015) – and guided by new questions pertaining to wider networks and Tis book showcases a number of examples that defne the UrbNet approach to
local developments, for example, availability of local fuel or import possibilities – new network evolutions in order to illustrate the various ways in which it is possible to
patterns and explanations emerge. enquire into the diverse nature of the networks and dynamics that stood at the core of
Te development of urbanism afects social networks in a number of ways. Family ancient urban societies. When seeking to characterize how urbanisms have developed
afliations may become more entangled and focused on individuals in urban societ- in terms of social networks it is not enough to reconsider existing data from a new
14 Rubina Raja & Søren M. Sindbæk Urban network evolutions 15
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108464_urban_r1.indd 14 08/06/2018 09.57.15 108464_urban_r1.indd 15 08/06/2018 09.57.16perspective. Te majority of evidence known today has been gathered with reference to
diferent perspectives, and much of it focuses on the structural and political properties
of urban sites, such as their size and density, or features like town walls, monuments
or public spaces (Hansen 2006). To understand how networks have operated in and
between urban societies, we need to establish new datasets and, sometimes, develop
and refne new methods for acquiring these data. A key challenge is thus to improve
the means of archaeology to study developments across sites and regions. Tis requires
us to understand the nature of contexts and fnds and identify the pace of changes in
site histories well enough to assess and compare their potential causes.
Tis is why some of the work conducted at UrbNet concerns tech nical matters such
as improving the precision of dating methods for site-chronologies, improving the
means of tracing the origin of archaeological materials, or assessing the nature of the
contexts. A much more challenging task than mapping sites and ruins and establishing
the relative age of building phases, this quest for new types of data aligns UrbNet’s
research agenda with the potential of recent advances in archaeological science and
geoscience. To obtain new answers, fundamental questions concerning human history
must translate into investigations concerning things such as the isotopic
composition of materials; the morphology, geochemistry or microbiology of sediments; the
statistical distribution of dating results or the subtle patterns of ‘big data’. Even more
challenging, the results need to translate back into historical narratives in order to
realize their potential.
Tis last task calls for researchers with interdisciplinary training and broad out -
looks, which is rare among researchers today but critical to the future development
of historical and archaeological research on complex societies. UrbNet, therefore, has
an important task in training scholars within this feld, bridging scientifc methods
with contextual, historical studies. Such training must build on a knowledge of sev -
eral felds of research, often crossing the boundaries of the humanities and sciences.
It must also seek to bridge these through common hermeneutics, in some case by
synthesizing approaches that may seem mutually exclusive. Developing UrbNet, and
pursuing the basic research problems it aims to answer, is therefore not a short-term
goal but a pr ocess which will require multiple levels of development and will inevita -
bly take several years to unfold. Te current book and its contributions are one step
along this path.
Acknowledgements
Tis work was generously supported by the Danish National Research Foundation
(grant number: 119) and the Carlsberg Foundation.
16 Rubina Raja & Søren M. Sindbæk
Contents
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108464_urban_r1.indd 16 08/06/2018 09.57.18Bibliography
perspective. Te majority of evidence known today has been gathered with reference to
Ashby, S.P., Coutu, A.N. & Sindbæk, S.M. (2015). Urban networks and Arctic outlands: craft specialists and reindeer diferent perspectives, and much of it focuses on the structural and political properties
antler in Viking towns. European Journal of Archaeology, 18 (4), 679‑704.of urban sites, such as their size and density, or features like town walls, monuments
Barfod, G., Freestone, I., Lichtenberger, A., Raja, R. & Schwarzer, H. (forthcoming). Typology, provenance and
or public spaces (Hansen 2006). To understand how networks have operated in and recycling of Byzantine and Early Islamic glass from Jerash, Jordan. Geoarchaeology.
between urban societies, we need to establish new datasets and, sometimes, develop Hansen, M.H. (2006). Polis: an introduction to the ancient Greek city-state. Oxford University Press.
Raja, R. & Sindbæk, S. (forthcoming). Urban networks and high‑defnition narratives. Rethinking the archaeology and refne new methods for acquiring these data. A key challenge is thus to improve
of urbanism. In: Raja, R. & Sindbæk, S. (eds.). Biographies of Place.the means of archaeology to study developments across sites and regions. Tis requires
Taylor, P.J. (2013). Extraordinary Cities. Millenia of Moral Syndromes, World-Systems and City/State Relations. Chelten‑
us to understand the nature of contexts and fnds and identify the pace of changes in
ham: Edward Elgar.
site histories well enough to assess and compare their potential causes. Wickham, C. (2005). Framing the Early Middle Ages. Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800. Oxford: Oxford Uni‑
Tis is why some of the work conducted at UrbNet concerns tech nical matters such versity Press.
as improving the precision of dating methods for site-chronologies, improving the
means of tracing the origin of archaeological materials, or assessing the nature of the
contexts. A much more challenging task than mapping sites and ruins and establishing
the relative age of building phases, this quest for new types of data aligns UrbNet’s
research agenda with the potential of recent advances in archaeological science and
geoscience. To obtain new answers, fundamental questions concerning human history
must translate into investigations concerning things such as the isotopic
composition of materials; the morphology, geochemistry or microbiology of sediments; the
statistical distribution of dating results or the subtle patterns of ‘big data’. Even more
challenging, the results need to translate back into historical narratives in order to
realize their potential.
Tis last task calls for researchers with interdisciplinary training and broad out -
looks, which is rare among researchers today but critical to the future development
of historical and archaeological research on complex societies. UrbNet, therefore, has
an important task in training scholars within this feld, bridging scientifc methods
with contextual, historical studies. Such training must build on a knowledge of sev -
eral felds of research, often crossing the boundaries of the humanities and sciences.
It must also seek to bridge these through common hermeneutics, in some case by
synthesizing approaches that may seem mutually exclusive. Developing UrbNet, and
pursuing the basic research problems it aims to answer, is therefore not a short-term
goal but a process which will require multiple levels of development and will inevita -
bly take several years to unfold. Te current book and its contributions are one step
along this path.
Acknowledgements
Tis work was generously supported by the Danish National Research Foundation
(grant number: 119) and the Carlsberg Foundation.
16 Rubina Raja & Søren M. Sindbæk Urban network evolutions 17
Contents
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108464_urban_r1.indd 16 08/06/2018 09.57.18 108464_urban_r1.indd 17 08/06/2018 09.57.19108464_urban_r1.indd 18 08/06/2018 09.57.21ROME AND ITS CITIES
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108464_urban_r1.indd 18 08/06/2018 09.57.21 108464_urban_r1.indd 19 08/06/2018 09.57.24108464_urban_r1.indd 20 08/06/2018 09.57.25JAN KINDBERG JACOBSEN & RUBINA RAJA
A high-definition approach to the
Forum of Caesar in Rome :
Urban archaeology in a living city
1. Caesar’s Forum: As urban as it gets
Danish classical archaeologists have a long and well-established tradition of undertaking
archaeological feldwork in Italy both as individual archaeological missions and as as
partners in excavations within frameworks of Danish-Italian institutional collaborations.
In 2018 new and extensive collaborative excavations are being launched in Rome. Tese
excavations will focus on laying open the until now un-excavated parts of the central
Forum of Caesar (Figs. 1-2), a public monumental space in what was central ancient
Rome, and which still is the centre of modern Rome, a place visited by millions of
people every year. Inaugurated in 46 BCE as a manifestation of Caesar’s achievements
and his strive for a single-ruler regime, this space quickly became a contested one –
not least after the murder of Caesar in 44 BCE – but the space was also situated as
centrally as possible in what was then the largest city in the Mediterranean region. It
was a product of a much-needed extension of the public space northeast of the Forum
Romanum, and the Forum of Caesar became a benchmark for the displays of imperial
power encountered in the imperial fora to follow in later centuries, including the eras
of Augustus, Nerva and Trajan. However, within the context of the new archaeological
investigations, the archaeological potential of the area reaches far beyond the forum
space from the Late Republican period. Previous research has shown that the earliest
thremains underneath the Roman-period structures date back to as early as the 13 century
BCE – well before the mythical foundation of Rome in 753 BCE (De Santis et al. 2010:
261-262) and continue into the Renaissance and later. Terefore, the new excavations
will provide a potential key to the further understanding of more than 3000 years of
cultural, environmental and architectural development in central Rome, which remains
one of the most researched, yet still incompletely understood, cities in the ancient world.
Cities were vehicles for communication and networks in the Mediterranean world.
Tey were hubs and nodes for trade, religion, politics, culture and economic exchanges. ere drivers of the hinterlands, and they sometimes hampered progress and
innovation through their complexities. Tey were also often home to diseases and
epidemics. However, they were all in all desirable to live in over millennia due to their
facilitaA high-definition approach to the Forum of Caesar in Rome 21
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108464_urban_r1.indd 20 08/06/2018 09.57.25 108464_urban_r1.indd 21 08/06/2018 09.57.26Fig. 1. Forum of Caesar (photo: Carlsberg Foundation).
tion of fast and efcient communication in a world that was already globalised. In the
Late Republican and Early as well as High Imperial periods (100 BCE to 250 CE), cities
were founded and expanded across the Mediterranean regions to an extent not seen in
earlier periods. Te Mediterranean was dominated in this period largely by Rome and
the string of Roman leaders and emperors, whose main seat was Rome, but who also
travelled widely in the Empire in order to maintain peace and economic stability in the
provinces. Terefore, the public spaces reminding the citizens in the capital of who was,
indeed, in charge were important spaces through which power structures were clearly
communicated. Te new excavations will shed new light on the ways in which people in
power used central urban spaces. Furthermore, both the expected early phases – which
will inform us about Rome before Rome – and the phases from Late Antiquity up into
the medieval period will shed light on greatly understudied urban phases that have
infuence the shape of Rome as it stands today. Another new aspect of this research is the
investigation of the period between the Renaissance and the era in which Benito
Mussolini had the Via dei Fori Imperiali laid out. Until now, these periods have not been
studied in a central archaeological context in Rome and may provide essential informa -
tion about the climate and environmental history of Rome in these historical periods.
2. Excavation history
Te frst excavations to take place on the imperial fora were conducted during the reign
of Napoleon between 1812 and 1814. Tese excavations took place in the area of the
22 Jan Kindberg Jacobsen & Rubina Raja
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108464_urban_r1.indd 22 08/06/2018 09.57.28Fig. 1. Forum of Caesar (photo: Carlsberg Foundation). The project was officially opened on 26 October 2017, with the presence of Her Majesty Queen Fig. 2.
Margrethe II of Denmark (photo: Carlsberg Foundation).
tion of fast and efcient communication in a world that was already globalised. In the
Late Republican and Early as well as High Imperial periods (100 BCE to 250 CE), cities column of Trajan as well as the Basilica Ulpia in Trajan’s Forum, and, as such, these
were founded and expanded across the Mediterranean regions to an extent not seen in excavations laid the ground for a continuing archaeological interest in the imperial fora,
earlier periods. Te Mediterranean was dominated in this period largely by Rome and the central public spaces founded by the Roman emperors, in Rome.
the string of Roman leaders and emperors, whose main seat was Rome, but who also Te subsequent archaeological exploits were concentrated in two main periods. In
travelled widely in the Empire in order to maintain peace and economic stability in the the initial period between 1924 and 1934, the post-Roman Alessandrino Quarter of the
thprovinces. Terefore, the public spaces reminding the citizens in the capital of who was, 16 century CE, which was constructed on Roman-period remains, was demolished.
indeed, in charge were important spaces through which power structures were clearly Afterwards, large-scale excavations uncovered substantial parts of the Forum of Caesar
communicated. Te new excavations will shed new light on the ways in which people in together with the main part of the Forum of Augustus, the Forum of Nerva and that
power used central urban spaces. Furthermore, both the expected early phases – which of Trajan. Te same period saw the construction of the monumental Via dei Fori
Imwill inform us about Rome before Rome – and the phases from Late Antiquity up into periali that, until now, has prevented an overall archaeological reading of the spaces of
the medieval period will shed light on greatly understudied urban phases that have in- the imperial fora, their interrelations and the ways in which they were separated from
fuence the shape of Rome as it stands today. Another new aspect of this research is the each other. In more recent times, excavations were conducted from 1989 onwards.
Folinvestigation of the period between the Renaissance and the era in which Benito Mus- lowing the initial uncovering of the Forum of Caesar in the 1920s and 1930s, limited
solini had the Via dei Fori Imperiali laid out. Until now, these periods have not been excavations took place between 1961 and 1970 (Lamboglia 1980: 123-134; Amici et al.
studied in a central archaeological context in Rome and may provide essential informa - 2007), and recently the Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturale del Comune di Roma has
tion about the climate and environmental history of Rome in these historical periods. undertaken two extensive excavation projects in the years 1998-2000 and 2005-2008.
Tese were directed by Eugenio La Rocca and coordinated by Roberto Meneghini and
Riccardo Santangeli Valenzani in collaboration with Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni
2. Excavation history
Archeologici di Roma. Tese recent investigations added important new insights into
Te frst excavations to take place on the imperial fora were conducted during the reign the very early cultural developments of the area that would become Rome by
idenof Napoleon between 1812 and 1814. Tese excavations took place in the area of the tifying proto-historic phases under the Forum of Caesar. Te investigations provided
22 Jan Kindberg Jacobsen & Rubina Raja A high-definition approach to the Forum of Caesar in Rome 23
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108464_urban_r1.indd 22 08/06/2018 09.57.28 108464_urban_r1.indd 23 08/06/2018 09.57.30key information about the transformations of the area from the Recent Bronze Age to
th ththe Orientalising period (13 century BCE to the beginning of the 6 century BCE).
Overall, the results confrm the view that the process of urbanisation developed in
Rome somewhat earlier in respect to other centres in Latium (De Santis et al. 2010).
While this might be unsurprising, it still underlines the importance of the location of
Rome and its centre at an earlier time than had hitherto been shown. One question
that remains unsolved, however, is to what extent we can, in fact, call Rome urban at
this point in time, or whether the urban character of the settlement went even further
back in time. One line of enquiry would be through the new excavations, to look at
the early remains in a more holistic manner by applying high-defnition methods to
the fndings and hopefully pushing questions such as: Who were the people inhabiting
the area at this point in time? What urban practices can we trace in the archaeological
material? What consumption habits and burial practices did they have, and how does
that inform us about the character of the settlement at the early points in time?
Meanwhile, excavations in the southeast part of Caesar’s Forum revealed
substantial remains of building phases from before the construction of the forum in the Late
Republican period. Tese can be dated to the Archaic and Early Republican period
th(6 century BCE until c. 390 BCE). Notably two rectangular buildings from the Late
Archaic period were found to be well preserved. A detailed architectural and contextual
study has outlined how these buildings underwent several changes and extensions over
the years, until they were destroyed by a fre around 390 BCE, which can probably be
related to the Gallic sack of the city (Delfno 2010; 2014). It appears that one of the
buildings was re-erected in the aftermath of the fre, and the future excavations are likely
to clarify whether the area experienced a general reconstruction in the years after 390
BCE, or only a limited part was the object of the supposed Gallic destruction.
3. Conclusion
Te broad chronological span of more than, potentially, 3000 years and the diversity
of the archaeological remains, which will tell us about the development of one of the
most signifcant urban sites in the Mediterranean, provide exciting archaeological
perspectives. For the most part, urban dynamics can not be studied over such long time
spans and certainly not in such central spaces. Furthermore, both the structural and
non-structural features in the region of the Forum of Caesar provide the opportunity
to combine traditional contextual-based excavations (context-frst approach) with
highdefnition investigations that will, in turn, allow for a comprehensive understanding of
the overall development of the area over several millennia.
With the Forum of Caesar as the point of departure, the excavations will uncover the
full extent of the forum complex permitting – for the frst time – a complete architectural
overview. Focus is therefore dedicated to adding additional layers of understanding to
the overall architectural development of the Forum of Caesar from the initial layout to
the reconstructions and changes that occurred during the following fve centuries (for
24 Jan Kindberg Jacobsen & Rubina Raja
Contents
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108464_urban_r1.indd 24 08/06/2018 09.57.32key information about the transformations of the area from the Recent Bronze Age to an overview, cf. Meneghini 2009: 43‑58). In this context, a better understanding of the
th ththe Orientalising period (13 century BCE to the beginning of the 6 century BCE). architectural programme is likely to be reached.
Overall, the results confrm the view that the process of urbanisation developed in Trough its long continuous urban history, the understanding of the urban develop ‑
Rome somewhat earlier in respect to other centres in Latium (De Santis et al. 2010). ment of Rome has traditionally been limited by inadequate accessibility to connected
While this might be unsurprising, it still underlines the importance of the location of excavation areas. In particular, the phases dating to the early part of the city’s life, not to
Rome and its centre at an earlier time than had hitherto been shown. One question mention the centuries prior to the mythological founding of Rome 753 BCE, have been
that remains unsolved, however, is to what extent we can, in fact, call Rome urban at under‑researched. Much of early Rome had already been erased in Antiquity through
this point in time, or whether the urban character of the settlement went even further the continuing transformation of the public and private architectural settings of the
back in time. One line of enquiry would be through the new excavations, to look at central part of the city. In addition, the archaeological record at hand often derives from
the early remains in a more holistic manner by applying high-defnition methods to trenches of limited dimensions from which it is often difcult to extract contextual
the fndings and hopefully pushing questions such as: Who were the people inhabiting understanding and absolute chronology.
the area at this point in time? What urban practices can we trace in the archaeological In contrast to these situations, the new excavation on the Forum of Caesar will cover
2material? What consumption habits and burial practices did they have, and how does an area of up to 2,000 m, and parts of the area will reveal extensive chronological
that inform us about the character of the settlement at the early points in time? sequences. Tis provides a unique possibility to study contextual changes over a large
Meanwhile, excavations in the southeast part of Caesar’s Forum revealed substan- area through a long period. Both will be central archaeological parameters in defning,
tial remains of building phases from before the construction of the forum in the Late in high‑defnition, a broad empirical contextualised approach to the development of
Republican period. Tese can be dated to the Archaic and Early Republican period central Rome for over 3000 years. Large‑scale urban excavation can rarely be undertaken
th(6 century BCE until c. 390 BCE). Notably two rectangular buildings from the Late today – due to their expense as well as the continuous development that has often taken
Archaic period were found to be well preserved. A detailed architectural and contextual place at such sites for millennia. However, such excavations are still needed because,
study has outlined how these buildings underwent several changes and extensions over despite much archaeological research and excavations, we still stand on the threshold to
the years, until they were destroyed by a fre around 390 BCE, which can probably be new frames of enquiry and new scales of defnition that can be further tested through
related to the Gallic sack of the city (Delfno 2010; 2014). It appears that one of the large‑scale urban excavations.
buildings was re-erected in the aftermath of the fre, and the future excavations are likely
to clarify whether the area experienced a general reconstruction in the years after 390
4. Acknowledgements
BCE, or only a limited part was the object of the supposed Gallic destruction.
Tis work was supported by the Carlsberg Foundation and the Danish National Re‑
search Foundation under the grant DNRF119 – Centre of Excellence for Urban Network
3. Conclusion
Evolutions (UrbNet).
Te broad chronological span of more than, potentially, 3000 years and the diversity
of the archaeological remains, which will tell us about the development of one of the
5. Bibliography
most signifcant urban sites in the Mediterranean, provide exciting archaeological
perAmici, C.M. et al. (2007). Lo scavo didattico della zona retrostante la Curia (Foro de Cesare). Campagne di scavo spectives. For the most part, urban dynamics can not be studied over such long time
1961‑1970. Rome: Bonsignori.spans and certainly not in such central spaces. Furthermore, both the structural and
De Santis, A., Mieli, G., Rosa, C., Matteucci, R., Celant, A., Minniti, C., Catalano, P., De Angelis, F., Di Giannanto‑
non-structural features in the region of the Forum of Caesar provide the opportunity nio, S., Giardino, C. & Giannini, P. (2010). Le fasi di occupazione nell’area centrale di Roma in età protostorica:
to combine traditional contextual-based excavations (context-frst approach) with high- nuovi dati dagli scavi nel Foro di Cesare. Scienze dell’Antichita, 16, 259‑284.
Delfno, A. (2010). Le fasi archaiche e alto‑repubblicane nell’area del Foro di Cesare, Sc. Scienze dell’Antichita, 16, defnition investigations that will, in turn, allow for a comprehensive understanding of
285‑302.the overall development of the area over several millennia.
Delfno, A. (2014). FORUM IULIUM: L’area del Foro di Cesare alla luce delle campagne di scavo 2005‑2008 Le fasi
With the Forum of Caesar as the point of departure, the excavations will uncover the
arcaica, repubblicana e cesariano‑augustea. British Archaeological Reports International Series, 2607. Oxford:
full extent of the forum complex permitting – for the frst time – a complete architectural Archaeopress.
overview. Focus is therefore dedicated to adding additional layers of understanding to Lamboglia, N. (1980). Prime conclusioni sugli scavi nel Foro di Cesare dietro la Curia (1960‑1970). Cuadernos de
trabajos de la Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología en Roma, 14, 123‑134.the overall architectural development of the Forum of Caesar from the initial layout to
Meneghini, R. (2009). I fori imperiali e i mercati di Traiano. Rome: Palombi.the reconstructions and changes that occurred during the following fve centuries (for
24 Jan Kindberg Jacobsen & Rubina Raja A high-definition approach to the Forum of Caesar in Rome 25
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108464_urban_r1.indd 24 08/06/2018 09.57.32 108464_urban_r1.indd 25 08/06/2018 09.57.33108464_urban_r1.indd 26 08/06/2018 09.57.34NORA M. PETERSEN
Burial and birds in pre-urban Rome
1. Introduction
Previous excavation campaigns in the Forum of Caesar carried out during the period
from 1999 to 2008 revealed a number of burials belonging to the Late Bronze Age
th thand Early Iron Age (11 -10 century BCE). In the Final Bronze Age, the site of Rome
consisted of two small settlements, one on the Palatine Hill and one on the Capitoline
Hill. Te burials belonging to this period all contain diferent types of grave oferings.
Among these oferings are birds, recovered in a burial, tomb 2 (Figs. 1-2).
According to legend, birds have played an important role in Rome since the founding
of the city. Te gods spoke their will through the birds, and the activities of birds in the
sky showed whether the omens of the gods were favourable or unfavourable. According
to Roman mythology, the twins Romulus and Remus observed the fight of the birds
in the sky, to determine which of them was to be founder of the city. Romulus went
to the Palatine Hill where he saw twelve vultures, while his twin brother, Remus, saw
only six from the Aventine Hill. Te observation of the fight of birds for divination is
often referred to as an Etruscan custom. However, other scholars believe it began as a
Roman practice. Even though there are numerous examples of divination from Etruria
involving birds, such as the destiny of the future king of Rome, Tarquinius Priscus, it has
not yet been clarifed. During the period of Etruscan kings in Rome, the observation of
birds was the most commonly used religious practice, and the early institutionalisation
of the augur’s college in Rome is thought to have occurred during the regal period. Tis
suggests that the practice had already existed for a long time (Capdeville 2011: 124-125).
Tomb 2 in the Forum of Caesar is of particular interest because the buried individual
is the frst known person in Rome to be associated with both a religious role and with
birds, which may refer to the augural observation of birds. Here, these fnds will be
presented alongside insight into their interpretation and the religious role of the de -
ceased. Tomb 2 is dated to the transition between the Late Bronze Age and the Early
thIron Age. Te main focus will therefore be on the archaeological material from the 11
thand 10 centuries BCE from the Forum of Caesar and the religious role that may be
associated with tomb 2.
2. The early burials on the Forum of Caesar
Te excavation campaigns in the years 1999-2008 revealed ten tombs. Five of these burials
belong to the transitional period between the Final Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age
Burial and birds in pre-urban Rome 27
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108464_urban_r1.indd 26 08/06/2018 09.57.34 108464_urban_r1.indd 27 08/06/2018 09.57.36Fig. 1. Tomb 2 from the Forum of
Caesar (from De Santis 2001).
th th(11 -10 century BCE, Latial period I – phase IIA1). All fve burials were cremations of
male individuals placed in cylindrical pit tombs cut into the soil, so-called pozzo tombs
th(tombs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8). Four burials belong to the Early Iron Age (10 century BCE).
Tree of these are inhumation burials (tombs 4, 6 and 10), while one is a cremation
(tomb 7). Te last burial (tomb 12) was damaged sometime during Antiquity, the type
of deposition is therefore unknown (De Santis et al. 2010: 263-273).
2.1 The burials from the 11th-10th century BCE
Te fve tombs (tombs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8) dated to the early period contain miniature
impasto vessels, miniature weapons and personal objects such as fbulae.
Troughout Latium, bronze miniature objects were used to defne the role of the
deceased, which can be divided into two categories: religious and military-political roles.
Te religious role is associated with miniature bronze knives, double shields and small
terracotta fgurines, while the political or military role is refected in miniature bronze
swords (De Santis et al 2010: 264-271).
Tomb 2 (Figs. 1-2) contained the cremation of a young man of 18-25 years of age, an
urn with a conical lid (also interpreted as a hut roof), nine miniature impasto vessels, a
bronze serpentine fbula and miniature bronzes; a sacrifcial knife, two double shields and
28 Nora M. Petersen
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108464_urban_r1.indd 28 08/06/2018 09.57.37th thGrave goods, minus the fibula, found in tomb 2 from the Forum of Caesar, 11 -10 century BCE Fig. 2.
(from De Santis et al. 2010, 264).
Fig. 1. Tomb 2 from the Forum of
Caesar (from De Santis 2001). a spear. Te sacrifcial knife and the two double shields indicate that the deceased had
a religious role in society. Other bronzes, such as the miniature bronze spear, are more
difcult to associate with a specifc role. In the Forum of Caesar, no miniature swords
th th(11 -10 century BCE, Latial period I – phase IIA1). All fve burials were cremations of were found, and only religious symbols are found in the tombs. Tis is consistent with
male individuals placed in cylindrical pit tombs cut into the soil, so-called pozzo tombs the tendency throughout the whole region where the religious role is represented in
th(tombs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8). Four burials belong to the Early Iron Age (10 century BCE). the tombs rather than the military-political role (De Santis 2010: 173-174). Te priestly
Tree of these are inhumation burials (tombs 4, 6 and 10), while one is a cremation role indicated by the presence of a sacrifcial knife and double shields, in three tombs
(tomb 7). Te last burial (tomb 12) was damaged sometime during Antiquity, the type (tombs 1, 2 and 8) from the Forum of Caesar, highlights the importance of religion in
of deposition is therefore unknown (De Santis et al. 2010: 263-273). the period in which the pre-urban site of Rome and the Latial culture began to take
shape. Additionally, the food oferings are thought to be a central part of the funerary
2.1 The burials from the 11th-10th century BCE ritual and cult in Rome at this time. In the area of Caesar’s Forum, there is a majority
Te fve tombs (tombs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8) dated to the early period contain miniature of sheep and pig bones in tombs from the Final Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, only
impasto vessels, miniature weapons and personal objects such as fbulae. tomb 8 contained bovine (cow) remains as well as bones from a sheep. Te only burial
Troughout Latium, bronze miniature objects were used to defne the role of the to contain bird bones was tomb 2, where part of a piglet and bird bones from three
deceased, which can be divided into two categories: religious and military-political roles. diferent bird species were recovered. Zooarchaeological analyses have shown that the
Te religious role is associated with miniature bronze knives, double shields and small bones came from lark (Alaudidae), chafnch (Fringillidae) and dove (Columbidae).
terracotta fgurines, while the political or military role is refected in miniature bronze Tese bird remains, their amount and variety of species present a unique case for Rome
swords (De Santis et al 2010: 264-271). and for the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age burials in all of Latium. Te animal
Tomb 2 (Figs. 1-2) contained the cremation of a young man of 18-25 years of age, an bones were placed in the miniature vessels; the piglet bones and some dove bones were
urn with a conical lid (also interpreted as a hut roof), nine miniature impasto vessels, a found in the miniature table-plate (piattello-tavolino). Other dove bones were found in
bronze serpentine fbula and miniature bronzes; a sacrifcial knife, two double shields and a smooth, ovoid miniature olla, while two bones from a wing, the right radius and the
28 Nora M. Petersen Burial and birds in pre-urban Rome 29
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108464_urban_r1.indd 28 08/06/2018 09.57.37 108464_urban_r1.indd 29 08/06/2018 09.57.39ulna, were found in the boat-shaped vessel. All the dove bones are thought to belong to
the same bird, and almost the entire skeleton is present except for the right hind limb
and the skull. Te lark remains consisted of wing bones and part of the beak, whereas
part of a scapula and humerus belong to the chafnch (De Grossi Mazzorin & Gala
2015). It is not clear were the lark and the chafnch were recovered in the tomb. Inside
the urn, there were also two non-identifable animal bone fragments (Minniti 2012: 158).
Furthermore, it is possible to detect several cutting marks on the bird bones as well as
combustion marks on the articulate ends of the wing bones, showing that the wings
were cut of before they were cooked (De Grossi Mazzorin & Gala 2015: 8). Carbonised
boxwood was also found in tomb 2.
2.2 The burials from the 10th century BCE on the Forum of Caesar
Te three inhumation tombs (tombs 4, 6 and 10) all contained female individuals. Te
grave goods consisted of impasto vessels and bronze objects, such as fbulae, rings and
small spirals, so-called fermatreccie. Two of the deceased were buried with necklaces; in
tomb 6 it was made of amber, pasta vitrea and gold while the necklace from tomb 10
was made of amber and pasta vitrea. In the burial of tomb 4, only amber beads were
found. Te food oferings consisted of the same animals as in the previous period.
However, no bird remains were found. Tomb 7 contained the cremation of a 2-year-old
boy who was buried with impasto ceramics and food oferings, such as part of a lamb
and a sheep. Te cremation also contained carbonised evergreen oak while tomb 4 also
contained carbonised boxwood (De Santis et al. 2010: 267-269).
3. Burials and bones
All the tombs in the Forum of Caesar contain faunal remains. In comparison, only
53% of the burials in the necropolis close to the Temple of Faustina and Antoninus in
the Roman Forum contained animal bones while the same can be said for only 6% of
the tombs of Osteria dell’Osa near Gabi. Food remains have also been found in the
tombs from the Early Iron Age in the area of Giardino Romano on the Capitoline Hill.
Te deposition of food in burials played a central part in the funerary ritual in Rome,
which was continued until the Orientalising period (Catalano et al. 2015: 7). Te animal
bones from tomb 2 could be interpreted either as food oferings for the afterlife of the
deceased or as food prepared for the funerary ceremony itself. However, it could also
signify that a particular animal was prepared and ofered to the deceased because it was
somehow associated with the individual and his role in the society. Not every part of
the animals was found in tomb 2, which might indicate that some of the bones were
consumed by the participants in the funerary ritual or banquet. Meat was high-status
food in Antiquity and the high social status of the deceased explains the large amount
of piglet and bird bones. Raising animals was naturally more expensive than the growth
of cereals and plants, and meat was most likely primarily eaten on certain religious
occasions and thus rarely separated from animal sacrifce.
During the pre-urban period, Rome only had two other tombs (Q and V) containing
30 Nora M. Petersen
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108464_urban_r1.indd 30 08/06/2018 09.57.40ulna, were found in the boat-shaped vessel. All the dove bones are thought to belong to
the same bird, and almost the entire skeleton is present except for the right hind limb
and the skull. Te lark remains consisted of wing bones and part of the beak, whereas
part of a scapula and humerus belong to the chafnch (De Grossi Mazzorin & Gala
2015). It is not clear were the lark and the chafnch were recovered in the tomb. Inside
the urn, there were also two non-identifable animal bone fragments (Minniti 2012: 158).
Furthermore, it is possible to detect several cutting marks on the bird bones as well as
combustion marks on the articulate ends of the wing bones, showing that the wings
were cut of before they were cooked (De Grossi Mazzorin & Gala 2015: 8). Carbonised
boxwood was also found in tomb 2.
2.2 The burials from the 10th century BCE on the Forum of Caesar
Te three inhumation tombs (tombs 4, 6 and 10) all contained female individuals. Te
grave goods consisted of impasto vessels and bronze objects, such as fbulae, rings and
small spirals, so-called fermatreccie. Two of the deceased were buried with necklaces; in
tomb 6 it was made of amber, pasta vitrea and gold while the necklace from tomb 10
was made of amber and pasta vitrea. In the burial of tomb 4, only amber beads were
found. Te food oferings consisted of the same animals as in the previous period. Tomb Q from the necropolis of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Left: Pozzo tombs with cave. Fig. 3.
However, no bird remains were found. Tomb 7 contained the cremation of a 2-year-old Right: Detail from inside the cave (from Gjerstad 1956, photo no. Dfs8147).
boy who was buried with impasto ceramics and food oferings, such as part of a lamb
and a sheep. Te cremation also contained carbonised evergreen oak while tomb 4 also
contained carbonised boxwood (De Santis et al. 2010: 267-269). bird bones. Tomb Q and tomb V are both pozzo tombs located in the necropolis near
the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina on the Forum Romanum (Boni 1906: 9‑16, 50‑54
and 253‑256). Both tombs are dated to the Early Iron Age (Latial phase IIA), a period
3. Burials and bones
in which small settlements were founded in the area of Rome and therefore some of
All the tombs in the Forum of Caesar contain faunal remains. In comparison, only the necropoles were moved. Te small necropolis close to the Arch of Augustus moved
53% of the burials in the necropolis close to the Temple of Faustina and Antoninus in to the area near the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Tomb Q (Fig. 3) stands out in
the Roman Forum contained animal bones while the same can be said for only 6% of relation to the surrounding tombs because a small cave was dug into the side of the
the tombs of Osteria dell’Osa near Gabi. Food remains have also been found in the pozzo at the bottom. In this aspect, only tomb R is similar. Inside the small cave, a hut
tombs from the Early Iron Age in the area of Giardino Romano on the Capitoline Hill. urn with the unburned bones of a dove (turtle tenera) was placed on top of the cremated
Te deposition of food in burials played a central part in the funerary ritual in Rome, bones. Inside the cave, eleven impasto vessels and the bones, deriving either from a pig
which was continued until the Orientalising period (Catalano et al. 2015: 7). Te animal or a calf, were found. However, the species cannot be determined because the animal
bones from tomb 2 could be interpreted either as food oferings for the afterlife of the bones have gone missing. Tomb V consisted of a large dolium placed at the bottom of
deceased or as food prepared for the funerary ceremony itself. However, it could also the pozzo in which the cremation of a young individual was found inside an amphora.
signify that a particular animal was prepared and ofered to the deceased because it was Diferent kinds of impasto vessels and the bones of an entire bird, probably a thrush,
somehow associated with the individual and his role in the society. Not every part of were found in the dolium mixed with earth and human bones. A stone placed on the
the animals was found in tomb 2, which might indicate that some of the bones were surface of the tomb had a hole in its centre that, according to Giacomo Boni, excavator
consumed by the participants in the funerary ritual or banquet. Meat was high-status of the necropolis, could have been designed for a staf.
food in Antiquity and the high social status of the deceased explains the large amount In Latium, only a few other tombs from this period contain bird bones. At Monte
of piglet and bird bones. Raising animals was naturally more expensive than the growth Cucco near Castel Gandolfo, chicken bones were found inside a hut urn; these are
of cereals and plants, and meat was most likely primarily eaten on certain religious oc- considered the earliest chicken remains from ancient Italy (De Grossi Mazzorin &
casions and thus rarely separated from animal sacrifce. Gala 2015). Additionally, bones of Aves sp. were found in the necropolis of Le Caprine
During the pre-urban period, Rome only had two other tombs (Q and V) containing (Final Bronze Age) in the very rich tomb 5 belonging to a c. 2‑3‑year‑old girl who was
30 Nora M. Petersen Burial and birds in pre-urban Rome 31
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