Roman Archaeology for Historians: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Roman Archaeology for Historians

1st Edition

By Ray Laurence


194 pages

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Roman Archaeology for Historians provides students of Roman history with a guide to the contribution of archaeology to the study of their subject. It discusses the issues with the use of material and textual evidence to explain the Roman past, and the importance of viewing this evidence in context. It also surveys the different approaches to the archaeological material of the period and examines key themes that have shaped Roman archaeology. At the heart of the book lies the question of how archaeological material can be interpreted and its relevance for the study of ancient history. It includes discussion of the study of landscape change, urban topography, the economy, the nature of cities, new approaches to skeletal evidence and artefacts in museums. Along the way, readers gain access to new findings and key sites - many of which have not been discussed in English before and many, for which, access may only be gained from technical reports.

Roman Archaeology for Historians provides an accessible guide to the development of archaeology as a discipline and how the use of archaeological evidence of the Roman world can enrich the study of ancient history, while at the same time encouraging the integration of material evidence into the study of the period’s history. This work is a key resource for students of ancient history, and for those studying the archaeology of the Roman period.


"An energetic engagement with an unusually wide range of topics, drawing upon timely and relevant scholarship… [Laurence] has shown that Roman historians cannot afford to ignore Roman archaeology" - S.E. Craver, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of Contents

1. Questions of Evidence 2. Dialogues of Academic Difference – the Present Past of Roman Studies 3. From Topography to Archaeology: Revealing the Roman Forum 4. From the City to the Country: Archaeological Excavation and Field Survey 5. From Italy to the Provinces: Imperialism and Cultural Change 6. The Archaeologists’ Roman Towns 7. Military and Civilian – Re-interpretting the Roman Fort at Vindolanda 8. Peopling the Roman Past – do the dead tell tales? 9. Plants, Animals, and Diet 10. Looking in the Museums – discovering artefacts 11. End Piece – A Post-Archaeology Age

About the Author

Ray Laurence is Professor of Roman History and Archaeology at the University of Kent, UK. He has published extensively on the Roman Empire, with titles that include: The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change (1999), Roman Pompeii: Space and Society (2007), and The City in the Roman West c. 250 BC - c. AD 250 (2011).

About the Series

Approaching the Ancient World

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HISTORY / Ancient / Rome