Materialising Roman Histories [Paperback]

Astrid Van Oyen (Editor); Martin Pitts (Editor)

Regular Price: £40.00

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ISBN: 9781785706769 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: University of Cambridge Museum of Classical Archaeology Monographs | Volume: 3 | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 232p, H240 x W170 (mm)

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Materialising Roman Histories


The Roman period witnessed massive changes in the human-material environment, from monumentalised cityscapes to standardised low-value artefacts like pottery. This book explores new perspectives to understand this Roman ‘object boom’ and its impact on Roman history. In particular, the book’s international contributors question the traditional dominance of ‘representation’ in Roman archaeology, whereby objects have come to stand for social phenomena such as status, facets of group identity, or notions like Romanisation and economic growth. Drawing upon the recent material turn in anthropology and related disciplines, the essays in this volume examine what it means to materialise Roman history, focusing on the question of what objects do in history, rather than what they represent. In challenging the dominance of representation, and exploring themes such as the impact of standardisation and the role of material agency, Materialising Roman History is essential reading for anyone studying material culture from the Roman world (and beyond).

Reviews & Quotes

"In summation, all the contributors to this volume provide a range of thought-provoking perspectives and insights into the wider issues raised by the concept of materiality. Those with an interest in theoretical archaeology, and also in Roman social and economic history, will find this book of value."
Matthew Adam Cobb
Ancient West & East (03/12/2020)

"...the book has a coherence that one rarely finds in volumes resulting from seminars."
Caroline Van Eck
Antiquity (06/12/2018)

"At its heart, this is a digestible academic book that shows how peopl and objects were closely connected in the Roman world, and is vital reading for archaeology students and anyone interested in wider material culture studies."
Matthew Fittock
Current World Archaeology (08/06/2018)

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