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Settling in a Changing World

Settling in a Changing World: Villa Development in the Northern Provinces of the Roman Empire

Diederick Harbermehl
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  • Book Info
    Settling in a Changing World
    Book Description:

    Offering a broad analysis of the complex developments in rural habitation of the northern provinces of the Roman Empire,Settling in a Changing Worldreconstructs the colonial villa from social and economic perspectives to create a broad geographical and chronological framework that sheds light on both local and regional patterns. Considering data from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France, Diederick Habermehl analyzes, visualizes, and reconstructs the developments in settlement space and architecture. Applying theoretical concepts from both archaeology and cultural studies, this groundbreaking book ultimately offers a new perspective on the Roman villa as an architectural and cultural phenomenon.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1822-7
    Subjects: Sociology, Archaeology

Table of Contents

    (pp. IX-X)
    Diederick Habermehl
  2. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    Settling in a changing world, local inhabitants forging a new place for themselves in the rapidly evolving environment of the Roman provinces that affected each and every dimension of their lives – this is the core theme of the study before you. Generally speaking, the development of the northernmost provinces of the Roman empire involved creating a new administrative structure that includedcivitatesand their capitals, the development of many other urban and rural centres connected by a network well-constructed roads and a series of military camps, concentrated mainly along the Rhine. This be linked to significant changes in the economic,...

  3. 2 Data and research
    (pp. 17-24)

    This chapter will introduce the very essence of this study – the dataset. There are two key themes. Firstly, the choices about the composition of the dataset are made explicit. What sites and data are included in the inventory and what is the rationale behind this? Secondly, the characteristics and biases of the dataset are explored to assess how they influence the results of the analyses.

    Unlike most studies, which focus on individual sites or specific regions, this dataset includes settlement data from a variety of regions, covering no less than four modern-day countries and a variety of research traditions, spread...

  4. 3 Exploring villa development
    (pp. 25-90)

    Having explored the frameworks and datasets in previous chapters, I will now focus on the main theme of this study – villa development. Using a great deal of the high-resolution data on rural settlement available, I will attempt to reconstruct long-term development trends as well as short-term transformations on the level of the settlement and associated community. This chapter approaches developments solely from a spatial architectural perspective, focusing on both the organisation of settlement space and house building. The social and economic dimensions of the reconstructed developments will be given little attention here as they are the central themes of chapters...

  5. 4 Exploring the social villa. A human approach to villa development
    (pp. 91-132)

    The preceding chapter explored long-term developments as well as more radical changes and transformations in both the organisation of settlement space and house building, predominantly from a spatio-morphological perspective. Space and time, both essential elements within this analysis, were approached as abstract, measurable entities. However, we should not forget that archaeology should ultimately be about people. After all, it was people who organised settlement space, built houses and broke with existing trends and traditions. In this chapter, I will therefore study villa development from a social or ‘human’ perspective, making human beings a central element in this chapter’s main research...

  6. 5 Villa development and the organisation of production
    (pp. 133-156)

    This study has so far paid little attention to an important dimension of villa development – agricultural production. This chapter will therefore attempt to elucidate this economic dimension and explore developments in both production and the way it was organised. Once more, the settlement is taken as the main level of analysis. How did the agricultural orientation and organisation of settlements throughout the research region develop over time, also in relation to the organisation of settlement space, building practices and changing social relationships?

    From the 1960s in particular, when a growing number of settlements were excavated on a larger scale, the...

  7. 6 Settling in a changing world: a synthesis
    (pp. 157-166)

    This final chapter aims to provide a synthesis of the preceding study. On the one hand, the central phenomenon of ‘villa development’ is discussed in an integrated way, combining insights from the analyses and hopefully reaching a better understanding of these processes. On the other hand, the reconstructed processes are viewed from a wider perspective, embedding them in their broader context of the profound developments that accompanied the integration of this region into the Roman empire.

    As elaborated in the introduction to this study, two main objectives can be identified. The first involves reconstructing, visualising and analysing development trajectories in...

  8. Appendix 1. Site catalogue
    (pp. 189-240)