Vivere e Morire nell'impero Romano:
Nuove prospettive dell'archeologia funeraria - Influenze culturali dal centro alla periferia
Living and Dying in Imperial Rome: New perspectives on funerary archaeology - cultural influences from the centre to the periphery
The Roman Empire of the 1st to the 4th centuries A.D. covered much of the territory which, from the 1st of May 2004 constitutes the enlarged European Union. This juxtaposition presents an opportunity to explore aspects of society and culture which represent common elements between the varied European populations in order to create a greater awareness of the shared culture and history of modern Europe, the importance of interaction between diverse cultures, and the influence of Rome at the centre of the empire upon the provinces.
The origins of this project are rooted in developments within the field of funerary archaeology over the past decade. The archaeological methods applied to excavations of Roman cemeteries from the imperial period have demonstrated progress in dealing with an archaeological record which is both scarce and fragmentary. The evidence derived from this has great value for the study of demography, living conditions, social structure, religious beliefs and ritual practices etc.
Fundamental to this work is the application of analyses which permit a reconstruction of funerary practices at the moment of deposition and in subsequent years. Through such work this project hopes to improve both the methodologies employed and the state of knowledge within the field of funerary archaeology.
The methods which this project employs in order to achieve these aims are varied. The project will formulate a common set of procedures for approaching funerary evidence and common criteria for its study. These are to be supported through the development of a model database. The results of the project will be disseminated through a number of workshops, this website, a field school and selected publications.
Through the field school, it is hoped that younger scholars will be introduced to methods of archaeological research which can be applied across Europe. Our intention is to promote a better understanding of shared socio-cultural history and of customs in the Roman Empire. We also intend to facilitate a greater exchange of ideas between scholars of funerary archaeology and wider understanding of the importance of the archaeological record as a means of understanding our past and therefore our own identity.