skip to content

Archaeology of the Roman Provinces

Archaeology of the Roman Provinces makes up a part of the archaeological sciences that has come into existence by the interaction between Classical Archaeology, Prehistoric Archaeology and Ancient History studies. The chronological framework of the discipline, which is concerned with the rise and later the decline of the Roman empire, stretches from the first cultural presence to military conquest and establishment of a civil administration in the examined province and to its eventual abandonment. The basis for research is made up of material remains. Further, literary sources are also used to investigate ancient society, with a focus on the northwestern provinces (western Europe). Archaeology of the Roman Provinces researches military historical aspects, the living environment of indigenous peoples, and especially their interaction with the contact to the Mediterranean culture: Material remains in their various forms influenced by Roman culture make up the primary source for new insights to the self-perception of the province’s inhabitants. An open economic sphere extending from Scotland to Northern Africa and from Portugal to the Near East encouraged trade in the entire empire. Due to military operations, an impressive mobility of people and goods, which cannot only be observed in objects of everyday life but also in settlement patterns, architecture, cult, religion and tradition, is eminent.

Aside from a humanistic perspective, the scientific approach also uses integrative methods in the analysis of material remains: Landscape and settlement archaeological questions can be answered by prospections such as aerial photography, airborne laserscanning and geophysics. Further insight to the material can be achieved by material analysis (Archaeometry) and radiocarbon analysis in perspective of dating. Here, other disciplines of natural sciences such as Archaeobotanics, Archaeozoology, Anthropology and Dendrochronology can be helpful.