Small Finds and Ancient Social Practices in the Northwest Provinces of the Roman Empire

Small Finds and Ancient Social Practices in the Northwest Provinces of the Roman Empire

By: Stefanie Hoss (editor), Alissa Whitmore (editor)Paperback

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Small finds - the stuff of everyday life - offer archaeologists a fascinating glimpse into the material lives of the ancient Romans. These objects hold great promise for unravelling the ins and outs of daily life, especially for the social groups, activities, and regions for which few written sources exist. Focusing on amulets, brooches, socks, hobnails, figurines, needles, and other "mundane" artefacts, these 12 papers use small finds to reconstruct social lives and practices in the Roman Northwest provinces. Taking social life broadly, the various contributions offer insights into the everyday use of objects to express social identities, Roman religious practices in the provinces, and life in military communities. By integrating small finds from the Northwest provinces with material, iconographic, and textual evidence from the whole Roman empire, contributors seek to demystify Roman magic and Mithraic religion, discover the latest trends in ancient fashion (socks with sandals!), explore Roman interactions with Neolithic monuments, and explain unusual finds in unexpected places. Throughout, the authors strive to maintain a critical awareness of archaeological contexts and site formation processes to offer interpretations of past peoples and behaviours that most likely reflect the lived reality of the Romans. While the range of topics in this volume gives it wide appeal, scholars working with small finds, religion, dress, and life in the Northwest provinces will find it especially of interest. Small Finds and Ancient Social Practices grew out of a session at the 2014 Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference.

About Author

Stefanie Hoss has worked as a post-excavation small finds specialist in the Netherlands for more than ten years and has taught at the Free University Amsterdam and the University of Cologne. Her research interests include the Roman culture of bathing and Roman toilets, Roman and Byzantine metal and glass finds, Roman military finds, Roman food and dining habits, and the wondrous ways of Roman refuse. Alissa Whitmore is an independent archaeologist and anthropologist who also teaches at a community college in Iowa. Her primary interest is the intersection between small finds, identity, and spatial analysis, focused on artefacts recovered from bathhouses, especially from the drains and latrines, to reconstruct the social activities of bathers in Roman public and military bathhouses. She also has interests in ancient gender and sexuality.


1. Introduction: Small Finds and Ancient Social Practices Stefanie Hoss and Alissa Whitmore Small finds, the Body, and Identity 2. Iron footed - hobnail patterns under Roman shoes and their functional meaning Boris Burandt 3. Wearing socks in sandals: The height of Roman fashion? Barbara Koestner 4. Laying it on thick - makeup in the Roman Empire Gisela Michel 5. Of brooches and men Stefanie Hoss Religion and Ritual in the Roman Northwest Provinces 6. Ordinary Objects Transformed: the compound natures of material culture Mara Vejby 7. A Mars with Breasts from Weissenburg in Bavaria Nicole Birkle 8. Metropolitan Styling: Metal figurines from London and Colchester Emma Durham 9. Staring at Death: The Jet Gorgoneia of Roman Britain Adam Parker Artefacts, Behaviours and Spaces 10. Dining with Mithras - functional aspects of pottery ensembles from Roman Mithraea Ines Klenner 11. Cloth Working in the Baths? Site Formation Processes, Needles, and Spindle Whorls in Roman Bathhouse Contexts Alissa M. Whitmore 12. The complexity of intramural and extramural relationships on the northern frontier of Roman Britain - a Vindolanda case study Andrew R. Birley

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781785702563
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 200
  • ID: 9781785702563
  • ISBN10: 1785702564

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