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Reuse as Archaeology in Ostia: A Test Case for Late Antique Building Chronologies in Ostia

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AbstractThe study of spolia has been largely undertaken by art historians, and scholars interested in issues of ideology and appropriation. However, the reuse of all types of architectural materials, from carved marble to bricks, tufa and mortar, can play an important role in field archaeology. This study proposes a different approach to reused materials, whereby they are recorded systematically across an archaeological site in conjunction with traditional excavation, in order to help attain more accurate building chronologies. Applying this approach to the site of Ostia provides a test case for this idea, a methodology which delivers new insights into the construction and modification of the late antique city.


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