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LATE ANTIQUE URBAN TOPOGRAPHY: FROM ARCHITECTURE TO HUMAN SPACE

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image of Late Antique Archaeology

Writing about the late antique city is dominated by topographical mapping, architectural studies and site syntheses. These approaches operate within a conception of space as the location of points within an imaginary grid. However, other notions of space exist. This paper proposes a move away from the location and description of physical remains towards a study of human spatiality. It also seeks to re-establish the study of topography at a general, rather than site-focused level. The limitations of existing approaches and the needs of late antique evidence are explored. An alternative topographical approach is suggested, based on studying ‘activity spaces’ (human activities in their total material setting) instead of simple buildings. This gives special prominence to texts, but seeks to combine all kinds of evidence. The methodological issues involved in doing this are considered. Possible implications for archaeological field practice are also explored.

10.1163/22134522-90000008
/content/journals/10.1163/22134522-90000008
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/content/journals/10.1163/22134522-90000008
2003-01-01
2016-12-11

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