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The Chora of Metaponto 4

The Late Roman Farmhouse at San Biagio

By Erminia Lapadula

Publication Year: 2012

This volume in the Institute of Classical Archaeology’s series on rural settlements in the countryside (chora) of Metaponto presents the excavation of the Late Roman farmhouse at San Biagio. Located near the site of an earlier Greek sanctuary, this modest but well-appointed structure was an unexpected find from a period generally marked by large landholdings and monumental villas. Description of earlier periods of occupation (Neolithic and Greek) is followed by a detailed discussion of the farmhouse itself and its historical and socioeconomic context. The catalogs and analyses of finds include impressive deposits of coins from the late third and early fourth centuries AD. Use of virtual reality CAD software has yielded a deeper understanding of the architectural structure and its reconstruction. A remarkable feature is the small bath complex, with its examples of window glass. This study reveals the existence of a small but viable rural social and economic entity and alternative to the traditional image of crisis and decline during the Late Imperial period.

Published by: University of Texas Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments, Contributing Authors

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pp. ix-xi

This publication, which was nearly five years in the making, is the product of many individual contributors, including the excavators, the archaeological authorities, the colleagues who have...

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pp. xiii-xiv

This monographic study of the 2nd and 4th century AD Roman farmhouse at San Biagio attempts to fill two major gaps in our knowledge of the history and civilization of southern...

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1. The Farmhouse at San Biagio and the Agricultural Landscape of Basilicata in the Roman Period

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pp. 1-17

The site of the Late Roman farmhouse is part of a larger ancient settlement at San Biagio including an important Greek rural sanctuary, farmhouses, and burials of both Greek and Roman periods...

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2. The Excavation and Structures

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pp. 19-53

The Roman farmhouse at San Biagio occupies the southern slope of a low hill (40 m above sea level) in the Basento valley, some 250 m to the north of the left bank of the river (Fig. 2.1). To the east, the hill slopes toward...

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3. The Materials: Prehistoric through the Roman Republican Period

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pp. 55-101

The area around the farmhouse site at San Biagio attracted human activity and settlement from the prehistoric period down to the present. The excavation has revealed something about the predecessors...

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4. The Materials: The Roman Imperial Period

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pp. 103-168

The systematic recording of the archaeological finds, the data which was added to the publication database alongside all the excavation information, was preliminary and fundamental to the study of the...

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5. Furnishings, Utilitarian Artifacts, and Coins

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pp. 169-189

Several small finds in various materials illuminate activities and aspects of the site both everyday and noteworthy.1 Though not numerous, the rudimentary picture of life at the farmhouse they paint...

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6. Archaeozoology, Archaeometry, and Ceramic Analysis

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pp. 191-213

The assemblage of animal bones from the farmhouse excavation numbers less than 600—a small sample compared to other sites in the chora, and tiny compared to that of the Roman villa at...

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7. Conclusions

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pp. 215-222

The Basento River and the sea are the elements of the San Biagio landscape that have most directly affected the lives of its human occupants. This landscape has undergone long-term...


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pp. 225-243


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pp. 245-261

Illustration Credits

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p. 263

E-ISBN-13: 9780292735422
E-ISBN-10: 0292735421
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292728776
Print-ISBN-10: 0292728778

Illustrations: illus.
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 830023799
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Chora of Metaponto 4

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Metapontum (Extinct city).
  • Metapontum (Extinct city) -- Rural life and customs.
  • Farmhouses -- Italy -- Metapontum (Extinct city).
  • Agricultural colonies -- Italy -- Metapontum (Extinct city).
  • Greeks -- Italy -- Metapontum (Extinct city).
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Italy -- Metapontum (Extinct city).
  • Metaponto Region (Italy) -- Antiquities.
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