Place theory, genealogy, and the cultural biography of Roman monuments

Rohl, D. (2015) Place theory, genealogy, and the cultural biography of Roman monuments. In: Brindle, T., Allen, M., Durham, E. and Smith, Alex, eds. TRAC 2014: Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Reading, 2014. Oxford: Oxbow. pp. 1-16 ISBN 9781785700026

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Abstract

This paper draws on developments in humanistic geography, philosophy, and archaeology to develop a long-term place-centered theoretical perspective on monuments of the Roman Empire. The emphasis is on theory-building and an exploration of the implications of applying the proposed perspective, rather than a detailed case study of a particular Roman monument. It is argued that monuments and heritage sites are too frequently viewed as time capsules for which perceived significance derives from their original function and period of construction and primary use: the glory days effectively define the monument and set the parameters of present-day management, public presentation, and research agendas. Sites and monuments are often pigeon-holed, branded, and carefully circumscribed by chronological and thematic parameters that allow for simple and digestable messaging, but this practice establishes and reinforces a reductionist perspective in which only certain periods and functions are seen to really matter. The paper merges place theory and genealogy to propose and explore an alternative perspective that allows for the continued celebration of key episodes in a site’s life, but that also allows for the explicit recognition that significance is cumulative and changing, and that a wider range of activities, events, memories, and stories augment and enrich traditional period-limited views; such a perspective also provides opportunities for new research and cross-disciplinary and cross-period collaboration.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Place, Space, Archaeology, Archaeology of Place, Cultural Biography, Archaeological Theory
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization > CB History of Civilization (General) > CB0440 Relation to special topics > CB0450 Geography and civilization
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Darrell J. Rohl
Date Deposited: 04 May 2017 08:51
Last Modified: 04 May 2017 08:51
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/15819

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00