Planting for Power in Ancient Rome

Reconstruction of the inner peristyle of the House of the Vettii in Pompeii. The original garden would have been decorated with brightly colored frescoes. Photo: Sailko, Wikimedia Commons Plants and trees were employed as symbols of power and learning in both public and private. By Dr. Annalisa Marzano / 03.14.2017 Professor of Ancient History University of[…]

Architect Turns Old Cement Factory into Awe-Inspiring Work/Living Space

03.06.2017 Covered by climbing plants and surrounded by a garden of eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses, this old cement factory on the outskirts of Barcelona looks like an abandoned industrial complex reclaimed by nature. In reality, it’s a bustling work/living space designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. Bofill discovered the closed down World War I[…]

Mycenaean Residential Architecture: Palaces and Ordinary Housing

Megaron at Pylos / Photo by University of North Carolina By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Distribution and Dating of Mycenaean Palaces Mycenaean palatial structures are now known at the following sites on the Greek Mainland: Megaron ruins at Tiryns / Wikimedia[…]

The Agorē in Epic and Archaeology

Ruins of the agora at Troy / UNESCO World Heritage Centre By Dr. Jim Marks / 11.30.2012 01.01.2012 Introduction Descriptions of communities in the early Greek epics—like descriptions of places, people and things in general—tend to be cursory and formulaic. One of the features that does recur in the descriptions of communities is a collective[…]

Mycenaean Tholos Tombs and Early Mycenaean Settlements

Interior of the tholos tomb at the Treasury of Atreus, Mycenae, 13th century BCE / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Definition of the Mycenaean Form of Tholos Tomb Tholos tomb cutaway illustration / Brown University, Creative Commons The Mycenaean[…]

Petra: The Rose-Red City of the Nabataeans

So-called Treasury (Khazneh), Petra (Jordan), 2nd century C.E. (photo: Colin Tsoi) By Dr. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis / 08.08.2015 Assistant Professor Liberal Studies, Graduate Center, City University of New York Governing Board, Archaeological Institute of America Introduction There is only one true way to experience Petra—the greatest city of the Nabataeans, a people who occupied the area[…]

Neopalatial Minoa and Its Influence in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Worlds

One of the east storage magazines in the palace at Malia / Photo by Ian Swindale, MinoanCrete.com By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College The Beginning of the Neopalatial Period on Crete (ca. 1750/1720 B.C.?) In MM IIIA, new palaces were built at[…]

Kaymakli and Derinkuyu: Two Ancient Underground Cities in Turkey

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.04.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Kaymakli A large room several floors down into the city. / Wikimedia Commons Kaymakli Underground City is contained within the citadel of Kaymakli in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. First opened to tourists in 1964, the village is about 19 km from Nevşehir, on the Nevşehir-Niğde[…]

Minoan Domestic and Funerary Architecture of the Neopalatial and Post-Palatial Periods

The “Little Palace” at Knossos, Crete / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Settlement Architecture Neopalatial Minoan villa at Knossos / Wikimedia Commons The following site categories have been identified by Cadogan during the Neopalatial period in Crete: I. Small[…]

Minoan Architecture: The Palaces

Palace at Knossos, Crete / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Common Features of Minoan Places in the Neopalatial Period The second palace, the remains of what we see today, was sophisticated by all means. It featured water and sanitation[…]

The Grand Tour: Educational Journeys from the 16th to 18th Centuries

Grand Tourists traveled to places such as Rome and Greece to study the ancient ruins and masterpieces of architecture, painting, and sculpture / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Mathis Leibetseder / 11.11.2013 Senior Lecturer in History Staatsoper im Schiller, Berlin Abstract The following discussion focuses travelling for education and knowledge acquisition which was common in Europe[…]

Archaeology of Middle Helladic Greece

Cemetery of Vranas. Burial mound. Middle Helladic Period. 2000-1600 BC. / Archaeological Museum of Marathon. Greece. By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Chronology Although the Middle Helladic (MH) period may be as much as 500 years long (ca. 2050/2000-1550 B.C.), no single[…]

The Tombs of Ancient Ostia

Gate at Porta Romana / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jan Theo Bakker / 11.03.2007 Professor of Archaeology Leiden University Necropolises NOTE: The Isola Sacra necropolis will be covered in a separate article. Porta Romana Necropolis Introduction The Porta Romana necropolis consists of some sixty tombs. It was unearthed by Pietro Ercole Visconti in the years[…]

Ancient Greece: Minoans and Mycenaeans to the Hellenistic Age

Reconstructed illustration of the Palace of Knossos, Crete / Wikimedia Commons By Lisa M. Lane / 10.09.2016 Professor of History MiraCosta College Greek Geography Ancient Greece in the Aegean / SlideShare, Creative Commons Whether you believe in geographic determinism or not, there is no doubt that ancient Greek people and culture were influenced by geography.[…]

The Growth and Diffusion of Rome: Republic, Empire, Late Antiquity, Early Middle Ages

Pont du Gard, in Vers-Pont-du-Gard, Gard department, South France. The Pont du Gard is the most famous part of the roman aqueduct which carried water from Uzès to Nîmes until roughly the 9th century when maintenance was abandoned. The monument is 49m high and now 275m long (it was 360m when intact) at its top.[…]

The Ostia Mithraea: An Introduction to the Cult of Mithras and Tour of the Ostian Shrines

The Mithraeum of the Seven Gates. / Photograph: Bill Storage. By Dr. Jan Theo Bakker / 12.22.2003 Professor of Archaeology Leiden University Mithraism By Alison Griffith Mithraism is the ancient Roman mystery cult of the god Mithras. Roman worship of Mithras began sometime during the early Roman empire, perhaps during the late first century of[…]

Archaeology of the Acropolis in Athens: Early Settlement to Today

Reconstruction painting of the Acropolis and Areus Pagus in Athens, by Leo von Klenze / Neue Pinakothek (Gallery), Munich Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.12.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction   Left: View of the Acropolis / Photo by A. Savin, Wikimedia Commons Right: The Parthenon / Photo by Steve Swayne, Wikimedia Commons The Acropolis of[…]

Store Buildings of Ancient Ostia

Horrea Epagathiana, Ostia Antica / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jan Theo Bakker / 05.28.2005 Professor of Archaeology Leiden University Introduction Impression of the unloading of a ship. / Misurare la Terra, Modena 1986, p. 167. Fairly detailed descriptions and interpretations of the Ostian store buildings (horrea) were produced by Rickman (1971). Some can be identified[…]

The New Ruins of Syria

The Bel Temple, Aleppo, 2004. Courtesy of and © Ross Burns. All rights reserved An archaeologist explains why cultural heritage monuments in Palmyra and Aleppo have been used as weapons of war. By Dr. Ross Burns / 02.08.2017 Adjunct Professor of Archaeology Macquarie University Syria is a singular treasure trove of numerous phases of world[…]

The Temple of Trajan in Pergamon

11.17.2015 Description: The Temple of Trajan, also called Trajaneum, is one of the most spectacular structures in Pergamon’s Upper Acropolis area. It is also the only Roman monument in this location. The construction of the temple was initiated under the Roman emperor Trajan (hence it’s name) and completed by his successor Hadrian. The purpose of[…]

Serapea of Ancient Egypt

Roman Serapeum in Alexandria, Egypt / Photo by Jerzga Franklin, Pinterest Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.08.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The Ptolemaic and Roman Serapea of Alexandria Marble bust of Serapis wearing a modius, found in Carthage, 3rd century CE / Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen, Louvre Museum, Paris During Late Antiquity, Ancient Egypt was ruled[…]

An Introduction to the Etruscans

Tomb (of the Funeral Bed?), 470-60 B.C.E., found in the necropolis of Tarquinia (Villa Giulia, Rome) By Dr. Laurel Taylor / 08.08.2015 Lecturer of Archaeology, Art History, and Classics University of North Carolina, Asheville Before the small village of Rome became “Rome” with a capital R (to paraphrase D.H. Lawrence), a brilliant civilization once controlled[…]