Provincial Cilicia and the archaeology of temple conversion
This is a study of the Christianisation of the built environment: the physical manifestation of the transition from paganism to Christianity in the Greek East. The core of this thesis comprises an archaeological exploration of temple conversion in terms of structural mechanics, logistics, chronology and socio-political implications. This work provides a re-assessmenot f the fate of the temples- their deconsecration,d estruction, preservation, abandonment and re-utilisation - by supplementing and questioning the historical record through reference to the wealth of available archaeological evidence. Detailed chapters on the mechanics and chronology of particular forms of conversion scenario illustrate the emergence of an architectural vocabulary of temple conversion from the middle of the Sth century. In order to assess the impact of change on a local level, these primary issues are addressed through the archaeology of provincial Cilicia. This sheds new light on several well-known temple conversions and raises important questions about those for which the evidence is less conclusive. It is through this kind of regional study that the variability in the fate of temples is realised and increasingly attributed not to the influence of a particular piece of legislation, but to local and regional circumstances and context. Detailed studies of individual sites have also enabled the formulation of a methodological critique for the identification of the sites of temple conversion in their various manifestations: from complete incorporation of the temple remains, to piecemeal appropriation of individual architectural elements. Archaeological, historical and epigraphical evidence from over 250 structures in which the influence of a pre-existing temple has been detected, have been incorporated into a highly detailed database, providing a platform for information management and the analysis of trends in the fate of the temples. By looking beyond the subjective narratives of the primary historical sources, this thesis demonstrates that the archaeological evidence can provide us with a deeper understanding of the complexity and variability of temple conversion as it occurred in individual urban contexts. This has enabled the formulation of a more coherent picture of its significance and situation in the cultural and physical transfonnation of the late antique city.