After Sulla : study in the settlement and material culture of the Piraeus peninsula in the Roman and Late Roman period
Modem text-based and ancient historical accounts take the sack of Piraeus, the port of Athens in Greece, by the Romans under Sulla in 86 ВС as the terminal point of the history of the area in antiquity. Archaeological work on the town has tended so far to regard the post-Classical phases of the settlement as less interesting than those marking the 'heyday' of the port in the Classical period. This thesis explores the nature and scale of settlement in the area in the centuries spanning the town's destruction by the Romans in 86 ВС and the Late Roman period. The study is based on a re-assessment of archaeological data from old and recent rescue excavations in the modem town up to 1997. It also presents and discusses in detail the results of post-excavation work by the author on unpublished material from an extensive site excavated in the early 1980s, These results are compared to and synthesized with epigraphic and other testimonies to answer questions about the nature of settlement and the degree of social and cultural change in the area during the period in focus. The discussion focuses in particular on; 1) exploring continuity and change in the settlement patterns, demography and topography of the town, 2) the changing nature of domestic space and its organization, and 3) investigating patterns of pottery consumption and trade. These issues are examined in the context of the social, economic and cultural changes documented for the Roman imperial and Late Roman period by previous archaeological fieldwork and excavations in the region of southern Greece and the Aegean.