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Title: Pompeii, Insula IX.3 : a case study of urban infrastructure
Author: Ynnilä, Heini
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis takes insula IX.3 in Pompeii as a case study and examines how life-sustaining basic utilities and services were made available in this city block. The evidence comes in the form of finds, as documented by nineteenth-century excavators, and structures, either those still standing or those discovered during recent excavations by the Expeditio Pompeiana Universitatis Helsingiensis. Building on concepts deriving from consumption studies and studies of humans and their material culture, this thesis focuses on patterns and non- conformity, and approaches observed phenomena from the point of view of need and desire, cost and efficiency, ownership and law. An analysis of broad-ranging evidence is made possible by operating at a city block level, and patterns can be recognized because the city block contains 19 units. Comparative material and written sources are used to put the evidence in context. Some of the evidence conforms to previously-identified patterns while other evidence reveals new patterns, to be tested further in other contexts. It is shown that basic utilities and services were generally readily available. Nonetheless, there are clear differences between units, and some parts of the city block were more advantageously positioned than others. These reveal differences in hierarchies of needs, social and economic standing, and the impact of the physical constraints in the arrangement of utilities. Some units shared the use of particular utilities. Servitudes, which made these kinds of arrangements possible between adjacent properties, best explain some situations. However, in the majority of cases they most likely derive from common ownership. As a result, the city block contained fewer properties than the number of units. This sheds light on the social relations within the city block and gives grounds for discussion of dominance and dependence. It is shown that the city block contained four clusters of units dominated by large households which were surrounded by dependent units smaller in size. The configuration enabled the owners to play out and gain social, political and economic power.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available