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Title: Understanding funerary patterns in the Roman landscape : the case of the lower basin of the Chiese river (Brescia), in Gallia Cisalpina
Author: Botturi, Chiara
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 6754
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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The thesis focuses on assessing the impact of Rome on the funerary landscapes of Gallia Cisalpina (Transpadana), in order to gain a better understanding of the phenomena of cultural influences and cultural change. Roman patterns of burial location – specifically their relationship to the boundaries of rural division (limitatio) and roads – are explored and contrasted with pre-Roman burial patterns. The aim is to track phenomena of continuity or change in funerary locations, which are here interpreted as forming an integral part of the broader sphere of mortuary behaviour and funerary customs. Such phenomena are considered significant in terms of the cultural impact of Rome on the native communities of Gallia Transpadana. The research puts forward that burial location strategies are informative about self-perception and identity claims of individuals in the transition from the La Tène to the Roman period and are crucial to understand the chronology of cultural change. The area investigated, the lower basin of the Chiese River (Brescia), is archaeologically wellknown and was of great importance in pre-Roman (La Tène) and Roman times. Nonetheless, the spatial interrelations of the “places of the living” (settlements, roads and centuriation) and the “places of the dead” have not been investigated, nor indeed have they been a subject of research in Classical studies in general. This thesis aims to fill this gap. Roman cemeteries have been studied almost exclusively in isolation, overlooking their broader context and their spatial relationships with other anthropic elements of the landscape. Therefore, this thesis suggests that funerary landscapes and the study of mortuary patterns in the countryside in particular are an innovative lens through which to look at cultural phenomena. Preliminary to the investigation of funerary patterns in the two chosen study areas have been the creation of an updated catalogue of archaeological evidence and the reconstruction of centuriation. The methodology employed, encompassing archival and bibliographical research, cartographic and photographic sources, geomorphological and hydrological study and GIS applications, allowed me to thoroughly understand funerary and nonfunerary elements in the first study area. Therefore, the thesis makes an important contribution to the archaeological knowledge of these areas of Transpadana. A “surgical” study has been carried out on the second case study (Remedello) as the absence of a centuriation hypothesis in the area prevented the investigation of funerary patterns. Such a gap was the occasion to test a combined methodology that added to the one employed for the first case study the remote sensing and the archaeomorphological analysis, with the aim of proposing a centuriation hypothesis from where to assess the funerary patterns of the area. Therefore, the contribution of the thesis is also methodological since an innovative, multifaceted approach is proposed, which weds the historictopographical approach with the practices of the landscape archaeology.
Supervisor: Keay, Simon ; Mladenovic, Dragana Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available