MARCHIORI, GIORGIA (2022) The Archaeology of Daily Life: A Late Antique House at Kom al-Ahmer, Northwestern Nile Delta. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
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Author-imposed embargo until 09 December 2024.
The archaeological investigation and study of houses and domestic contexts is key to grasping how people lived in antiquity; it permits us to enrich and nuance our overall understanding of daily life during specific historical periods and also touches upon urbanism, economy, and social developments and is equally relevant even in areas with a wealth of preserved written evidence, such as in the case of Egypt. This research yielded a snapshot into the everyday life of a non-elite household of the Late Roman period in Egypt by focussing on a single case study house —inhabited between the late 4th and mid-5th century CE— from the site of Kom al-Ahmer, a settlement embedded in the Delta’s countryside, part of Alexandria’s hinterland, and involved in the Mediterranean trade network. The investigation analysed what could be discerned archaeologically about how this building was developed, occupied, and abandoned. This study led to the identification of phases of use corresponding to the inhabitants’ growing agency over the spaces where they carried out their daily activities, from domestic tasks to small-scale workshop crafts that expanded beyond the walls of the house. The Delta location prompted inquiring about the extent to which the geographical and environmental background shaped the house’s architectural design, influencing both planning and construction. The house’s design is also examined in light of the Egyptian architectural development and then cross-compared with a sample of contemporary houses from other regions of the Mediterranean to review if the affiliation to the broader Roman empire influenced the standard house form. The results of this research highlight the contribution of micro-scale investigation to the current macro-scale understanding and demonstrate the potential behind the meticulous study of domestic contexts.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Keywords:||Houses; domestic archaeology; Egypt; Nile Delta; Late Antiquity|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||12 Dec 2022 10:05|