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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 203: Excavating and Reusing Finds from Late Antiquity

Monday 1 July 2019, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Katherine Anna New, Faculty of Medieval & Modern Languages, University of Oxford
Paper 203-aBringing St Menas Home: Terracotta Figurines from Abu Mena within the Domestic Context
(Language: English)
Aleksandra Pawlikowska-Gwiazda, Instytut Archeologii, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Religious Life
Paper 203-bThe So-Called Pebble Lamps
(Language: English)
Ani Eblighatian, Département des sciences de l’Antiquité, Université de Genève
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - Sites, Daily Life
Paper 203-cSpolia from Murano Island (Venice): A Case Study
(Language: English)
Tadeusz Baranowski, Institute of Archaeology & Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsazwa
Robert Żukowski, Institute of Archaeology & Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsazwa
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Architecture - Religious

Paper -a:
Archaeological site Marea (modern King Mariout, 40 km West from Alexandria) is widely known from a Christian triple apse basilica - the second largest (after Abu Mena) church in the late antique Egypt. During excavations carried out by the Polish Archaeological Mission, a group of terracotta figurines was found scattered between basilica and adjacent house. Although this type of artefacts is quite well recognised on the other neighbouring sites and it has been already stated that these objects are associated with the cult of Saint Menas, their exact purpose is still ambiguous. The aim of this paper is to discuss and compare different scientific interpretations with the new data obtained from lately uncovered figurines from Marea.

Paper -b:
These lamps known as Byzantine have been found in the archaeological sites of Salamis, Antioch, Ras Ibn Hani, and others. The collection of my dissertation research concerns the lamps of Antioch excavations (1932-1939). Waagé classified them under type 49d as early Christian, suggesting that the development of the round lamps without handles probably took place in Syria. The typology has common characteristics, mainly its circular body and the thin pottery, which explains the reason why the majority of the examples found in Antioch are fragments. Lamps of this type have various iconography whether they are found on the same site or on others. The lamps found in Cyprus were classified by Vessberg undertype 20 and Oziol argued the probability of them being Cypriot products, with her comparison based only on the number of the published examples of Antioch. Similar variants to this type were discovered in great numbers in Greece. The dating varies from 5th-century to 7th-century. Until now, the studies are mainly based on comparisons with museum collections. However, there are a lack of studies which could help to understand the origin of this type, its production and circulation. This paper aims to verify whether Cyprus should be considered as the location for the production and diffusion of these lamps, or if the other sites produced imitations after an original type. This study aims to bring a new understanding about this type of lamp through a methodology based on the archaeological context.

Paper -c
In Italy the reuse of spolia from the ancient monuments was very common. In Venice it is particularly difficult to distinguish whether the discovered stones are spolia or the original remains in their original place. The 'floating' islands 'barene' have been enhanced with rubble from the Roman cities on land used as material stabilizing the substrate. On the island of Murano there are many examples of the secondary use of ancient or early medieval architectonic decorative elements. During the Polish-Italian excavations (1983-1986) on this island, on the square in front of the facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria e Donato, discovered were the remains of an early medieval baptistery. Among the remains from the 11th/12th century was one of the column bases topped with a reused and beautifully decorated piece of stone deriving from an early Christian pluteum.