Dr Luke Lavan is lecturer of archaeology at the University of Kent. He is a leading scholar for the time between AD 300 to 700 in the Mediterranean, focusing on space and urbanism as well as methodology.
He was educated at the universities of Durham, Oxford and Nottingham and hold positions and fellowships at the Katholieke University Leuven (Sagalassos Project), the University of Cologne, the British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara, and the Collège de France in Paris.
He is the series editor of Late Antique Archaeology and is director of the Centre for Late Antique Archaeology.
Dr. Lavan's lecture will be on "Urban history from spolia in East and West AD 250-700"
Abstract: Spolia produces both fascination and disgust for many Roman archaeologists. How did the building blocks of so many elegant classical structures come to be incorporated in late antique walls? Why did this happen? In this paper, I propose to address some of these questions from a purely archaeological point of view, contrasting dierent regions, where the spolia habit takes many dierent forms. What can the testimony of pieces of stone contained in walls tell us about these issues, especially when considered contextually? Are we dealing with one process and one set of cultural attitudes, or many? By considering well-dated examples from across late antiquity, the spolia habit turns out to be varied and complex, both in terms of its spoliation practices and in terms of construction using spolia. Something resembling a new urban history emerges for a few sites, purely from the record of reused building materials.
The lecture takes places 21 June 2023 and will be hold online 3:15 to 4:45 pm. Please use uni-graz.zoom.us/my/roomakrieger