Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Looking for the role of Roman settlements

Archaeologist Dr Tesse Stek has been awarded an NWO subsidy to set up a new research group to research the role of rural settlements in Roman colonisation between the 4th and 1st century BC.
Questions about the success of the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire thrived between 753 BC and 476 AD, and comprised all the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, as well as half of present-day Western Europe. It is an era that continues to fire the imagination, including that of Tesse Stek.

A questionable concept

Until recently, the main role in the successful Roman colonisation process was attributed exclusively to the cities that the Romans established so rapidly in all areas of the empire, and that served as administrative centres for the region. Stek: 'We are increasingly finding indications that networks of rural communities played an important role in early Roman colonisation. In my opinion, we should think of them as a network of interconnected pioneer settlements. These communities had a surprisingly high degree of autonomy in relation to the "colonial" centre.'