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The Socio-economic History and Material Culture of the Roman and Byzantine Near East


Essays in Honor of S. Thomas Parker


Edited by Walter D. Ward
A collection of essays written in honour of S. Thomas Parker by his former students and colleagues. The essays focus on surveys, material and written culture, the economy, and the Roman military in the Near East.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0701-4
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Nov 9,2017
Interior Color: Black with Color Inserts
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 433
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0701-4
$95.00
$57.00

The Socio-economic History and Material Culture of the Roman and Byzantine Near East collects thirteen papers written in honor of S. Thomas Parker by his colleagues and former students. S. Thomas Parker is one of the most influential archaeologists of the past half century who have worked on the Roman and Byzantine remains of Jordan He is responsible for excavations at the Roman legionary fortress at Lejjūn, the Nabataean and Roman Red Sea port of Aila, and more recently, domestic structures in the Nabataean capital of Petra.

These papers focus on four areas of Parker’s legacy in Near Eastern archaeology: regional survey, material and written culture, the Roman military, and the economy. Topics discussed include: examinations of settlement patterns in central and southern Jordan in the Neolithic period and Iron Age, road systems around the southern Dead Sea, how ceramic lamps and glass provide evidence about culture in the region, and how a Nabataean inscription from Bir Madkhur provides evidence of the divinity of Nabataean rulers. 

Other articles discuss the impact of Roman military pay on the economy around Petra, how Roman engineers designed fortresses in the Near East, the composition of military units in Petra in the Roman and Byzantine periods, how the economy of Caesarea Palaestinae fits into discussions of the ancient economy, how Romans viewed women and luxury goods, and what archeobotanical research can indicate about land use and agriculture in the region. The most controversial paper, which uses evidence from the largely unpublished excavation of the Temple of the Winged Lions in Petra, argues that scholars have been misdating Nabataean ceramics. If accepted, this could cause a re-evaluation of dates in Petra and elsewhere in the region.

The Socio-economic History and Material Culture of the Roman and Byzantine Near East collects thirteen papers written in honor of S. Thomas Parker by his colleagues and former students. S. Thomas Parker is one of the most influential archaeologists of the past half century who have worked on the Roman and Byzantine remains of Jordan He is responsible for excavations at the Roman legionary fortress at Lejjūn, the Nabataean and Roman Red Sea port of Aila, and more recently, domestic structures in the Nabataean capital of Petra.

These papers focus on four areas of Parker’s legacy in Near Eastern archaeology: regional survey, material and written culture, the Roman military, and the economy. Topics discussed include: examinations of settlement patterns in central and southern Jordan in the Neolithic period and Iron Age, road systems around the southern Dead Sea, how ceramic lamps and glass provide evidence about culture in the region, and how a Nabataean inscription from Bir Madkhur provides evidence of the divinity of Nabataean rulers. 

Other articles discuss the impact of Roman military pay on the economy around Petra, how Roman engineers designed fortresses in the Near East, the composition of military units in Petra in the Roman and Byzantine periods, how the economy of Caesarea Palaestinae fits into discussions of the ancient economy, how Romans viewed women and luxury goods, and what archeobotanical research can indicate about land use and agriculture in the region. The most controversial paper, which uses evidence from the largely unpublished excavation of the Temple of the Winged Lions in Petra, argues that scholars have been misdating Nabataean ceramics. If accepted, this could cause a re-evaluation of dates in Petra and elsewhere in the region.

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Contributor Biography

Walter Ward

Walter D. Ward is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He studies the history and archaeology of the Mediterranean and Near East during antiquity and the early medieval period, focusing on the role of the Roman Empire in the Middle East. He is the author of The Mirage of the Saracen: Christians and Nomads in the Sinai Peninsula in Late Antiquity, published by the University of California Press. His next book, Comparative Urbanism in the Greco-Roman and Early Islamic Near East, will be published by Routledge in 2018.

Introduction WALTER D. WARD (vii)

S. Thomas Parker: Education, Archaeological Field Experience and Publications (xxi)

Abbreviations (xli)

Neolithic Period (ca. 9,700–4,900 BCE)

Archaeological Survey

   Presence in the Southern Transjordan Plateau, the Southern Ghors, Wadis Fidan and Faynan, and the East Side of Wadi ʿArabah BURTON MACDONALD (3)

   A Revaluation of Iron Age Fortified Sites on the Karak Plateau STEPHANIE H. BROWN (35)

   The roads leading to Zoara in the Roman and Byzantine Periods CHAIM BEN-DAVID (63)

Material and Written Culture

   An Assessment and Re-examination of the American Expedition in Petra Excavation in the Residential Area (Area I), 1974–1977: The Early House and Related Ceramic Assemblages TALI ERICKSON-GINI & CHRISTOPHER A. TUTTLE (91)

   Exploring the Egyptian “Frog” Lamps Unearthed at the Red Sea Port of Roman Aila (Aqaba) and the Roman Fortress of Legio IV Martia at el-Lejjūn, Jordan ERIC C. LAPP (151)

   From Opaque to Transparent: Colorless Glass and the Byzantine Revolution in Interior Lighting JANET DUNCAN JONES (165)

   A Nabataean Inscription from Bir Madkhur With an Excursus on Basileophoric Names and the Nabataean Dynastic Cult DAVID F. GRAF & ANDREW SMITH II (185)

   Following the Roman Paymaster JOHN W. BETLYON (225)

Military

   The Modular Planning of Roman Fortifications in the Near East: Principles and Process JOHN PETER OLESON (237)

   The Military Presence in Petra during the Roman-Byzantine
Period ZBIGNIEW T. FIEMA (273)

Economy

   The Economy of Caesarea Palaestinae in Late Antiquity: Structure and Scale KENNETH G. HOLUM (291)

   “So dearly do we pay for our luxury and our women”: Women and the Margins of the Roman World ELIZABETH ANN POLLARD (327)

   Human Population Increase and its Effects on the Arid Landscape of Southern Jordan: An Archaeobotanical Study JENNIFER RAMSAY (349)

Index (385)

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