ANCIENT URBAN PLANNING
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The primary objective of the course is to communicate the main tools and methods of modern topographical investigation, from both the theoretical and practical point of view. Secondary objectives are the recognition, understanding and cataloguing of archaeological sites, in order to protect, preserve and valorise them. Students will be guided in acquiring the necessary skills for decoding ancient signs in the modern landscape, from both the regionial and urban point of view. The conscious acquisition of traditional sources of ancient topography will be supplemented by skills related to the broad spectrum of new methods in topographical research, borrowed from scientific and technical disciplines. Finally, students will be required to demonstrate their ability to compare data gathered for each site to the traces on the ground.
Knowledge of the main characteristics of ancient Greek and Roman civilisations is a recommended attendance requirement. In particular, students are required to possess a firm grasp of historical and institutional aspects of the classical world, familiarity with ancient Greek and Latin languages and literary cultures, knowledge of the fundamental contents and tools of traditional archaeological inquiry, from settlement culture to epigraphic, numismatic and material production, to the figurative tradition within the context of ancient Greece and Rome.
Course contents summary
Course title: From village to city: the acquisition of urban form in the Roman Cispadane highlands and plains.
The course completes the analysis of the development of ancient urban form by analysing its acquisition on the part of two adjacent and culturally similar settlements, Sarsina and Forum Popili. Although the two settlements existed before being conquered by the Romans, it is only after such a conquest that they laid claim to the role of cities, taking on the forms of the surrounding environment itself. Thanks to additional knowledge that has recently emerged about the urbis sarsinate setting and the publication of that of the forlimpopolese, the course offers a reflection upon the dynamics of their urban structure, with a cross-evaluation of the application of standard settlement formulas, their re-adjustment with relation to pre-existing elements and the various archaeo-environmental contexts, and the means by which spaces, complexes and infrastructures were organised and divided.
Attendance is highly recommended. Classroom lectures are supplemented by supporting exercises and participation in a GIS workshop. Students should contact the professor in order to agree on the reading list and testing method.
The teaching method used is tailored to the specific requirements of the discipline, involving communication of the main course contents through traditional classroom lectures and illustration of the most common instruments used through practical applications of them. The study material, which frequently consists of digitalised mapping and GIS systems, requires the constant use of computer equipment that can immediately display the contents being examined. The topographical application of the new methods also requires the organisation of periodic guided exercises to ensure the necessary level of familiarity with the instruments used. The assessment method includes an oral test of students' familiarity with the course content, along with a practical exercise in applying methods in use.