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Title: Architectural decoration and urban history in Mauretania Tingitana (Morocco)
Authors: Mugnai, Niccolo
Supervisors: Mattingly, David
Stewart, Daniel
Award date: 12-Feb-2016
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This PhD thesis aims to offer a new contribution to the study of regional Roman architectural decoration, focusing on the province of Mauretania Tingitana (northern Morocco). The analysis of the ornament is linked with that of the buildings where these architectural elements were employed. In addition to the reconstruction of local history and urban trajectories, the investigation is further extended to a broader extra‐provincial level, with particular attention to North Africa and the Mediterranean. The selected timeframe spans from the late Mauretanian period (c. mid‐first century BC) to the main phase of Roman provincial era (first to third century AD), also providing a glimpse into Late Antiquity (fourth to sixth centuries AD). The discussion in Volume I (Text) is based on the results of the field research carried out in Morocco, from 2011 to 2014, at four archaeological sites: Volubilis (Ksar Pharaoun); Banasa (Sidi Ali bou Djenoun); Sala (Chellah, Rabat); and Lixus (Tchemmich, Larache). The fieldwork involved the recording of the elements of architectural decoration preserved there, the vast majority of which are unpublished. The collected data were used to build up the typological classification presented in summary in Volume I and in full detail in Volume II (Appendix). The study also includes observations on the materials kept in the archaeological museums at Rabat, Tangier and Tétouan, and those from other important sites of the province (Thamusida and Zilil). The analysis shows how different artistic traditions were merged together in Tingitana during the Roman period: the persistence of pre‐Roman (Punic and Hellenistic) substrata; the influence of Roman official art and architectural decoration; and the creation of local‐style ornament. This mixture of styles is also reflected in the design of buildings and public spaces in each town, hinting towards the identification of equally mixed urban communities. The research has revealed the architectural vitality of this territory at the edge of the Roman world, while also illustrating a significant degree of adaptation of orthodox rules of Roman architecture.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Archaeology and Ancient History
Leicester Theses

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