The archaeology of Roman architecture
DOI link for The archaeology of Roman architecture
The archaeology of Roman architecture book
Before considering the evidence which can be gleaned from buried Roman remains, it is worth attempting to review what can be learned from an archaeological study of Roman architecture. There is a surprising number of surviving standing buildings of the Roman period. Some, like the Pantheon or the Colosseum, are virtually whole, or, if only partial, still impressive. Others have only traces of their foundations left, from which an impression of the original design can be formed - for example the Temple of Vesta in the Roman forum. The survival of Roman buildings can be the product of several different circumstances. For a start, they were normally substantially built, and have therefore remained in use, though not necessarily for the purpose for which they were originally intended; a fragment of the baths basilica at Leicester known as the Jewry Wall has survived because it was incorporated into St Nicholas's church in the Middle Ages. Others have survived through the very impressiveness or usefulness of their structure, as is the case of the aqueduct at the Pont du Gard, the aqueduct at Segovia and the bridge at Alcantara in Spain. Others still, like the walls and gates of a variety of towns and cities of the empire, among them Rome, Autun, and Barcelona, have survived because they were kept in use as the boundaries of Roman, post-Roman, or medieval cities.