Late Antique-Early Byzantine Domestic Architecture in Western Asia Minor (DOC-Program)

Researcher:H. Schwaiger

The dissertation project deals with a differentiated examination of private domestic architecture in urban settlements in Western Asia Minor from the 4th to the 7th century AD. 

Based on the structures of the late antique residential quarter in the harbor baths (so-called Byzantine residential quarters) and other late antique resp. early Byzantine residential buildings in Ephesos, the results of other excavation sites such as Pergamon, Sardis, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis and Halicarnassos shall be illustrated in a comprehensive examination. First it is necessary to concentrate on those aspects that concern the residential building directly. These are questions regarding the building site, the usage resp. the adaptation of Roman Imperial structures and therefore also the configuration of the ground plan as well as the rising masonry which need to be clarified in order to not only define types of ground plans, but also – if possible – house types.

The structure of a building allows a basic classification of the main and the secondary rooms; an exact analysis of the layout of the rooms and their hierarchy as well as the décor (floor and wall decoration) shall enable a more differentiated classification into representative and private areas, sanitary facilities and service areas. 

In addition, the moveable inventory (e.g. ceramics and small finds) provides a wide range of interpretative possibilities in regard to the respective functional areas. Moreover, insights into the social classification resp. differentiation in late antique Ephesos are probable. Based on an exact building typological documentation of the monuments, typical local building traditions shall be compared to supra-regional building forms.