Sustainability and Resource Management in the Roman World

Course description Sustainability and Resource Management in the Roman World
Year: 2014-2015
Catalog number:
Teacher(s):
  • Hanna Stoeger
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 5
Level: 200
Period: Semester 1, Block II
Hours of study: 35:00 hrs
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • No Exchange
  • No Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Tags

GC

Admission requirements

None.

Course description

All populations make cultural and temporal choices in how they use natural resources, and these choices have profound economic, social, and political consequences. This course will explore the ancient Roman world through aspects of technological development, creativity, innovation and resource management. We will critically examine the legacy of Roman innovation in agrarian and military technology, urban infrastructure, and the processing of raw materials in the light of current archaeological understanding and environmental concerns. The aim of this course is to gain an insight into ancient patterns of resource management, and to understand long-term trends in demands on resources and supply strategies.

The issues of sustainability and resource management in the ancient Roman World are topics that merit discussion and examination. The concepts and methods being developed by current debates on sustainability and resource usage offer numerous models for investigating modern urban and rural landscapes. But can these models and approaches be modified to study and interpret the ancient world in novel ways? Can we gain a deeper understanding of past environments by applying today’s concepts of sustainability? Conversely, can a long-term perspective on resource usage help us in addressing today’s environmental concerns?

This course promotes a systems-wide approach, which allows for a more holistic and realistic interpretation of the sustainability of ancient cultural landscapes. The lectures will explore how ancient cities demanded resources and energy from beyond their immediate surroundings, and how they were linked to larger networks. Several lectures will discuss the role of water, urban space and movement, and recycling in the Roman world, while others will focus upon resource extraction and specific ancient technologies such as mining or ceramic manufacture.

In concluding the course, students will be able to incorporate their understanding of ancient resource usage into current debates regarding the future of urbanism, sustainability, and resource choices.

Learning objectives

In concluding the course, students will be able to incorporate their understanding of ancient resource usage into current debates regarding the future of urbanism, sustainability, and resource choices.

Compulsory literature

L. Thommen, 2012 (English Edition), An Environmental History of Ancient Greece and Rome, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

A reading list will be given with the detailed course syllabus.

Contact information

Staff: Dr. Hanna Stöger, Mediterranean Archaeology, Faculty of Archaeology
Mark Locicero, PhD Researcher, Mediterranean Archaeology, Faculty of Archaeology

Languages