No image

Reading Space: Social Interaction and Identity in the Houses of Roman Pompeii

A syntactical approach to the analysis and interpretation of built space

Mark Grahame


Starting as an examination of space in Roman Pompeii, the author soon found the sheer architectural fabric of the city at odds with the rather simplistic explanations for it offered in the academic literature. This prompted a more rigorous exploration ofthe definition of ‘built space’ and an ultimate goal of highlighting the diversity of housing in Pompeii and offering a new interpretation of its meaning. In an attempt to broach the archaeological question of how we can come to understand human social action from a contemplation of built space, the author turned equally to the discAlines of architecture and anthropology, before realizing the need to develop his own interpretative framework. What follows is a study which takes as its point of departure the fabric of Pompeian housing, with a theoretical understanding of the relationshA between construction and human society, and, as such, reaches out beyond Roman Archaeology to touch anyone interested in the analysis and interpretation of built space. Contains 99 pages of ground plans, access maps, and tables of spatial analyses.