The Foundations for Imperium research project is an ongoing thesis that seeks to disentangle how and why localised innovations and expertise in specialised construction materials and hydraulic infrastructure in Italy widely spread to communities across the Mediterranean. It plans to identify the mechanisms and institutions that enabled non-elite, skilled workers like builders, engineers, and architects to actively participate in the transmission and adoption of these structures and the materials that facilitated them. This seminar will also detail the methods this project is using to address its research aims. It will outline how ancient textual, epigraphic, and visual evidence surrounding construction and construction workers will be critically engaged, while highlighting the benefits of including modern scholarship from a broad number of ancient technology studies. This seminar will detail how and why archaeological evidence, in the form of waterproof mortar and concrete samples from Italy, are being examined. In doing so it will explain the types of information that can be garnered by analysing these samples with both previously trialled and newly introduced scientific instruments.



Michie Building (09) Room 536