Book Series Archaeology of the Mediterranean World , vol. 2

Perspectives on Byzantine Archaeology

From Justinian to the Abbasid Age (6th–9th Centuries AD)

Angelo Castrorao Barba, Gabriele Castiglia (eds)

  • Pages: 220 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:100 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • c. € 85,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59684-6
  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming (Dec/22)

  • c. € 85,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE

This book is a collection of synthesis based on archaeological data about the Byzantine period in the Mediterranean (and beyond) between the 6th and the 9th century.


Gabriele Castiglia: PhD in Christian and Late Antique Archaeology (2017, Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana - Rome) and postdoctoral fellow and teaching ssistant (2018–2023) at the Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana. His research focuses on the impact of early Christianity in Late Antiquity and in the early Middle Ages in urban and rural areas, with a particular interest in the Mediterranean and the Horn of Africa.

Angelo Castrorao Barba:  PhD in Medieval Archaeology (2013, University of Siena) and postdoctoral fellow (2022–2024) at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology / Centre for Late Antique and Early Medieval Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on the transformation of rural settlements and economic patterns from the Roman age to Late Antiquity, and in the Byzantine and Islamic periods in the Mediterranean area.


From the rule of Justinian (AD 527–AD 565) up to the Islamic conquests in the Byzantine Empire, the lands of the Mediterranean basin underwent significant change from the sixth to the ninth centuries AD. Urban and rural areas were transformed, landscapes altered, and material cultures saw a fundamental shift. But such changes were by no means uniform across the region. From Jordan, Greece, and the Danube, to the Italian peninsula, Sicily, Spain, and the Horn of Africa, the contributions gathered together in this volume explore new advances and perspectives from the field of ‘Byzantine’ archaeology over the longue durée in order to shed new light on this period.

What was the impact of the reconquest of Justinian? What was the impact of Byzantium in archaeological record? What are the archaeological indicators of urban and rural transformations from the sixth to the ninth centuries? Did architecture represent a marker of socio-economic and cultural change within the Byzantine world? By engaging with such key questions, and by drawing on new data from surveys, excavations, material culture, and historical sources, this volume offers new insights into archaeological perspectives on the broader Byzantine world.


List of illustrations

1. Shifting Paradigms in a Shifting Background. An Introduction

Angelo Castrorao Barba (EEA-CSIC), Gabriele Castiglia (Pontificio Instituto di Archeologia Cristiana, PIAC) 


2. Thessaloniki in Transition (Sixth to Ninth Centuries). The transformation of a Late Antique Imperial Metropolis into a Medieval Urban Center

Konstantinos T. Raptis (Ephorate of Antiquities of Thessaloniki City, Department of Byzantine and Post Byzantine Antiquities and Museums)

3. Rome : The Legacy of the Gothic War in the Urban Defensive Systems

Lucrezia Spera (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)

4. Ravenna, the Last Capital of the Western Roman Empire

Enrico Cirelli (Università di Bologna)


5. The Justinian Renaissance in the East: Reality or Illusion?

Basema Hamarneh (University of Vienna)

6. Umm al-Rasas / Kastron Mefa'a (Jordan) along the Limes Arabicus. Transformation and Resilience of a Cultural Landscape between Byzantine and Early Islamic Period

Carmelo Pappalardo (Università di Firenze)

7. Settled Lansdscapes in Late Antique Peloponnese. A Review for a Topographical Reassessment

Priscilla Ralli (École française d’Athènes)

8. Aquae in the De Aedificiis. Territorial and Administrative Issues in Dacia Ripensis during the Sixth Century

Ivan Gargano (Université de Lille, Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana)

9. From Twilight to a New Dawn: Byzantine Southern Italy

Paul Arthur (Università degli Studi del Salento, Lecce)

10. The Sicilian countryside during the Byzantine period. Archaeological Perspectives on Settlement Patterns

Angelo Castrorao Barba (Escuela de Estudios Árabes, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (EEA-CSIC)), Giuseppe Cacciaguerra (Istituto di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ISPC-CNR))

11. Shaping a Christian Empire. Early Christianity in the Horn of Africa from Alexandria to Byzantium

Gabriele Castiglia (Pontificio Instituto di Archeologia Cristiana (Rome)),  Philippe Pergola (Pontificio Instituto di Archeologia Cristiana (Rome); Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis)

Material culture

12. The Circulation of Coinage in Two Byzantine Cities. Rome and Naples in Relation

Flavia Marani (Università di Salerno)

13. Movable Churches, or How Byzantium Influenced Hispania. An Archaeological Reflection on a Current Debate

María de los Ángeles Utrero Agudo (Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología en Roma (EEHAR-CSIC))

14. Material Encounters in a Byzantine Setting (6th/7th – 10th c. AD)

Joanita Vroom (University of Leiden)