The fourth and final lecture of 2017/2018's Dalrymple Lecture Series finishes with Lecture Four – Dining with the dead: life and death in an early Byzantine village at Punta Secca near Ragusa at 7.30pm on Thursday, November 16, 2017, in the Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, University of Glasgow (corner of Gibson Street and University Avenue). Lectures are free to attend and open to members and non-members of Glasgow Archaeological Society alike.
For more information about the Dalrymple Lectures and an overview of this year's series with Professor Roger Wilson of the University of British Columbia, please click here.
Punta Secca (RG), known to millions of Italians as the home of TV cop, Salvo Montalbano, lies on the south coast of Sicily. Excavation in 2008–2010, directed by the speaker, in a late Roman and early Byzantine village here, examined in detail a previously unexcavated house, and revealed much about it and its commercial contacts with other parts of Sicily and the wider Mediterranean world. A big surprise was the discovery of a substantial tomb in the yard of the house, made c. AD 625/630. Who was inside the tomb? Was it a pagan or a Christian burial? What evidence was there for graveside meals, and what did they eat? And why was the tomb here, in a house, rather than in the village cemetery, or, if the deceased was Christian, in or near the village church? These and other intriguing questions will be addressed in the talk, and the discovery set in the context of what else is known about such practices in the late Roman and early Byzantine worlds.
R. J. A. Wilson is Director of the Centre for the Study of Ancient Sicily at the University of British Columbia. He has also been Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire at UBC, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, and Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin. Recipient of the Killam Prize at UBC for his contributions to research, he is the author or editor of ten books and over 140 papers. He has held visiting positions at the University of Bonn, McMaster University, the British School of Rome and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, and has been Norton Lecturer of the Archaeological Institute of America. His research concerns mainly the Roman archaeology of the central Mediterranean, with a special emphasis on Sicily.