Conclusion of the large-scale EU research project "DECOR": Institute of Classics invites visitors to international lectures starting April 19
How we decorate our homes, streets and cities is not just an aesthetic issue. Decorating rooms of any kind also determines how they are used and which social functions they fulfil. The same was true in ancient times. The "DECOR" research project at the Institute of Classics at Kiel University (CAU) is investigating the way in which decorative elements such as murals, mosaics, ornaments or sculptures were used in Italy, and the purpose which they served, between the late Republic and the end of the early Imperial period (2nd century BC to 1st century AD). In doing so, the archaeologists are considering the decorative forms not only as individual elements, but in their architectural and visual contexts for the first time. At the end of the large-scale research project, international scientists will be discussing decorative principles of ancient rooms and objects from various perspectives in a public lecture series starting on 19 April. The lectures will take place digitally and partly in English. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. Please contact Dr Roberta Ferritto at firstname.lastname@example.org for access data.
"For this period between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD, in the case of Pompeii for example, we can see several radical transformations of the housing concepts," explained project leader Annette Haug, Professor of Classical Archaeology at the CAU, who provides details of the initial results of the project in her book, "Decor-Räume in pompejanischen Stadthäusern" (Decorative rooms in Pompeiian town houses) (Berlin 2020). Town houses in Pompeii became bigger during this time, and there was growing interest in home furnishings and garden design. The use of luxurious materials like gold and marble increased in private residences, and pictures became common among all social groups in Roman society. There were many different reasons for this – the exploitation of additional material resources and the development of new craft techniques were only part of it.
The lecture series "DECOR. Decorative Principles in Late Republican and Early Imperial Italy" brings together various decorative elements and the decoration of houses, sanctuaries and streets in cities such as Pompeii and Rome. Through the focus on overall contextual interactions with the architecture and the surrounding space, viewers themselves are at the centre of the research interest for the first time. "The lecture series is an excellent opportunity to share the results of the project with a broad public," said co-organiser Dr Roberta Ferritto from the Institute of Classics.
The project “DÉCOR Decorative Principles in Late Republican and Early Imperial Italy” at the CAU has been funded by the European Research Council (ERC) since 2016 as part of an ERC Consolidator Grant.