In-depth, by the American Institute for Roman Culture
In these movies a wide variety of topics is discussed in depth. The movies were produced by the American Institute for Roman Culture. Each video is a co-production between the AIRC and Northeastern University. Filming was done in May 2010 and 2011.
This multi-segment series on Ostia Antica begins with an introduction to the site, ancient Rome's port city - the key components that identify it as a Roman city, with distinct characteristics that make it a unique city, enjoying a privileged relationship with Rome, from its inception to its demise. When we look at archaeological sites throughout the Mediterranean, Ostia Antica best represents what imperial Rome looked like. Walking through Ostia is like walking through a miniature, industrialized Rome. At the same time, the city had unique features in its role as the "warehouse" and "clearing house" of Rome. Excavation, discovery - it's all part of archaeology. But what happens to the site after the discovery? Conserving the past is a hot-button issue right now (consider rampant global tourism and ever more sparse funding, to say nothing of looting, damage from war, environmental disasters, etc.). We need to take care of our past - and at this point in time, things are critical, as many sites and monuments are dangerously close to significant damage and loss. We address these issues at the important (non-UNESCO listed) site that best reflects the experience of being in imperial Rome. What did the ancient Romans do every day? In this chapter, we examine daily routines - what you would have expected to see, hear, taste, and experience in a bustling, cosmopolitan center like Ostia Antica, Rome's port city. What did the ancient Romans believe? How did their religions work? How and why did they make sacrifices? Were all gods and their cults alike? In this segment, we explore the multi-cultural belief systems of the Romans and see how they confronted ideas and forms of worship from all over the Mediterranean. How did a Roman bath complex function? Where did bathing fit into the Roman daily routine, and what does it tell us about Roman society? This segment explores the technical and social aspects of Roman bathing - one of the signature features of Roman culture - using the archaeological, architectural, and technological evidence preserved at Ostia Antica, which has more than a dozen bath complexes of varying size and complexity. What materials were used to build Ostia Antica? How was construction and engineering in the Roman Empire similar to, and different from, the modern era? This segment examines the Roman construction industry through the material remains at Ostia Antica, discussing materials, methods / processes, and organization. In antiquity death and memory were very prominent features of daily life. This segment explores the various types of burial and funerary monuments known at Ostia Antica, as well as some of the social and ritual aspects of death and commemoration in the Roman world.