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Danilo Marco Campanaro, Illumination matters: telling things of the past in a new light.

 

Interpreting the social and spatial complexity of the Roman house calls for a painstaking investigation of the existing evidence. In this view, recent works in the field have proposed an alternation of approaches centered, from time to time, on a specific typology of source (architecture and décor, ancient texts, material evidence of the excavated houses), each in turn recursively deemed more adequate for the purpose or more fruitful and less biased. This scholarly clash of positions and relevant criticisms has consequently bequeathed an impassable picture, eventually not fully solving the puzzle.

The proposed research, focused on the case study of the House of the Greek Epigrams in the northern part of the Insula V1 in Pompeii, suggests a further level of comprehension combining the cited classes of sources with digitally driven simulations and analyses in support of the archaeological interpretation. Building on the assumption of light intended as a powerful social agent, the inquiry will investigate, by means of historically based and physically accurate lighting simulation and analyses, the extant entanglements between spatial and social patterns, to infer novel insights about the social and spatial behavior in the Roman domestic space.

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