The Luxembourgish project part focuses on the collections of the Musée Archéologique d’Arlon, one of the largest collections of Roman funeral art in our region. Over 400 fragments of funeral monuments from the ancient vicus Orolaunum (Arlon, Belgium) are nowadays preserved in the museum.
The monuments from the early Roman period (1st cent. AD) are in the center of this study. They are particularly instructive, as they date from a period of profound societal changes, i.e. the period immediately after the Roman conquest. The monuments from that period indicate how the local populations reacted to the culture of the conquerors, how they adapted, transformed or rejected the new cultural influences. Recent studies have shown that as from the early first century AD on large scale mausolea inspired by Mediterranean public and memorial architecture were built in this area (Bartringen, Faverolles, Orange, etc.). Parallels to the fragments from Arlon indicate that similar structures must have existed in the ancient vicus, thus indicating the level of wealth and familiarity with Roman-Greek architectural forms, that must have existed at that time in the area.
With the aid of digital 3D-tools we will seek to reconstruct these monuments and evaluate them within their regional context and the wider context of the Roman Empire. Based on the reconstructions, the general development of early Roman funeral architecture in a rural agglomeration will be analysed. This will allow to retrace influences from other regions and to identify genuine local characteristics.
In addition, material analysis will be carried out in cooperation with colleagues from the field of natural sciences, in order to determine the provenance of the building materials. This allows, in case of the stone for example, to retrace the economical connections with other regions and to study the production processes.
Within the project, a thesis is being written by Christine Ruppert under the joint supervision of Ass.-Prof. Dr. Andrea Binsfeld and Prof. Dr. Thekla Schulz-Brize from the TU Berlin.