Keynote Lecture Porto Di Classe Col Def Verkleind

Public Lecture: Anatomy of a (Rise and) Fall. Ravenna and its territory, 400-900 CE

Keynote Lecture of the Workshop "Italy & Byzantium: The New Millennium in Pottery Studies"
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Between the 5th and the 6th century, the importance of the city of Ravenna takes off, mainly thanks to its new role as a capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Recent archaeological discoveries allow us to follow this upward trajectory in detail. Excavations in Ravenna and Classe (the harbor of the city) and surveys carried out in the hinterland show us the substantial outcome of the new political status of the city regarding urbanism, architectural achievements and commerce. Moreover, new excavations (currently carried out in the area of Cervia) bring to light a so far completely unknown monumental complex, including a church that could turn out to be crucial for a better understanding of the evolution of the area’s ecclesiastical administration. Also, new investigations reveal in detail the dynamics of the fall of this political experiment, a phenomenon which started around 630/650. After this turning point, Ravenna will never be as important as it was in its heyday.


About the speaker
Andrea Augenti (Ph.D., FSA) is a full professor in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Bologna since 2010. He has conducted fieldwork across Italy, notably in Rome, on the Palatine hill; in the Volterra district (Tuscany), where he directed a multi-stage field survey with Nicola Terrenato (1990-2000); in the abandoned city of Classe (Ravenna). He also designed the project of the newly founded Museum “Classis-Ravenna. Museo della città e del territorio” (2018). He is currently the director of the excavations in the abandoned city of Cervia (Ravenna).