The marble architecture of central Utica (Tunisia)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

New finds of marble architecture associated with an Antonine-era basilica from central Utica are presented here. This structure was one of the largest and most lavishly decorated in this important North African city. The combination of Troad and Aswan granite columns with wall revetment in a range of polychrome stones suggest that the architects of this building had on eye on developments in contemporary Carthage, a short distance away, where a massive construction boom in the Antonine period led to the erection of the Antonine Baths, the basilica on the Byrsa hill, and the building (or re-building) of the theatre. While the basilica at Utica made use of granites only recently employed at Rome, in its large-scale use of giallo antico it followed in a well-established pattern, with the stone also being employed throughout a neighbouring sanctuary-forum complex built under Hadrian. The use of these prestigious materials in the architecture of this city is revealing of the ambitions of the local elites, keen to assert their city’s continued prominence on both a North African and wider Mediterranean stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-56
Number of pages18
JournalMarmora: An International Journal for Archaeology, History and Archaeometry of Marbles and Stones
Volume15
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Tunisia
  • North Africa
  • Utica
  • marbles
  • granites
  • basilica
  • Carthage

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