Antioch in Late Antiquity: Photo Archive of the Princeton Excavations


As museums digitize their collections, institutional stewards of excavation records are also slowly moving them online, as part of a much broader effort within archaeology to effectively manage and publish data.  For Late Antique archaeology, a major initial step has been taken with the publication of photographs from the excavations at Antioch-ad-Orontes (and its suburb, Daphne), under the general direction of Charles Rufus Morey, Chair of Princeton’s Department of Art and Archaeology, between 1932 and 1939.  This is a true embarrassment of riches: there are over 5,500 scanned and numbered photographs, with associated data on the find spot (usually a building feature), excavation sector, and a description of content.

Sculpture, silverware, sumptuary objects, coins, and the 300 mosaics for which the site is particularly famous, are all documented in their state of discovery.  A number of key monuments, including the baths, hippodrome, private houses, churches, and martyria, are also represented.  Trench plans are sometimes included, but unfortunately there is no bibliography accompanying the images, so interested users must follow up the publication history themselves.  Still, this is an important and in many respects ground-breaking (no pun intended!) resource.

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