Download file in PDF format: TRAC 2006: Front Matter and Editors’ Preface (pp. i–vi)
The sixteenth annual TRAC was held on the 24th and 25th March 2006 at the Faculty of Classics in the University of Cambridge. Over the two days, in ten sessions, fifty-six papers were delivered. Of these, a little under half were submitted to the TRAC 2006 editorial team for our consideration. Thirteen papers appear here, representing a cross-section of the themes, areas, and subjects discussed during the conference. The geographical spread of the papers’ interests is perhaps as broad as TRAC has ever seen, from Syria to Britain, and many places between.
Mark Eccleston begins our volume with a consideration of the various roles and types of smiths in Egypt, analysing the difficulties of matching Greek terms to specific craft and social roles. Zeynep Aktüre moves us on to theatres in Spain, using Braudel’s models to examine the types and locations of these sizeable public buildings. Remaining with an architectural interest, Jennifer Baird focuses on a site at the other end of the Empire, dealing with domestic buildings and space. As with Eccleston’s paper, the nomenclature and its origins are an important element of study. From Baird’s paper on Dura-Europos, Mariana Egri takes us to what was a frontier region of the Empire, demonstrating the variability in patterns of consumption of both wine and olive oil on the Danube. The various techniques available for such an approach are considered, as are the implications of observed differences. Dietary and economic changes due to Roman occupation and influence are also the interest of Mark Maltby. David Orton continues Maltby’s focus on butchery practices, aiming to reinterpret a large and anomalous collection of carefully dismembered and deposited cattle, favouring explanations focused around ritual activity. Günther Schörner also considers matters of ritual and religion, examining the series of dichotomies and rites connected with North African worship of Saturn/Ba’al Hamon.
The later part of the volume is very much concerned with matters of death and burial. Angela Turner-Wilson opens this by looking at health, emphasising alternative ways of conceptualising wellness and its relation to the dead. Natalie White looks in more detail at specific elements of burials, demonstrating the archaeological value of food remains, and the need for greater attention to such deposits, both at the time of excavation, and subsequent publication. Patrick Monsieur deals with the significance and forms of reuse of another food related type of material: amphorae found in association with burials at the northern necropolis of Potentia. Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews continues the theme of funerary archaeology by providing a detailed summary of the cemeteries of Roman Baldock. In addition to offering this concise overview, he also looks to what may be gained from the burials themselves, in relation to matters of identity. Judith Rosten maintains the focus on this same material, contemplating identity expressed through appearance and how this may be represented in death. The interest in such sites and material is rounded off by Jake Weekes, who highlights the impact that methods of commercial archaeological investigation can have.
TRAC remains an important event, providing unique opportunities to present and publish work. Without the contributions of those attending the conference, and who were willing to undergo the trials of the often-hectic publication process, there would be no volume. In 2008, TRAC will spread its wings and be held for the first time in mainland Europe, in the Netherlands. As TRAC continues to grow and change in such ways, we strongly hope that the volume can remain an opportunity for the eclectic form of record of the conference that it currently is. We offer this volume not as a complete record, but as a sample of simply some of the many excellent papers given in Cambridge in March 2006.
This volume was edited by the conference organisers, Ben Croxford and Roman Roth, together with Nick Ray and Natalie White. A great many thanks are due to all those who helped in the running and organising of the conference. We must thank the Roman Society for supporting the conference and providing funds for bursaries. Thanks also go to Barbican Research Associates for generous donations to the bursary scheme. We must thank The Museum of Classical Archaeology, the Chairman and Board of the Faculty of Classics, in particular, Prof. Martin Millett, along with Mr. John Donaldson, Mr. Nick Nicholson and Ms. Lina Undicino for their invaluable help in arranging the conference and the use of the facilities. Additionally, we thank the staff of Peterhouse for their dutiful care of TRAC delegates during the conference. Special thanks are due to Gill Hayden-Smith, by whose kind permission the copper alloy figurine appears on the front cover. As always, the editorial team are extremely grateful for all the assistance provided by the anonymous reviewers. Finally, we would like to thank the many people who spoke at TRAC 2006, and those who submitted their papers for publication in these conference proceedings.
Ben Croxford, Roman Roth, Nick Ray and Natalie White