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‘Disturbed’ memories? Tomb reuse in central Apulia in the 4th century BCE

Bice Peruzzi, Rutgers University

April 1, 2022 · 12:00 pm1:30 pm · 161 East Pyne

Program in the Ancient World
archeology site with tombs and walls

Tomb re-opening in the ancient Mediterranean has been generally treated in scholarship as a transgressive act of violation against the memory of the deceased. Yet, the practice of re-opening and re-using tombs seems to be a widespread and accepted phenomenon in pre-Roman Italy.  This paper discusses the relationship between graves and collective memory, focusing on tomb violation in Central Apulia in the 4th century BCE. I argue that this practice, paired with the general lack of grave markers and post-depositional rites, ancient looting, and the unclear boundaries between settlements and necropoleis is part of complex local strategies where the local communities alternately rejected, incorporated, and reinvented memories of their own past to create a narrative about themselves and legitimize their newfound power.


Brice is an Assistant Professor of Classics at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and has held fellowships at the ASCSA, the A.D. Trendall Research Center, and the American Academy in Rome. She has worked at sites in Italy, Turkey, and Greece. Her research focuses primarily on burial practices in Southern Italy, and the relationship between the construction of cultural identity and the consumption of specific artifacts, especially pottery. Currently, she is writing a social biography of the inhabitants of pre-Roman Apulia, using burials as my main source of evidence, and is about to start a new project on Hellenistic pottery in Tarquinia.

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– All attendees must wear face coverings.
– Ability to social distance may not be possible.
– Princeton ID/Prox cards are required to enter the building.


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