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Ancient Roman Cities: Archaeological Reports

About excavation reports

Excavation reports provide the most detailed information available about ancient objects and places; they can even be considered a kind of “primary source.”  Written by archaeologists they are sometimes referred to as "site notes" or "field notes."  They tend to appear in 3 forms:

1) Series: Formally published excavation reports tend to appear in long series published over many years.
2) Journal articles: They appear as journal articles either in lieu of monographic publication or as preliminary reports.  
3) Books: As individual monographs

Finding excavation reports:

Select KEYWORD.  Enter your city/ site/ monument followed by the word and, then type keywords describing your topic. The keywords must be in parentheses and separated by the word or.   For example: [Your City/Site] and (antiquities or archaeology** or ancient)

Pergamon and (antiquities or archaeology** or ancient)
Antioch and (temples or religion or [name of local goddess here])

Browse through the results, then search again with different words or using features like wildcards or field limits (described at the bottom of the "Advance Search" page). 

2. Journal of Roman Archaeology (JRA) [OBIS link]
Covering Italy and all parts of the Roman world from about 700 B.C. to about A.D. 700 including the Etruscan period.  All aspects of archaeology are covered including historical material which has an archaeological component or which is likely to be relevant for archaeologists.

Go to the e-journal edition and type the name of your city, monument or topic in the search box.

3. Journal of Roman Archaeology. Supplementary Series [OBIS link]
The JRA also publishes a book series – called the Supplementary Series – which includes excavation reports.  Titles also discuss specific features, functions or building types as well as broad issues like economic production, industries, cult of leaders, and the military.

To find volumes in the Supplementary Series search OBIS for the title Journal of Roman Archaeology. Supplementary Series.  
For example:

With the results still on the screen

1. Use the drop down menu to change TITLE  to KEYWORD
2. Put quotes (" ") around Journal of roman archaeology supplementary  
3. Type the word and
4. Enter the name of your site (or other topic)


4. International Roman Archaeology Conference series [OBIS link]

The JRA also publishes papers from their international conferences which are arranged around a theme.  Review the titles (less than 20) for anything relevant. 

Names, Locations, Regions

Place names and spelling can vary depending on the date and language of the source. Consider using the Thesaurus of Geographic Names, databases or other scholarly sources collect variant spellings of a city's name.  Include important monuments, nearby cities, regional names, and political boundaries.

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