Zakarya Khelif

Getty Global Affiliated Fellow
8 gennaio–5 luglio 2024
Researcher, Department of Historical Archaeology, National Center for Archaeological Research
PhD Candidate, Department of Archaeology, University of Algiers
Titolo del progetto
The Roman Domestic Architecture at Tipasa of Mauretania
Descrizione del progetto

My research focuses on the Romano-African domestic architecture, particularly elite residences, in the Roman colony of Tipasa of Mauretaniae Caesariensis (the present-day city of Tipasa in Algeria). I will shed light on three important examples: the House of Frescoes, the House of Lotis, and the House of Achilles Mosaic, located northwest of the city forum in a new residential area built in the Antonine period. The domus served as more than just a residence for an extended family, including slaves; it also played an important role in the social life of the owner. Part of that life took place in its large reception areas, such as Oecus, Triclinia, as well as in the Vestibulum, the peristyle and bath suites. My project tries to envisage the private lives of local elites through the examination of the archaeological data of their houses, with the support of ancient literary sources, African literature mainly, resorting particularly to Apuleius (Apology, Metamorphoses). Both can give important insights into how the elites of a Roman city may have viewed and experienced their domestic space and perhaps detect local traditions, thus a local identity; as well as to know to what extent the elites may have accepted new architectural forms and social practices. To support my analyses, I plan to conduct a comparative study of Roman houses by personally visiting major Roman cities in Italy, such as Pompeii and Herculaneum.