Sponsored by: Monmouth College
“Rubbish! Trash Disposal and Urban Dynamics in a Late Roman Town”
Melissa Morison, Associate Professor of Classics, Grand Valley State University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
7:30 P.M., Pattee Auditorium, Center for Science and Business, Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois
It has been said that trash disposal “takes place at the intersection of public life and private life.” What we decide to recycle, what we decide to throw away, and where we decide to put the trash –these choices say a great deal about us and our values, about how we understand ourselves both as individuals and as members of a community. Excavations in the Gymnasium Area of ancient Corinth are showing how the members of a powerful Late Roman community negotiated the competing claims of personal and public need in a period of profound social and political change. By considering the ancient Corinthians’ repurposing of important monuments, their redefinition of civic spaces and urban functions, and shifts in their attitudes toward trash disposal, ritual, and pollution, we may be able to better understand and respond to challenges faced by our own communities.