Poseidonia-Paestum revisited : Tracing aspects of place attachment in an ancient context

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur

Abstract: The city of Poseidonia-Paestum on the Italian peninsula has a long and manifold history throughout Antiquity. The city was founded by Greek settlers in the seventh century BC, put under Lucanian rule around 400 BC, and was finally colonized by the Romans in the year of 273 BC. This study aims to connect the tangible traces of history to the intangible feelings for a place and explore how these elements give rise to the psychological process of place attachment. The concept holds and interdisciplinary potential and thus is possible to apply to the ancient material from Poseidonia-Paestum. The Greek agora, the Roman forum and the extramural Sanctuary of Santa Venera is approached and analysed from this perspective. A close reading of previous research on place attachment in combination with the archaeological record from Poseidonia-Paestum has formed the basis for analysing the material. This study has shown that it is possible to contextualize the theoretical framework of place attachment in an ancient material by pointing out the semiotic potency of the material remains from Poseidonia-Paestum. Through this perspective new questions have been raised and interpreted. Ultimately, a deeper understanding of the attitudes and ideas that formed the basis of human actions and decisions in the ancient city of Poseidonia-Paestum has been reached.

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