San Biagio

The Chora of Metaponto 4: The Late Roman Farmhouse at San Biagio is the fourth volume in the Institute of Classical Archaeology’s series on rural settlements in the countryside (chora) of Metaponto. It presents the excavation of the Late Roman (3rd- and 4th-century AD) farmhouse at San Biagio. Located near the site of an earlier, well-known Greek sanctuary, this modest but well-appointed structure was an unexpected find that provides a snapshot of the rural daily life of farmers of modest means from a period generally marked by large landholdings and monumental villas. Description of Neolithic and Greek periods of occupation is followed in the text by a detailed discussion of the farmhouse itself and its historical and socioeconomic context. The catalogs and analyses of finds include impressive deposits of coins from the late third and early fourth centuries AD. Use of virtual reality CAD software has yielded a deeper understanding of the architectural structure and its reconstruction. A remarkable feature is the small bath complex, with its examples of window glass. This study reveals the existence of a small but viable rural social and economic entity and alternative to the traditional image of crisis and decline during the Late Imperial period.