Apr
16
Thu
2020
XIVth Roman Archaeology Conference 2020 – Session Board games and gambling in the Roman world: entertainment beyond circuses, amphitheatres and theatres
Apr 16 @ 8 h 41 min – Apr 18 @ 9 h 41 min

XIVth Roman Archaeology Conference 2020

Session BOARD GAMES AND GAMBLING IN THE ROMAN WORLD: ENTERTAINMENT BEYOND CIRCUSES, AMPHITHEATRES AND THEATRES.

Abstract
The enjoyment of leisure time and recreation is an important part of human experience. While much attention has been paid in Roman archaeology to top-down mass entertainment such as amphitheatre games or races in the circus, gaming and gambling, a more ad hoc and, in many ways intimate, type of leisure activity, has received comparatively little attention. Past work, drawing on literary evidence, explores the kinds of games played in the Roman world and examines social attitudes to gaming and gambling. This scholarship often references material remains, such as board layouts or inscriptions, but textual sources remain in the forefront. Some recent research into, for example, the phenomenological experience of dice-rolling, the transmission of games within the Roman world and the connection between gaming, gambling and literacy, has emphasised the valuable insights to be gained from interrogating the material evidence on its own terms, underlining the potential for archaeologically-informed contributions.
The literary focus has, however, led to the materiality of games and gaming being underexplored; further consideration of the material evidence has potential to provide new outlooks on the social value of this aspect of entertainment in the Roman world. This session invites papers focusing on any aspect of the material culture of gaming and gambling from across the Roman world, with a special focus on dice, dice cups/towers, counters and boards which survive in the archaeological record – whether these items are specially manufactured or created from recycled material. Papers focusing on the more ephemeral effects of materiality on the gaming experience, such as availability, portability, and the creation of such objects are also welcome, as are those exploring the distribution patterns and chronological changes relevant to gaming and gambling.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL WAS 15 NOVEMBER 2019

The Conference will address a range of important topics and themes relating to the archaeology of the Roman world. We are inviting proposals for Papers that will present new discoveries or ideas in the field of Roman archaeology through 40 themed conference sessions.

Organisers: Natasha Harlow, University of Nottingham, UK; natasha.harlow@nottingham.ac.uk

Summer Courts, University of Edinburgh, UK; s.l.s.courts@sms.ed.ac.uk

Tim Penn, University of Edinburgh, UK; tim.penn@ed.ac.uk

Veronique Dasen, ERC Locus Ludi (741520), University of Fribourg, Switzerland (https://locusludi.chveronique.dasen@unifr.ch