Dr. Amel Bouder
April 2023 - September 2023
Research Project: L’utilisation de matériaux luxueux en Afrique du Nord, durant l’antiquité tardive : le marbre entre importation et exploitation locale
The second project I will carry out at the RomanIslam Centre will focus on the use of marble in African-Roman cities during Late Antiquity, with a particular focus on Algeria. With some case examples, I want to study the mechanism of marble imports and exploitation in North Africa, but also its use and reuse in late antique constructions. Given the fact that this material is luxurious, it would be interesting to understand the mechanism of its reuse by the different classes of the city, even the most modest. The studies carried out so far on marble show that the importation of marble lasted until late antiquity, but the quantity of imports had been reduced and the sources had changed. Nevertheless, these studies have only focused on the large cities (Caesarea; Volubilis; Carthage, etc.) and have neglected the minor cities. Furthermore, only a few public monuments and some sculptures in the round were sampled, while objects of lesser value, such as marble steles or modest houses, were neglected. My initial question is to investigate how marble was used in a late antique context (imported or locally quarried) and whether this reuse was managed and/or reserved for the elite of that time, as has already been assumed for high antiquity. In order to answer these questions, I have chosen as a case study late antique private constructions such as houses; tombs and public constructions: Christian basilicas and Byzantine fortresses. My starting point will be the contextualisation and the location of Late Antique monuments made of marble in the urban landscape. In a second step, I will focus on the contexts that demonstrate a great use of marble and identify its origins, in order to answer the question of commercial exchanges between African cities in the late period. Finally, the third approach consists in analysing the different modes and mechanisms of the use of this marble, its importation and/or its local extraction. I will also give special attention to the texts dating from late antiquity and to the epigraphic evidence
Dr. Amel Bouder is an archaeologist specialised in African-Roman antiquity. She is the author of a thesis entitled: "Descriptive, analytical and comparative study of the iconography of the steles of the Roman cities: Caesarea (Cherchell), Sitifis (Sétif), Thamugadi (Timgad)", which she carried out in co- supervision between the university of Algiers II and Aix Marseille university, CNRS-CCJ. During her university cursus, she specialised in Roman iconography and trained as an archaeologist by participating in several excavations in Algeria, Tunisia and France. Since 2019, she is an associate researcher at the Centre Camille Jullian laboratory where she joined the research project "EpiCherchell", a database which aims to study the inscriptions of the city of Caesarea (Cherchell), and where Dr. Amel Bouder intervenes as a specialist in iconography. She has benefited from several scholarship programmes, including three monthly stays at the École Française de Rome, a Séjour Scientifique de Haut niveau awarded by the French Embassy in Algeria and a fellowship at the RomanIslam Centre, University of Hamburg. During this last stay, she led a project on the reuse of Roman sculptures during late antiquity. This project was successfully carried out and Dr. Amel Bouder presented some aspects of her research in two international conferences "Reflections on the mutilations of ancient sculptures. Destroy, transform, desecrate," in October in the Archaeological Museum of Bavay and an international workshop entitled "Reuse in Post-Roman societies: Christian and Islamic attitudes towards ruins and spolia," in December 2022 in the RomanIslam Center in Hamburg. The proceedings of this workshop, as well as the results of this project, will be published in the course of 2023. In addition to this thematic and the iconography of the steles, Dr. Amel Bouder is also working on the question of sacrificial scenes, sculpture workshops, Roman portraiture and the Roman army in antique Akgeria, as well as the diffusion of iconographic patterns in the Mediterranean basin.
Bouder, Amel. (2022a), "Stèle inédite d’un couple d’une prêtresse et d’un militaire de Thamugadi", The Algerian Historical Journal, 6/1, 1280-1292.
Bouder, Amel / Annane, Salim (2022b), "La redécouverte d’une stèle de Zarai exposée dans le jardin Barral à Sétif. Relecture iconographique et nouveau témoignage du culte de Cybèle", Revue des Etudes Historiques 6.1, 887-902.
Bouder, Amel (2022c), "Un probable portrait de l’empereur Vespasien de l’antique Sitifis", Al-Ibar : Journal for Historical and Archaeological Studies 5.3, 896-911.
Bouder, Amel / Drici, Salim (2022d), "Matérialité du discours et de l’iconographie des stèles funéraires et votives de la ville de Timgad", Revue des sciences humaines et sociales 8.1, 782-804.
Bouder, Amel (2022e), "Un buste antonin à Caesarea Mauretaniae, Cherchell. Étude iconographique, comparative et analytique", TAFZA Revue des études historiques et archéologiques 2.1, 77-92.
Bouder, Amel (2022f), "La redécouverte d’une stèle de Tipasa, probablement d’un atelier caesarien", TAFZA Revue des études historiques et archéologiques 2.2, 66–77.