The Tetrastylon will develop an integrated interdisciplinary approach, using different techniques to achieve the research objectives. The research methodologies are:
1. Collection and collation of data. The candidate will create the proper documentation of the architectural remains documentation. The applicant will search the Western Mediterranean cities with potential remains in the TIR/FOR project database and also in an exhaustive literature review (publications and archaeological reports). The project will design and implement a spatial database to systematise the documented information. Spatial analyses about the housing structures and their relation with the city urbanism will be developed. This compilation will be made from all the available data, especially with a review of domestic structures misidentified as “atrium houses”. The study of the architecture of each case will be based on its technical and constructive materials, their plans, architecture and engineering. Finally, each available households will have a field study in situ.
2. Identification of the public spaces of the studied houses. The identification of these areas is determined by architectural characteristics (morphology, disposal within the plan of the house, decoration of the walls and pavements). In addition, the project will innovate with the use of Network Analysis and Space Syntax as new methodologies for identifying and understanding the composition of the domestic spaces. Visualising the reality in the form of graphs (with nodes and links) will let the candidate to mathematically analyse the structures of the houses and the connectivity of their rooms. With the connectivity results, the project can analyse the relationship of domestic spaces for social and public representation with the most private areas of the household.
3. Identification of production functions and consumption levels of the selected households. Following the principles of the Household Archaeology, the analysis of the materials recovered from the various domus will allow appreciating the productive functions of the house and the level of consumption. With the collection of data and the quantitative study of the different materials (agricultural tools, equipment for industrial production, household equipment, etc), it is possible to determine what type of domestic work were developing the families who lived in these households, their productive capacities of goods in the same household and their consumption levels. The creation of a spatial database, based on the use of Geographical Information Systems, will allow the Tetrastylon project to capture, analyse and display the quantified spatial distribution of material goods within the households. Thereby, it will be possible to compare their dispersion and the similarities and differences with other types of domus to see the possible homogeneity about the families who chose to live in these houses. These comparisons may be established thanks to the contribution of other projects on the Instrumentum Domesticum in the Roman Domus.
4. Comparison of the specific examples. After of collection and collation of data and identification of the public spaces of the studied houses, Tetrastylon may conduct a comparative analysis of different “tetrastyle courtyard houses” to set the standard features of this type and their variants, and if there are particularities due to time period or region. A comparative study of its architectural plans, its construction techniques and decorative elements (wall paintings and mosaics) will be performed taking into account the results of identification of areas and functions as well. Thanks to the geo-referenced database for each city and inside the households, it will be possible to carry out geographical dispersion analysis models (existence, typological evolution, chronology), both intra-site and in the general geographical framework of the project.
5. Comparing the “atrium house” and the “tetrastyle courtyard houses”. The accomplishment of the first three objectives of this research will allow Tetrastylon to obtain the comprehensive study of all the architectural and functional aspects of the different “tetrastyle courtyard houses”. The research results were compared to the same parameters of the “atrium house”. The scientific community has many studies about the “atrium house, tetrastylon will use this literature to perform a comparative analysis of the architectural plans of the two types of domus, the differences between their rooms and the social impact of the existence or not of the different elements.
6. Analysis of the spread of “tetrastyle courtyard house”. When bringing the results of the analysis of the different objectives, it is expected that the investigation will establish a new Roman domestic architecture typology and confirm or refute some statements on the development of private Roman world in recent times.
7. Evaluate the cultural exchanges in domestic architecture. Finally, the project will use the opportunity to study a typology of a house with clear architectural and social exchange elements to assess cultural contacts that will result in the creation of a new model of domestic and family unit. The analysis of the origins of the different parts that conform this typology allows the Tetrastylon project to reflect on cultural contacts and heritage in a globalising society as it was the Roman Empire. To reconsider the adaptation of ancient societies to other architectural models results in cultural consequences and parameter changes in the way that people live their lives in the private circle.