Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker

About Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker

Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker is Contributing Editor for Ancient Roman and Etruscan art. His research is focused on Italo-Roman architecture and urbanism, but he is interested in urbanism across the Mediterranean basin, as a well as in building techniques, city planning, Roman villas, and archaeological theory. Becker was trained in Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (M.A., Ph.D.) and has extensive experience as a classroom instructor and as an excavator, having worked for a number of years in and around Rome.

Ara Pacis grid
Augustus is said to have found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble—this altar symbolizes his golden age.

Ara Pacis Augustae

The building technique chosen for a given project can help archaeologists and art historians to understand scale, scope, expense, and technique, alongside other, more aesthetic considerations.

Italo-Roman building techniques

Preparations for a Sacrifice, fragment from an architectural relief, c. mid-first century C.E., marble, 172 x 211 cm / 67¾ x 83⅛ inches (Musée du Louvre, Paris)
Animal sacrifice played an important role in ancient Roman religion, but what was involved in the preparation?

Preparations for a Sacrifice

Maison Carrée, c. 4-7 C.E.
This well-preserved building in modern-day France is a textbook example of a Vitruvian temple.

Maison Carrée

Temple of Baal Shamin, 1st century C.E. (Palmyra—in modern Syria)
A hybrid of eastern and western design, this temple showcased the cultural diversity and great wealth of Palmyra.

Temple of Baalshamin, Palmyra

Column of Trajan, Carrara marble, completed 113 C.E., Rome
Trajan expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest extent, celebrating his victories with this monumental column.

Column of Trajan