JCU Professor Koehler Presents at Roman Archaeology Conference

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On March 17, Professor Jens Koehler of JCU’s Department of Art History and Studio Arts organized a session and presented a paper at the 12th Roman Archaeology Conference (RAC) in Rome. The conference was held from March 16-19 at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and was the first RAC ever held in Italy.

More than half of the RAC’s 600 participants presented papers or posters. Professor Koehler presented his paper “Before the Hammam: Ancient Spas of Roman North Africa.” His essay offered a brief overview of the state of research concerning hot springs in what is today Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. In ancient Roman times, wealthy and densely inhabited provinces were found in this area. Some of the spas there were once quite famous, such as the Aquae Persianae visited by the poet Apuleius to cure his swollen ankle. Other sites still have hot water pools that are still frequented by locals today.

Professor Koehler also organized a group session for scholars entitled “Rethinking the Concept of ‘Healing Settlements’: Cults, Constructions and Contexts in the Western Roman Empire.” The focus of the session was thermo-mineral baths. Twelve participants from Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, and Bulgaria presented papers on the topic.

A native of Germany, Professor Koehler is currently teaching: Introduction to Classical Archaeology; Ancient Rome and its Monuments; and Cities, Towns and Villas: Rome, Ostia and Pompeii.

Learn more about the 12th Roman Archaeology Conference