Asuman Lätzer-Lasar is going to present a working paper on ‚Religious Ancient Placemaking – first draft of a conceptual framework‘

The choice of location of a sanctuary was mainly dependent on its sacred
geomancy, for instance recognized through an augurium during the
Roman period. However, in dense and crowded places such as a city, there
were also other needs and requirements that had to be respected, such as
urban topography, infrastructure and accessibility, as well as policy,
economy, local legislation, or even traditions. Establishing a place for
religious communication, be it a sanctuary, a grave or the erection of a
dedication for a deity therefore had to be some kind of a negotiation
between the religious communicator and the physical and non-physical
pre-existing environment.
However, even in antiquity the establishment of places of religious
communication in dense and diversely crowded cities cannot have been
taken place as mere top-down processes decided only by elite, ruling
actors without taking any significant and urban-related factors into
account. I argue that the decision-making process, when creating a place
for religious communication, is an interplay of spaces, objects, actors,
practices and imagination (which is aspirations and semantics) that lead
involuntarily to reciprocal formations.
This paper is a first attempt to describe the term “placemaking”, which
derives from the disciplines of urban planning and geography, in order to
elucidate its advantages and disadvantages for the research of ancient
cities and religions. I would like to apply the term and specify it as the
concept of Religious Ancient Placemaking. In this paper I will introduce
a first sketch of my understanding of the theoretical framework of the
concept, which shall be part of my habilitation project.
My plan for the second book is firstly to develop the concept and make it
suitable for the discipline of archaeology, then secondly enrich it with
examples from the ancient city of Rome – because it is an exceptional city
that provides a plethora of material and written sources and therefore
guarantees a qualitative broad variety of phenomena – and then thirdly try
to apply the conceptual framework on a specific case study, which will be
the Provincia Hispania.