Williams, Joey: The Archaeology of Roman Surveillance in the Central Alentejo, Portugal, 2017
Abstract: During the first century B.C.E. a complex system of surveillance towers was established during Rome’s colonization of the central Alentejo region of Portugal. These towers provided visual control over the landscape, routes through it, and hidden or isolated places as part of the Roman colonization of the region. As part of an archaeological analysis of the changing landscape of Alentejo, Joey Williams offers here a theory of surveillance in Roman colonial encounters drawn from a catalog of watchtowers in the Alentejo, the artifacts and architecture from the tower known as Caladinho, and the geographic information systems analysis of each tower’s vision. Through the consideration of these and other pieces of evidence, Williams places surveillance at the center of the colonial negotiation over territory, resources, and power in the westernmost province of the Roman Empire.