ISAW announces the publication of The House of Serenos, Part I: The Pottery (Amheida V) by Clementina Caputo

By David M. Ratzan

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and NYU Press are pleased to announce the publication of the latest volume from ISAW Monographs: The House of Serenos, Part I: The Pottery (Amheida V) by Clementina Caputo (Dipartimento ABC, Politecnico di Milano) with contributions by Julie Marchand (Histoire et Sources des Mondes Antiques, CNRS) and Irene Soto Marín (Assistant Professor of Classical Studies and Assistant Curator in the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan). 

The House of Serenos, Part I: The Pottery (Amheida V) is a comprehensive, full-color catalog and analysis of the ceramic finds from the late antique house of a local notable and adjacent streets in ancient Trimithis. 

Amheida is located in the western part of the Dakhla oasis, 3.5 km south of the medieval town of El-Qasr. Known in Hellenistic and Roman times as Trimithis, Amheida became a polis by 304 CE and was a major administrative center of the western part of the oasis for the whole of the fourth century. The home’s owner was one Serenos, a member of the municipal elite and a Trimithis city councillor, as we know from documents found in the house. His house is particularly well preserved with respect to floor plan, relationship to the contemporary urban topography, and decoration, including domestic display spaces plastered and painted with subjects drawn from Greek mythology and scenes depicting the family that owned the house. The archaeology from the site also reveals the ways in which the urban space changed over time, as Serenos’s house was built over and expanded into some previously public spaces. The house was probably abandoned around or soon after 370 CE. The pottery analyzed in this volume helps to refine the relationship of the archaeological layers belonging to the élite house and the layers below it. It also sheds light on the domestic and economic life of the household and region, from cooking and dining to the management of a complex agricultural economy in which ceramics were the most common form of container for basic commodities. For more on the excavations at Amheida, including reports, images, and bibliography, visit and see the other publications in the Amheida series.

The book will be of interest to specialists interested in ceramology, Roman Egypt, and the material culture, social history, and economy of late antiquity.

The House of Serenos, Part I: The Pottery (Amheida V) is the tenth volume to be published in the ISAW Monographs series, a joint publication project with NYU Press. As with ISAW Papers, ISAW's born-digital journal, five volumes of ISAW Monographs are now also available free online via the ISAW Publications page. ISAW is committed to publishing all volumes of ISAW Monographs free and online for the interested public and scholarship community in a timely fashion.

Information about previous volumes, as well as how to order them in both print and online versions, is available via the ISAW Publications page and the NYU Press website. For information or questions about ISAW Monographs and ISAW's publishing projects, or to request review copies, please email David M. Ratzan:


Clementina Caputo (Dipartimento ABC, Politecnico di Milano) was a postdoctoral researcher on the project “Schreiben auf Ostraka im inneren und äußeren Mittelmeerraum,” conducted under the auspices of the Sonderforschungsbereich 933 -Materiale Textkulturen (TP A09) at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, from 2016 to 2019. Her main area of research is the ceramic material culture of Egypt from the Hellenistic to Byzantine periods, and she is currently the ceramologist for the Archaeological Missions at Soknopaiou Nesos/Dime (Fayum), Trimithis/Amheida (Dakhla Oasis), Tuna el-Gebel (Middle Egypt), and Plinthine (North of Lake Mariout).

Julie Marchand is an archaeologist and ceramologist who currently works for the Histoire et Sources des Mondes Antiques research unit at the CNRS (Lyon, France).

Irene Soto Marín is Assistant Professor of Classical Studies and Assistant Curator in the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan and is a recent graduate of the ISAW doctoral program.


By Clementina Caputo

With contributions by Julie Marchand and Irene Soto Marín

272 pages | 261 color illustrations, 19 tables | 8.5 x 11 in. | $85.00

ISBN: 9781479804658 | Publication date: August 5, 2020 |