Because of its exceptional state of preservation, Pompeii has traditionally been viewed as an ideal site at which to study the early development of Roman architecture. Scholars have looked to the Pompeian evidence in order to provide parallels for periods and classes of buildings that in Rome are less well documented archaeologically. The focus of recent debate has been on the Mid- to Late Republican transition, with an emphasis on building types whose introduction at Pompeii would demonstrate a direct cultural link with practice at Rome. The prevailing view is that both the town-planning and the architecture of Pompeii in the 3rd-2nd c. B.C. were strongly influenced by Roman models or prototypes. Similarly, there has been a tendency to refer to the Pompeian materials as the missing link for the high dating of early Roman concrete architecture in Rome, which would have been introduced around the same period. In a recent review of the evidence from Rome, I have argued for a later chronology, which, inevitably, prompts a reconsideration of the development and cultural significance of concrete construction at Pompeii.
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