The question I am looking at for my project is related to the development and decline of Ostia in the Roman period through the construction, modification, and either destruction or abandonment of buildings in the archaeological record. I am also looking at how building use changed throughout the centuries. In my data, there is a pattern of construction that begins in the 2nd century BCE and grows until the 2nd century CE but sharply declines in the 3rd century CE. During the 2nd through the 4th centuries CE, modifications and buildings being largely repurposed after something new was installed in it, like a hall used for commercial purposes that became a bakery, increased. In the 3rd century CE, several buildings were destroyed or abandoned. There is evidence of a few modifications from the 4th century through the 6th century, but the data is much smaller than in the 2nd and 3rd century. Some of the buildings like the Garden Houses were destroyed in an earthquake during 3rd century but there is evidence that people rebuilt or were still using the building above the destroyed layer in the 4th century.
Dates and the function of the building are always kind of challenging because date ranges can be so large that they sometimes span multiple centuries and for some of the buildings, archaeologists either don’t know what the building was used for or there are multiple debates about what a building was.