Delos underwent a period of rapid economic development after 167 BCE, when the Romans put the island under Athenian dominion and turned it into a commercial base connecting the eastern and western Mediterranean. Due to its advantageous geographical position in the center of the Cyclades, Delos attracted traders from Greece, Macedonia, and the Hellenistic East as well as dealers from Rome. Between 167 BCE and the sacks of 88 and 69 BCE, the island became an intermediary link in Rome’s commercial relations with the Hellenistic East. The accelerated urbanization, attested by the formation of new neighborhoods, as well as the redevelopment of existing urban and harbor areas of the island through the construction of jetties, docksides, warehouses and markets, were the result of this economic development and the unprecedented demographic growth and cultural diversity that it generated.
This paper focuses on the residential neighborhoods that were developed in this period and analyzes the architecture of the houses to address the integration of commercial and manufacturing facilities into the domestic sphere. By analyzing the architectural design of the houses and examining the spaces that were gradually created in order to accommodate manufacturing and commercial activities as well as storage spaces, my goal is to contextualize the development of domestic architecture on Delos in the context of the broader economic changes that the island underwent in this period.