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  • Via Gemina
  • Aquileia
  • Italy
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Provincia di Udine
  • Aquileia

Summary (English)

  • From 2005 onwards an area of Aquileia (lots. cat. 424/6, 18-19, 23-27 and 425/1, 3, 5-6, 14-16) has been the object of an archaeological investigation undertaken by the University of Trieste under concession from the Archaeological Superintendency of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The first two campaigns uncovered parts of an important residential complex, probably owned by imperial functionaries or local notables and conventionally known as “of the dancing cherubs”.

    In 2005 two mosaics of extraordinary quality came to light. These were probably situated in the private rooms of the owner, grouped around a small peristyle. In 2006 the discovery of the final section of the mosaics facing onto the portico made it possible to link this sector of with the flooring denominated “Flowered carpet”, previously uncovered by Luisa Bertacchi in the garden adjacent to the Carabinieri barracks.

    The identification, during the excavations between 2007 and 2009, of new floor surfaces, walls and thresholds, made it possible to make a reasonably certain reconstruction of the extension and layout of the domus. One of the main aims of the excavation was an analysis of the urban context in which the residence was inserted, especially in relation to the complex transformation phenomena which occurred in the city during the late antique period. These transformations saw the functional redefinition of the quarters in relationship to the new centres of aggregation and attraction. In fact, working on a large area, corresponding to one of the city’s most important insulae, made it possible to pick up on the radical changes in spatial, functional and juridical organisation. These observations were made possible above all by the opening of a new trench in correspondence with the cardus maximus which had already been investigated by Giovanni Brusin in the 1930’s, but whose position was no longer certain. An analysis of the road surface and the rebuilding of the portico ambulatory brought to light further restoration work and large scale restructuring of the internal divisions of the insula, determined by the creation of a small dividing road, which was also made use of in the reorganised layout of the 4th century A.D.

  • Federica Fontana - Università degli Studi di Trieste, Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia 


  • Federica Fontana - Università degli Studi di Trieste, Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia


  • Emanuela Murgia
  • Alessia Iersettig
  • Massimo Braini
  • Federica Fontana - Università degli Studi di Trieste, Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia
  • Luciana Mandruzzato
  • Serena Privitera

Research Body

  • Università degli Studi di Trieste, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità”Leonardo Ferrero”

Funding Body

  • Fondazione CRTrieste
  • Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia


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