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Excavation

  • Piano della Civita
  • Artena
  •  
  • Italy
  • Latium
  • Rome
  • Artena

Summary (English)

  • The 2010 campaign continued investigations in the area immediately outside of the villa’s western peristyle.

    During the previous year’s campaign (2009) a tank about 2.50 × 3.00 m, 0.80 m deep lined with opus signinum was found. Excavation of the tank was completed after the dismantling of a late wall which crossed it at a right angle. During this operation an infant burial came to light which had been disturbed by the construction of the wall. The material from the tank fill included a fragment of terracotta frieze the same as those found some years ago in other parts of the villa and an intact lamp with a stamp from the workshop of Caius Oppius Restitutus, datable to the end of the 1st-beginning of the 2nd century A.D.

    Work also continued on the rest of the area situated to the north which is entirely covered by a layer of dark earth. This overlies an earlier, craft-working/industrial phase, characterised by the presence of lime plaques, hearths, pits, post holes and piles of small-medium stones. The excavation of the black earth produced numerous coins dating from the 4th century until the end of the 5th-beginning of the 6th century A.D., a chronology also provided by the pottery finds.

    Thanks to the cooperation of the municipality of Artena it was possible to extend the excavation in the area where, during the 2004 campaign, a row of large limestone blocks appeared, the extension and nature of which was previously unknown. The excavation brought to light a more or less rectangular “platea” (about 3.40 × 4.10 m). Its perimeter was mainly formed by large limestone boulders like those that appeared in the trench. In the interior two layers of flooring were preserved, made in the same way but with different modules. Whilst the lower floor was composed of small tile and dolia fragments and small stones, the upper floor was made up of larger fragments. In the northern corner there was a sort of base comprising a smoothed piece of limestone covered with a layer of mortar bonding it to a terracotta conglomerate. No evidence was found to indicate whether the structure had walls of solid or perishable materials. Neither were any post holes found. An examination of the structure’s external perimeter revealed a hoard inside a small pottery vessel. It comprised four gold coins (solidi) with the Byzantine emperor Constans II and his son Costantine IV, datable to the mid 7th century A.D. The excavation of the “platea” and the discovery of the hoard open a new chapter in the history of Piano della Civita di Artena extending occupation of the great terracing on which the villa is situated form the 4th century B.C. to the 7th century A.D.

  • Jan Gadeyne - Temple University Rome Campus 
  • Cécile Brouillard - INRAP (Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives, Francia)  

Director

  • Cécile Brouillard - INRAP (Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives, Francia)
  • Jan Gadeyne - Temple University Rome Campus

Team

  • Cécile Brouillard - INRAP (Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives, Francia)
  • Jan Gadeyne - Temple University Rome Campus
  • Temple University Rome Campus

Research Body

  • Temple University Rome Campus

Funding Body

  • Privato
  • Temple University Research Fund

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