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Excavation

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

Summary (English)

  • The 2011 campaign, financed by Temple University Rome and a private donation, continued investigations in the area immediately west of the villa’s peristyle. A trench was opened in the area between the villa and terrace edge in order to check the results of a geophysical survey undertaken in 2010.

    During the previous year’s campaign (2010), the excavation of a tank lined with opus signinum (about 2.5 × 3.00 m and 0.80 cm deep) was completed. Investigations continued towards the north in the area between the tank, the early medieval “platea” and the external wall of the peristyle. The area was completely covered by a layer of “dark earth” overlying an earlier craft-working/industrial phase. Excavation of the dark earth layer provided accurate dating evidence for its formation, which probably occurred during the 6th century A.D. as suggested by the pottery, several coins, including a pentanummus of Justinian or Justin II. Underlying the dark earth were the remains of a new building, not completely excavated, preserved mainly at foundation level and measuring at present 5.75 × 4.70 m. This latest discovery provides further evidence of a late occupation phase both inside and outside the villa, where some abandoned spaces were partially reused and new structures built outside of its western perimeter.

    In the southernmost sector of the area, that closest to the tank, excavation continued down to a floor level dating to the height of the villa’s activity (I-II century A.D.). This was made up of smoothed limestone and a threshold of smoothed chalk. A bronze coin of Claudius, minted between 41 and 50 A.D., was found in direct contact with a part of the threshold. To date, about 130 m2 of this paving has been excavated.

    After the villa’s main phase, craft-working/industrial activity took place in the area outside its perimeter. The result of this activity is a complicated stratigraphy containing a series of pits, post-holes, footholds, and hearths, elements that often proved difficult to interpret.

    Knowledge of the area was added to by the discovery of a short section of a wall pre-dating the villa. It was perfectly aligned with a wall running east to west below the villa but at a slightly more oblique angle.

    South of the villa, a trench was opened to check the geophysical results regarding the relationship between the villa and the containing wall of the terrace. The excavation confirmed the presence of another space belonging to the villa of which only two sides were known to date. Moreover, it exposed the remains of a tufa wall belonging to a building of Republican date, similar to that found below the villa’s south-eastern corner. A dolium was found still in situ beside the wall. Further excavation is required in order to define the plan and extension of the structure and its relationship both with the terracing wall and the villa itself.

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

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
  • Studenti di archeologia e di storia dell’arte della Temple University

Research Body

  • INRAP
  • Temple University Rome Campus

Funding Body

  • INRAP
  • Privato
  • Temple University Research Fund

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