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

Summary (English)

  • The 2012 campaign was financed by Temple University, Rome, INRAP and a private donation. Work continued in areas 60/63, 64 and 35, extending the excavation by about 115 m2.
    Three major advances were made, the most important being the quite well organised nature of the late antique buildings. In fact, the excavated walls revealed a plan with flanking rooms on the same general alignment of the original villa.

    The entire complex was connected by stretches of wall built on top of the partially demolished west wall of the villa. It is probable that this was contemporary with the reuse of the mosaic-floored room on the west side of the peristyle. If this is so, then the villa was not completely abandoned; rather it underwent radical alterations, perhaps even of a functional nature. Evidence of this has been uncovered in several parts of the excavation and has been dated to the 5th – beginning of the 6th century A.D. Later, the complex was covered by a series of “black soils” corresponding with the beginning of the site’s use for agriculture and/or pasture some time towards the 6th century A.D.

    The second important discovery was that of two secondary burials in pottery vases. These were identical, both of immature individuals. Mainly the larger bones were preserved and showed no signs of burning, perhaps because they were deposited in the vases in a second moment when the site was radically reorganised in the 5th century A.D.

    Other perinatal bones were collected a few metres away, mixed with dumped soil in the south room of the late antique complex. Furthermore, the presence of scattered bones was documented several times in the area west of the villa, always within the levelling layers that predate the late antique buildings and later than the only tomb discovered so far on the terrace. Therefore, it is possible that these finds attest the existence of a small cemetery area, perhaps reserved for children, created in this part of the site towards the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. and dismantled towards the 5th century A.D.

    The third important element, and the most unexpected, adding to our knowledge of occupation on the artificial terrace of Pian della Civita, was the discovery of an aqueduct with cistern. At present, the cistern’s depth and type of covering are unknown. However, it belongs to a very early phase. In fact, the covering was destroyed and the cistern filled before the area was used as a courtyard, that is no later than the 2nd century A.D. Based on the material recovered from the excavation of the gravel in the aqueduct, the propose dating for these structures is the mid 1st century A.D.
    The next campaign will be dedicated to the excavation of the late antique buildings (whose function and date are to be ascertained) and the cistern (whose precise date in the relative chronology of the site is of great importance for understanding the villa’s development).

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


  • 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, volontari.

Research Body

  • Temple University Rome Campus

Funding Body

  • Temple University Rome Campus


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