The site known as the “Villa of the Antonines” extended across a wide area south of the eighteenth mile of the ancient Via Appia. Since the 18th century the villa, of which some structures belonging to the bath complex have always remained visible, has been identified as one of the properties of the family of the Antonines. This attribution is based on the literary sources (Historia Augusta, Antoninus Pius 1.8, Commodus 1.2) and on the discovery in 1701, at an an undetermined location between the Via Appia and the remains of the baths which still exist today, of a series of busts representing members of the imperial dynasty.
Remains of the villa were described and partially excavated at several points, in a non-systematic manner, between the 18th and 19th centuries. The first truly scholarly investigation was conducted in 1989 by Drs. Nicoletta Cassieri and Giuseppina Ghini of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici per il Lazio.
This investigation permitted the identification of these remains as the bathing complex of the villa. In 1996 a brief cleaning of the area conducted by the ArcheoClub of Ariccia brought to light curved masonry wall structures adjacent to the bath complex. The 2010 excavation season began new archaeological explorations directed at a systematic study of what remains of the villa complex as a whole. During this season, more thorough explorations of the aforementioned curving wall structures were undertaken. Some structural elements and the type of materials recovered seem to support the hypothesis that we are dealing with a hydraulic structure, perhaps to be interpreted as a monumental fountain. The brick stamps confirm the the attribution of the residential complex to the Antonine period. During this season of excavation, geophysical investigations were undertaken which provided evidence for probable wall structures with an orientation that is apparently independent of the curvilinear structure.
- Deborah Chatr Aryamontri - Montclair State University
- Timothy Renner - Montclair State University
- Consuelo Cecchini
- Francesca Vinciotti
- Michele di Filippo - Sapienza. Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra
- Flavio Cecchini
- Siro Margottini
- "Sapienza" Università di Roma
- Montclair State University – Center for Heritage and Archaeological Studies
- Montclair State University, The John J. Cali Foundation
- The John J. Cali Foundation
- The Joseph and Elda Coccia Foundation
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