This season, the team from Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (Netherlands) extended the excavation trenches and continued the surface survey begun in 2011 along the stretch of the via Appia between the modern roads via Erode Attico and via Casal Rotondo (V and VI miles). The following interventions took place:
1) A trench was opened in front of the north tumulus in the space between the via Appia and the tomb itself, further north than the 2015-2106 trench;
2) A trench was opened between the two tumuli known as the ‘Tombs of the Horatii’ in order to establish the precise perimeter, form and construction of the perimeter walls and the chronologies of both tombs, as well as the excavations carried out by Luigi Canina in the 1800s;
3) Trenches to the west and south of the southern ‘Tomb of the Horatii’;
4) Inventory of the archaeological material along the section of the road being investigated;
5) 3D reconstruction based on digital photographs.
In trench 1 work concentrated on the north-east side of the north tumulus, in the area beside the road but further north than the 2016 trench and west of the various beaten surfaces found in 2015-2016, belonging to various phases of the sidewalk along the mains stretch of the road. In the space between the road and the tumulus, the excavation was extended of the structure built abutting the perimeter wall of the tumulus itself, parallel to the road and sidewalk. Pipes for carrying water to the structure and for drainage suggest this was a shop selling water.
Tufa bedrock was identified between the tumuli below the foundations of the opus caementicium_ perimeter walls of both (2). It was at a depth of over 3 m below the upper surface of the walls themselves. This confirms the idea that both tumuli were built on the bedrock. To date little evidence has been found which helps to establish the precise dating of the tumuli.
The trenches (3) aimed to establish the precise perimeter, form, and construction of the perimeter wall and the chronology of the south tomb, as well as the relationship with the mausoleum to its south and the interventions carried out by Luigi Canina in the 1800s.
The inventory of the stretch of the via Appia between the modern roads via Erode Attico and via Casal Rotondo (4) continues that undertaken between 2009 and 2016 and involves mapping the monuments with DGPS, photography and drawing. The first aim is the creation of an archaeological map of the area, which will serve as the base for a more detailed analysis of this stretch of the via Appia in the suburbio of Rome, and then the creation of a cultural biography of this section of the road.
Linked to this work, and begun in 2013 and perfected during this campaign, is the 3D documentation (5) of the monuments adjacent to the via Appia itself, as well as those in the hinterland, for the development of the GIS/SIT 3D, which forms the base of a scientific and popular visualization of this part of the via Appia.
A financial contribution from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research made it possible to complete the surface survey of the areas adjacent to the stretch of the via Appia in question, which was undertaken by the Dutch Academy in Rome. Other partners in the project are the Archaeological Superintendency for Rome and the German Institute in Rome. The project is called “Mapping the Via Appia”.
- Stephan Mols - Radboud University Nijmegen
- Eric Moormann - Radboud University Nijmegen
- Christel Veen - Radboud University Nijmegen
- Jeremia Pelgrom - Reale Istituto Olandese a Roma
- Rens de Hond - Radboud Università Nimega
- Jeremia Pelgrom - Istituto Olandese, Roma
- Radboud Università Nimega
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