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Excavation

  • Sassogrosso
  • Vacone
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    Credits

    • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

      MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

      ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

      AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

    • AIAC_logo logo

    Summary (English)

    • Excavations at the Roman villa of Vacone (RI), already known for its two cryptoporticos, were undertaken with the aim of investigating the space between these two emerging structures. Work began at the edge of the lower cryptoporticus, which had been excavated by the Archaeological Superintendency for Lazio in 1986-87. These investigations had uncovered a mosaic floor forty metres long positioned above the lower cryptoporticus, and structures for wine and oil production above the upper cryptoporticus. Both structures were well-made, in opus incertum with a facing of limestone blocks of varying sizes.

      The 2012 season concentrated on the area immediately north of the lower cryptoporticus, where the presence of thresholds found during the Superintendency’s excavations suggested the existence of rooms facing onto the porticus itself. The investigations led to the identification of six rooms with different mosaic floors situated along the porticus. Fragments of polychrome wall plaster were found both in situ and in layers of collapsed rubble and collapsed linear and moulded stucco. Surprisingly few pottery fragments were found in all excavation areas and almost none of them were diagnostic. The most easily datable finds were Italian sigillata fragments, found on the mosaic floors and out of context in the overlying soil. It may be provisionally suggested that the levels with the mosaic floors found this season were in use during the early imperial period, as seemed to be confirmed by the only coin find, a sestertius of Trajan datable to between 103 and 111 A.D.
      Evidence of an earlier building was documented underneath the floor mosaics: walls plastered on both faces and fallen fragments of plaster painted in a very different style to that found on the walls and collapsed material on the mosaic floors of the later villa. This suggests that the walls pre-date the creation of the mosaics. This earlier phase has yet to produce any pottery, but the discovery of several fragments of black gloss ware in other parts of the site suggests a late Republican phase that may correspond with the opus incertum wall used in the construction of the cryptoporticos.

    Director

    • Dylan Bloy - CUNY-Brooklyn College

    Team

    • Ian Travers - M. ICOMOS
    • Giulia Masci - Università di Torino
    • Melanie Crisfield
    • Kimberly Brown - University of the Arts – Philadelphia
    • Matthew Notarian - Tulane University

    Research Body

    • Rutgers University-Newark USA - .

    Funding Body

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