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  • Sassogrosso
  • Vacone
  • Italy
  • Lazio
  • Province of Rieti
  • Vacone



  • 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)

  • Since 2011, the Roman villa at Vacone (RI), known for its two cryptoportici and excavated in the 1980s by the Archaeological Superintendency for Lazio, is being excavated by Rutgers University (NJ, U.S.A.) under the direction of Prof. Gary Farney. A preliminary survey was carried out in 2011 and the first excavations in 2012, followed by a second campaign in 2013. The first season identified six rooms facing onto the portico that was built on the roof of the lower cryptoporticus. They presented well-preserved mosaic floors and painted plaster preserved in the collapse and in situ.
    In 2013, the second campaign aimed to continue the exploration of these rooms, investigate the so-called upper cryptoporticus, and investigate the area above it, where in the 1980s excavations had identified a torcular and a channel in opus spicatum. The continuation of excavations in these rooms defined a part of the perimeter walls and uncovered new floor mosaics and wall plaster still in situ.

    In two rooms, the presence of earlier floor levels was revealed where plough furrows had cut the mosaics. The earlier floors are the best evidence to date for the existence of a Republican phase of the villa. The beginning of a vaulted passageway was discovered, sloping downwards to connect the rooms at terrace level with the interior of the lower cryptoporticus.

    Three male skeletons were uncovered in the same room in which, in the previous campaign, the skeleton of an infant was uncovered. At least two of the male skeletons were in secondary deposition.

    The excavation of the so-called “upper cryptoporticus” revealed that it formed part of the back wall of the residential part of the villa and that it presumably functioned as a cistern; the room east of the cistern must originally have been separated from it by a wall without any opening.

    The excavation of the torcular above the cistern revealed a series of floor surfaces around it and, to the east, a block of worked stone with the housings for the arbores that would have supported the press. A second torcular in opus spicatum was uncovered beside the first. The previously identified channel was shown to be linked to a series of vats north of the cistern wall; a hole in the cistern wall connected the second vat to the interior of the room east of the cistern.

    The last area to be explored was the semicircular room with a cupola situated above the cistern: two postholes seemed to have housed the supports for a canopy that projected outside the room. The original southern part of the wall that formed the room’s circular perimeter seems to have been robbed.

    A preliminary study of the pottery seems to confirm that the villa was in use between the late Republican and early imperial periods.

  • Dylan Bloy - CUNY-Brooklyn College 
  • Gary D. Farney - Rutgers University-Newark USA 
  • Giulia Masci- Università degli Studi di Torino 


  • Gary D. Farney - Rutgers University-Newark USA


  • Colleen Snyder- The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Dylan Bloy- University of Tennessee Chattanooga
  • Tyler Franconi- University of Oxford
  • Melanie Crisfield - Rutgers University-Newark USA
  • Giulia Masci- Università degli Studi di Torino
  • Ian Travers- M. ICMOS
  • Candace Rice- University of Edinburgh
  • Kimberly Brown- University of the Arts, Philadelphia
  • Matthew Notarian - Tulane University
  • Marcello Manzoni, Gordon Osterman, Jonathan Algeo
  • Wesley Bennett

Research Body

  • Rutgers University-Newark USA

Funding Body

  • Rutgers University-Newark USA


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