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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)

  • In the 1980s, rescue excavations were carried out by the Archaeological Superintendency of Lazio at the Roman villa at Vacone (RI), known for the presence of two structures. In 2011, Rutgers University (NJ, U.S.A.) began preliminary investigations in the area between the two cryptoporticae, followed by excavations in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The first campaign identified six rooms facing onto the portico that were built on the roof of the lower cryptoporticus, with well-preserved mosaic floors and painted wall plaster in the collapse and in situ.

    The second campaign, in 2013, continued the exploration of the rooms identified the previous year, investigated the so-called upper cryptoporticus that was revealed to be a cistern, and investigated the area above the latter, where the Superintendency had identified a press and an opus spicatum channel. During this season evidence emerged of an earlier occupation phase, datable to the late Republican period, and new elements came to light in the production area. The first part of a descending vaulted passageway linking the rooms on the terrace with the interior of the cryptoporticus was identified. Three adult male skeletons, at least two in secondary deposition, were found in the same room in which an infant’s skeleton was found last year.

    During the 1014 campaign, the excavation of several rooms facing onto the cryptoporticus and one abutting the cistern was completed. A north-south trench was opened, with the idea of linking the two groups of rooms. This led to the discovery of new rooms with mosaic floors. The excavation of the production area continued towards the east, confirming that the villa extended further in that direction. The relationship between the production area and the residential sector below it was investigated. New evidence for the villa’s late Republican phase and the large amount of terracotta/ceramic material that was recovered confirmed the latest date so far attested on the site to be the 2nd century A.D.

    The 2015 campaign furthered understanding of the villa’s plan, investigating the relationships between its various levels. The passageway leading from the residential level to the lower cryptoporticus was excavated, reaching floor level and identifying a small aperture that opened onto the room flanking it. A second entrance to the lower cryptoporticus was found at its western end. Excavation in the area in front of the entrance to the upper cryptoporticus identified at least three successive occupation phases. The excavation of the residential sector was completed, thus giving a better understanding of the villa’s plan.
    The excavation of the productive sector was extended thanks to the acquisition of more land by Vacone town council, and a wine press was found alongside those for oil.

  • Dylan Bloy- University of Tennessee Chattanooga 
  • Gary D. Farney - Rutgers University-Newark USA 
  • Giulia Masci- Università degli Studi di Torino 



  • Candace Rice- University of Edinburgh
  • Ian Travers- M. ICMOS
  • Tyler Franconi- University of Oxford
  • Federica Pollari - “La Sapienza” Roma
  • Matthew Notarian - Tulane University
  • Kimberly Brown- University of the Arts, Philadelphia

Research Body

  • Rutgers University

Funding Body


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