Location: Genzano di Roma , Roma, Italy
This field work project at the “Villa of the Antonines” will explore the remains of a Roman imperial villa located along the route of the ancient Via Appia, adjacent to the modern town of Genzano, in the Alban Hills region only 18 miles from Rome. The villa is believed to have been property of the 2nd century CE imperial family of the Antonines, on the basis of literary references and the discovery of several busts of emperors that today are on display in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. In spite of its importance, this villa has been only partly explored by archaeologists. In 2010 we started anew investigations of the villa, focusing on a curvilinear structure next to the bath complex. In 2012 we established that this is an amphitheater, perhaps that of Commodus, never previously located, which is mentioned by the Historia Augusta. The finds, which include numerous pieces of costly decorative marble, mosaic colored glass tesserae, and brick stamps dated to the Antonine period, are indicative of elite wealth and taste in the owners and contribute to validating its identification with the imperial residence of this dynasty at Lanuvium. In 2014 we will continue to better define the floor plan of the amphitheater, to clarify its topographical relationship with the nearby baths, and to explore some of its deeply buried architectonic and infrastructure features such as a spiral stairway. Furthermore, we will conduct targeted trial explorations in the immediate surroundings to verify the results of previous geophysical surveys, which point to the presence of possible other structures of this imperial estate.
During the four week program each student will be introduced to all aspects of field archaeology and will receive hands on experience in on-site recordkeeping, documentation, and laboratory practice, including data management and the interpretation of archaeological evidence, especially ceramics. The field school will include also lectures by invited guests as well as workshops on geophysics applied to archaeology and on archaeological drawing Students will also be exposed to the rich ancient and contemporary ways of life of Italy through cultural activities and at least one weekend excursion to historical and archaeological sites.
Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Imperial
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
L. Attenni, B. Premutico, “La villa degli Antonini,” in V. Melaranci, Genzano di Roma: la città, i monumenti, Genzano di Roma 2001, pp. 242-247
P. Baldassarri, “Ville imperiali e arredi scultorei: i ritratti dalla villa degli Antonini nell’Ager Lanuvinus,” in M. Valenti (a cura di), Residenze imperiali nel Lazio. Atti della giornata di Studio (Monteporzio Catone, 3 aprile 2004) (Tuscolana – Quaderni del Museo di Monte Porzio Catone,2), Frascati 2008, pp. 101-116
N. Cassieri, G. Ghini, “La cosiddetta villa degli Antonini al XVIII miglio della via Appia,” Quaderni del Centro di studio per l'archeologia etrusco-italica 18: 168-178, 1990
D. Chatr Aryamontri, T. Renner, “Villa degli Antonini” (“Villa of the Antonines”), in Fasti On Line (http://www.fastionline.org/record_view.php?fst_cd=AIAC_2694)
M. Lilli, Avanzi di edifici antichi negli appunti di R. Lanciani, Roma 2001, pp. 39-42