Abstract: Excavations in the Peristyle Garden of the Villa Arianna in Stabiae
Lecturer: Robert Lindley Vann
The Villa Arianna in Stabiae was excavated first by the Bourbons in the 18th century, reburied, and uncovered once more in the mid-20th century. We have an accurate plan of the villa from these earliest investigators and we understand most of its architectural features. The famous paintings that once decorated its interior rooms can still be seen in the Archaeological Museum in Naples. But little was known of its gardens. Wilhelmina Jashemski, formerly of the University of Maryland and an AIA Gold Medal winner, included a brief description of the large house and identified several locations where she predicted gardens would be found. It is appropriate that now another team from the University is continuing her work in garden archaeology in the Vesuvian region.
Excavations began in the large peristyle garden for the first time in the spring of 2007. A joint effort by the Italians and Americans worked in the garden for the next two summers and will return once more in 2009. This lecture will describe the villa and its setting and present the results of those three seasons of excavation and study.
In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite (Castellammare di Stabiae, Nicola Longobardi Editore), 2004
Jashemski, Wilhelmina F., The Gardens of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Villas Destroyed by Vesuvius, vol. 2 (New Rochelle NY, Aristide D. Caratzas), 1993
Otium Ludens: Stabiae at the Heart of the Roman Empire (Castellammare, Nicola Longobardi Editore), 2007