2019 “Villa of the Antonines” in Genzano di Roma Excavation and Field School

Location: Genzano di Roma , Roma, Italy

June 30, 2019 to July 27, 2019

Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 15, 2019
Friday, March 15, 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019

Deadline Type: 

Flyer: PDF icon poster_24x30_2019_a.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Center for Heritage and Archaeological Studies (CHAS) and Department of Classics, Montclair State University

Project Director:

Dr. Deborah Chatr Aryamontri and Dr. Timothy Renner

Project Description

This fieldwork project will continue to explore the remains of a second century CE Roman imperial villa located near the route of the ancient Via Appia in the Alban Hills region, 18 miles from the center of Rome.  On the basis of literary references and the 18th century discovery of several busts of emperors that today are on display in the Capitoline Museums in Rome, the villa is believed to have been property of the imperial family of the Antonines.  In spite of its potential significance, the site had been only sparsely explored by archaeologists prior to the start of our project in 2010.  Since then, we have established the presence of a small amphitheater, located next to a bath complex and perhaps identical with the one “at Lanuvium” utilized by Commodus for beast-killing exploits, as mentioned in the Historia Augusta.  

Students will work hands-on with the numerous finds, which include pieces of costly decorative marble, mosaic colored glass tesserae, fresco fragments, and brick stamps datable to the Antonine period. Each piece signifies elite wealth and taste of the owners, and contributes to validating its identification with an imperial residence. Just uphill of the amphitheater, with a fine vista down towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, past seasons have revealed a group of rooms with black-and-white mosaic pavements that we hypothesize were residential in nature.  During 2019, we will attempt to shed more light on this complex of rooms and to better define the floor plan of the amphitheatre.  Especially, we continue to explore the latter’s system of passageways and rooms beneath the arena, which make it stand out from most smaller structures of this type.

During the four-week program students will be introduced to all aspects of field archaeology and will gain experiential skills in on-site recordkeeping, documentation, and laboratory practice, including data management and the interpretation of archaeological evidence. The field school will include also lectures and workshops on geophysics applied to archaeology and on surveying.  At the same time, students will be exposed to the rich ancient history of Italy through cultural activities and weekend excursions to historical and archaeological sites. In their free time, students are encouraged to explore contemporary life of Italy, especially the pleasant town of Genzano di Roma, where the Villa of the Antonines site is located.  

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Imperial

Roman Imperial villa excavation; architectural remains; Harris matrix; topography; archaeological drafting; geoarchaeology; restoration and conservation principles.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No prerequisites or prior field experience are required, although participants who have had coursework in archaeology or Classics will be preferred. Participants must also be aware that this program will require long hours of work in hot weather conditions that can be physically demanding and mentally challenging.

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants will be housed at a hotel. Each room accommodates from 2 to 4 people and has a private bathroom, free wi-fi, a TV, a telephone. Laundromat facilities are available nearby. The program cost covers breakfast and lunch five days per week. Breakfasts will be taken at the hotel restaurant, while lunch will be eaten at the excavation site.  On Saturday and Sunday breakfast will be provided.

Cost includes shuttling to and from site, tools/supplies at site and lab, guest lecturers, workshops, one day week-end field trip

approximately $3,700

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Montclair State University
Number of credits offered 6
Included in the program cost for undergraduate students and volunteers; graduate students should consult the co-directors for details. Scholarships available.


Contact Information
Timothy Renner, Department of Classics
1 Normal Ave.
New Jersey
Recommended Bibliography: 

D. Chatr Aryamontri, T. Renner, C. Albo, A. Blanco, C.Mattei 2018, “Nuovi dati di scavo dalla c.d. ‘Villa degli Antonini’ (Genzano di Roma): osservazioni preliminari su pavimenti musivi inediti e rivestimenti  parietali e pavimentali marmorei e vitrei,” in Atti del XXIII AISCOM (Italian Association for the Study and the Conservation of Mosaics) Colloquium (Narni, Italy, March 15-18, 2017), Roma: 693-702

D. Chatr Aryamontri, T. Renner, "Investigating the ‘Villa degli Antonini’ at Lanuivum,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 30: 372-386

D. Chatr Aryamontri, T. Renner,  “Villa degli Antonini” (“Villa of the Antonines”) in  FastionLine [seasonal summaries 2010-2017]

M. di Nezza, F. Cecchini, S. Margottini, M. Di Filippo, D. Chatr Aryamontri, 2015. “Contribution of integrated geophysical survey to the archaeological investigation of the ‘Villa degli Antonini,” in Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Metrology for Archaeology (Benevento, Italy, October 22-23, 2015): 545-549 (http://www.metroarcheo.com/2015/files/MetroArcheo2015_Proceedings.pdf)

D. Chatr Aryamontri, M. Di Filippo, G. Pope, T. Renner, 2016. “La ‘Villa degli Antonini’ a Genzano di Roma: nuovi rinvenimenti dalle indagini del 2013),” in G. Ghini, Z. Mari (eds.), in Lazio e Sabina 11. Atti del Convegno. Undicesimo Incontro di Studi sul Lazio e la Sabina (Roma 4-6 giugno 2014), Roma: 149-156

D. Chatr Aryamontri, T. Renner, C. Cecchini, 2016. “Indagini archeologiche presso la ‘Villa degli Antonini’ (Genzano di Roma) (2012-2013),” in E. Calandra, G. Ghini, Z. Mari  (eds.), in Lazio e Sabina 10. Atti del Convegno. Decimo Incontro di Studi sul Lazio e la Sabina (Roma 4-6 giugno 2013), Roma: 135-141

D. Chatr Aryamontri and T. Renner, 2014. “La villa degli Antonini nel sublanuvium ,” in Sulle tracce di Caligola. Storie di grandi recuperi della Guardia di Finanza (Roma,complesso del Vittoriano, 5 maggio-5 giugno 2014), Roma: 93-98

G. Pope, D. Chatr Aryamontri, L. Wu and T. Renner, 2014. “Deterioration of stone and mineral materials from the Roman Imperial Villa of the Antonines at ancient Lanuvium,” in Proceedings of the XII International Association of Engineering Geology and Environment (IAEG) Conference (Cham, Switzerland 2014): 495-501

D. Chatr Aryamontri, T. Renner, C. Cecchini, 2013. “Nuove esplorazioni della Montclair State University (New Jersey) presso la Villa degli Antonini a Genzano di Roma: i risultati degli  scavi 2010 -2011,” in G. Ghini, Z. Mari (eds.), Lazio e Sabina. Atti del Convegno 9. Nono Incontro di Studi sul Lazio e la Sabina (Roma 27-29 marzo 2012), Roma: 291-298

P. Baldassarri, 2008. “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: 101-116

L. Attenni and B. Premutico, 2001. “La villa degli Antonini,” in V. Melaranci, Genzano di Roma: la città, i monumenti, Genzano di Roma: 242-247

N. Cassieri and G. Ghini, 1990. “La cosiddetta villa degli Antonini al XVIII miglio della via Appia,” Quaderni del Centro di studio per l'archeologia etrusco-italica 18: 168-178

M. Lilli, 2001. Avanzi di edifici antichi negli appunti di R. Lanciani, Roma: 39-42