Location: Genzano di Roma , Roma, Italy
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 2018, 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
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
Participants will be housed at a four-star hotel overlooking a crater lake near the excavation site. Each room accommodates from 2 to 4 people and has a private bathroom, free wi-fi, a TV, a telephone, and a hairdryer. Laundromat facilities are available nearby (laundry service is not offered by the hotel). The program cost covers all meals five days per week. Breakfasts and dinners 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 on geophysics applied to archaeology and on archaeological drawing, at least one field trip
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