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Beneath the surface of Roman Republican cities

last modified Apr 01, 2015 09:53 AM
Following the award of a 30-month AHRC Research Grant, Martin Millett (PI) and Alessandro Launaro (Co-PI) launch today their integrated project exploring the early phases of Roman urbanism

 

The middle Roman Republic (the 4th - 3rd centuries BC) was the formative period in the development of Roman urbanism, with the development of the City of Rome itself and crucially also the implantation of new urban foundations across the conquered areas of Italy. Since Roman cities subsequently became central to the character of Rome's imperial system, understanding the earliest development of towns in Italy at this period is central to any comprehension of Roman imperialism itself. However, the earliest phases of these cities, many of which have continued in occupation until today, lie deeply buried beneath later structures.


This innovative project – carried out in collaboration with the British School at Rome and Prof Frank Vermeulen and Dr Lieven Verdonck of Ghent University – will deploy Ground-Penetrating Radar survey alongside the study of ceramic assemblages across the full extent of two cities founded in this period - Interamna Lirenas founded as a colony in 312 BC and Falerii Novi founded by Rome in 241 BC to characterise their early development. The work will build directly upon our previous survey at both sites (which has included full magnetometry and topographical surveys of both) to provide unique new data about the deeply buried deposits, thereby allowing the integrated information to be used to map these towns and address key questions about the nature of Roman urban development in this key period.

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