The “Villa of the Antonines” investigation of a Roman imperial villa
Since 2010, CHAS has been conducting the “Villa degli Antonini” Project in Italy. This project is aimed at exploring a Roman imperial villa complex located on the outskirts of Rome at the 18th mile of the ancient Via Appia, in the modern town of Genzano di Roma. The villa is believed to have been the property of the second century CE imperial family of the Antonines on the basis of ancient literary references and the discovery there in the 18th century of high-quality marble busts (now in Rome’s Capitoline Museums) of these rulers. The project, directed by Dr. Deborah Chatr Aryamontri, seeks to determine, in detail, the history, extent and architectural design of this group of structures in the context of Roman imperial villas in general. The project’s archaeological investigations so far confirm the elite character of the complex as evidenced by varied wall frescoes, imported marbles for floor and wall decoration, and mosaics both colored and black-and-white.
Our current work at the site is focused on:
- Learning more about the remains of a structure which stands next to the bath complex of the villa and which we identified as an amphitheatre in 2012
- Investigating a group of rooms, identified in 2014, with black-and-white mosaics that may have belonged to residential quarters
- Locating, by combining fieldwork and remote sensing methods, other buildings that formed part of the villa complex