Cost: Free

Interamna Lirenas (Lazio, Italy): Survey and excavation of a Roman city

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

"Interamna Lirenas (Lazio, Italy): Survey and excavation of a Roman city" by Dr Alessandro Launaro FSA, Professor Martin Millett FSA, Prof Frank Vermeulen FSA and Dr Lieven Verdonck

Interamna Lirenas is a Roman City in southern Lazio founded in in 312 BC in the territories formerly owned by the communities of Aquinum (Aquino) and Casinum (Cassino). It has seen little previous archaeological investigation although it was surveyed by Edith Mary Wightman in the 1970s¬–80s. There are no surviving monuments visible above ground, and the whole site is now used as agricultural field. This has provided a unique opportunity for an integrated investigation of the town and its hinterland in a project initiated in 2010.

The work begun with a survey of the whole town, first using magnetometery, and then with high resolution Ground-Penetrating Radar (at a sampling interval of 6cm). This has been complemented with a systematic surface sampling and test pitting. The results of these surveys provide fundamental new evidence for the plan, character and development of the town. The GPR survey also shows a number of the buildings in very fine detail. This work is of fundamental importance for understanding Roman urbanism in central Italy.

Amongst the structures identified in trail GPR work in 2012 was a previously unknown theatre. Since 2013 excavations have uncovered the whole of this roofed theatre, providing a wealth of information about its architecture and its development.

This lecture will present the integrated results from the survey and excavation looking at the character and plan of the town, and the development of the theatre, including the reconstruction of its architecture. Both will be considered in the broader historical context of the development of Roman Italy. 

Location: Burlington House