The "Villa of the Antonines" investigation of a Roman imperial villa
In Italy, CHAS has been conducting, since 2010, the "Villa degli Antonini" Project, 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 territory 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). Our current work at the site is focused on investigating an amphitheatre-like structure next to the bathing complex. In addition, in order to determine the original extent and arrangement of this imperial estate and how it fits into the history of Roman imperial villas more generally, we are carrying out extensive archival research as well as field survey in the area. Linked to this work, we have begun several additional programs that engage school children and teachers, other local residents, and visitors with issues of cultural heritage. Finally, we recently signed a formal agreement with the Comune of Genzano di Roma in order to promote further collaborative activities in the field of cultural heritage.