Archaeology Projects & Archive

Gabii Project
Gabii Project: Finds lab
Gabii Project: Floatation
Gabii Project Team 2012
Roman Maritime Concrete: Underwater work at Cosa
Frank Brown and H. Evans, 1974, working on Cosa materials
Bourgou, picking up sherds with sheep
The Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia
The Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia
The Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia
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Ongoing Projects: Gabii, Pompeii, Regia

Gabii Archaeological Project
Gabii is a Latin city that is preserved practically intact and has been only minimally investigated. The goal of the Gabii Project is to reconstruct the millenary vicissitudes of this major urban site, from the dawn of the historical era to the medieval period, through the combination of excavation and various prospection techniques. Ultimately, the results of this research may change current models of the development of Roman cities by elucidating the factors that determined their growth and decline. At the same time, the project will lead to the rehabilitation of an area on the periphery of Rome enveloped by urban sprawl that has made no provisions for green areas and sites of collective memory.

Research, valorization, and social impact, therefore, are the principal aims of the Gabii Project. Uncovering a Roman city that is completely unknown will allow for a detailed understanding of its developmental trajectory, which will then serve as an indicator for other urban centers whose deep layers are much harder to access. The data collected will also aid in the conservation of the remains and their display to the public in an effort to promote and develop knowledge of the local cultural heritage. Last but not least, a key objective is to train a new generation of young American and Canadian archaeologists, so that they may acquire a practical knowledge of central Italy from a historical and cultural perspective.

Under the direction of Nicola Terrenato (University of Michigan), the Gabii Project began in 2007-8 with a geophysical survey of ca. 40 hectares of the city’s urban center. The results revealed evidence of a previously unknown urban grid within the line of Gabii's ancient walls. It was on this basis that major excavations commenced in June 2009, sampling a portion of five contiguous city-blocks with multi-phased occupation. This phase of excavation will continue through at least 2014.

Official blog:

The Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia Through cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approaches to Roman urbanism, the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (PARP:PS) is conducting excavations on a scale never seen at Pompeii. The project’s goals are to reveal the structural and social relationships between working-class Pompeian households, to determine the role that sub-elites played in the shaping of the ancient city, and to register their response to city- and Mediterranean-wide historical, political, and economic developments. The project is based in the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati, under the direction of Steven Ellis  (FAAR '13).

For more information see:

Or contact

Regia Revisited
The Regia site has a crucial importance not just in the context of Rome, but in Classical Archaeology as a whole. Excavated at different times by a number of prominent archaeologists, including Giacomo Boni and Frank Brown, this site has never been the object of a systematic, analytical publication that presented all the available data in an organized and relational way. Its extremely complex sequence extends from the Iron Age to the medieval period in a relatively compressed vertical space, requiring a careful subdivision in phases and a three-dimensional consideration of reuses, cuts and superimpositions.

The Regia Revisited project envisions a full reconsideration of all the archival information available, including that of the early excavations as well as the Brown archive held at the American Academy in Rome. The publication in 2013 of the Boni journals offers a valuable opportunity of integrating the results of each different excavation at the site, an approach which is especially important for its later phases. The excavation materials will also be restudied in situ, updating and complementing the existing detailed archival record. The entire dataset will then be reinterpreted and the phases presented sequentially in a definitive mixed-media publication.

Project Directors: Paolo Brocato (Università di Calabria), Nicola Terrenato (University of Michigan).

Contact: Paolo Brocato:

Archaeology Archive

The Archaeological Archive at the American Academy in Rome contains unique collections pertaining to the Academy's excavations, principally at Cosa and Regia:

COSA: The excavations of the Latin colony of Cosa (Ansedonia) in southwestern Tuscany, have become a reference point for the archaeology of Latin colonies and mid-Republican Rome itself. The collection documents the excavations carried out under the auspices of the American Academy in Rome by Frank E. Brown (1948-54, 1965-72) and continued in the 1990s under the direction of Elizabeth Fentress. The Cosa photographs collections have been digitized by the Photographic Archive with the support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and are available in the Academy's Digital Humanities Center. The paper archive is housed in the AAR Archaeology Archive and is consultable by appointment

REGIA: The Regia archive details the groundbreaking excavations carried out in the Forum Romanum in 1964-5 by Frank E. Brown. Due to ill health, Brown never completed the final publication, but left behind a detailed archive, including notebooks, plans, sections, finds cards and photos. The contents of the Regia collection were digitized during 2014-2015 and are available via the Academy's Digital Humanities Center for research purposes. Darby Scott will publish a summary of Brown’s conclusions in a volume scheduled for 2014-5. The physical archive is housed in the AAR Archaeology Archive and is consultable by appointment

Projects in Publication Phase

F. Brown/D. Scott
Bryn Mawr University

Atrium Vestae
Darby Scott
Bryn Mawr University

Cosa Excavations (Final reports on glass, inscriptions, sculpture, amphorae)
Darby Scott
Bryn Mawr University

Palatine East Excavations (Final finds reports)
Eric Hostetter
University of Illinois

Roman Maritime Concrete
Robert Hohlfelder
University of Colorado

The Pompey Project: Theatre of Pompey
James Packer
Northwestern University

Statonia (Bomarzo)
Theodore Peña
University of California, Berkeley

Janiculum Mills at the AAR
Andrew Wilson
Oxford University

Completed Projects

Bronze Age Pottery and 21st century Scholarly Communication- A Web Based Archive
R. Ross Holloway
Brown University

Excavations at Chianciano Terme (Mezzomiglio)
David Soren
University of Arizona

Elizabeth Fentress

Excavations at Horace’s Villa
Bernard Frischer (UCLA)

Jerba Archaeological and Ethnohistorical Survey Project, Tunisia
Elizabeth Fentress and Renata Holod
University of Pennsylvania

Monte Polizzo
Ian Morris
Stanford University

Sangro Valley Project
Susan Kane
Oberlin College

Affiliated Project Application

The AAR welcomes applications for affiliation from projects of major intellectual merit and contemporary methodology. Affiliation does not carry direct financial support from the Academy. Rather, projects affiliated with the AAR become part of the AAR intellectual community and have access to its principal resources – the AAR’s name and reputation, space for laboratory analysis, night/weekend access to its 150,000 volume library, and possible publication subventions for the final publication. Application Form, plus Space Use Form for already affiliated projects, can be downloaded below.