Crustumerium is located approximately 15km north of Rome, immediately east of the via Salaria and around 2km east of the river Tiber.
The area under direct investigation lies on the side of the highest plateau of the Marcigliana Vecchia hills and forms part of the north western extent of the city of Latium.The history of the settlement is attested by several ancient writers who refer to its significance as one of the most ancient Latin cities (Togninelli 2009: 4).
There have been several investigations of the surrounding cemeteries, particularly at Cisterna Grande to the east of the settlement (Fulminate 2008; Rajala et al. 2005), the character of the inhabited area remains largely unexplored. However, one particularly notable investigation, carried out by the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma (Barbaro et al. 2008), produced material dating to the early Iron Age and Archaic era including concotto, coal, fragments of tuff, and pottery. The remains of a structure were also identified and, whilst its function remains unclear, it is suggested on the basis of quantities of cereal grains and fragments of large containers that this space may have been designed for the storage of food (Barbaro et al. 2008). The geophysical survey was located close to these excavations and set out to more thoroughly evaluate the landscape surrounding these previous investigations through the application of Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR). The work was carried out at the request of Dr Simon Stoddart of the University of Cambridge in collaboration with Dott. Francesco di Gennaro of the Soprintendza Speciale per i Beni Archaeologici di Roma.
The survey produced a distinct lack of geophysical anomalies. The survey did not produce a great deal of results which were attributable to anthropological factors, however, some areas of higher valued reflection could potentially represent higher concentrations of stone and other building material, as was seen in the nearby excavations (Barbaro et al. 2008). Nonetheless, further work could be conducted elsewhere on the site, closer to the known archaeology, which would likely produce more rewarding results.
Barbaro, B., P, Barbina., M, R. Borzetti (2008). L’abitato di Crustumerium: nuove acquisioni. in Alla Ricerca dell’identita di Crutumerium: Primi risultati e prospettive di un progetto internazionale Atti della giornata di studio organizzata dall’Institutum Romanum Finlandiae e dalla Soprintendenza Speciale ai Beni Archeologici di Roma. Institutum Romanum Finlandiae.
Fulminate, F. 2008. Una Tomba a loculo fra tombe a Cisterna Grande. in Alla Ricerca dell’identita di Crutumerium: Primi risultati e prospettive di un progetto internazionaleAtti della giornata di studio organizzata dall’Institutum Romanum Finlandiae e dalla Soprintendenza Speciale ai Beni Archeologici di Roma. Institutum Romanum Finlandiae.
Rajala, U., F. di Gennaro., H, Arima., C, Roth-Murray., Fulminate, F., J, Hymylä and M, Leighton. (2005) New international excavations at Cisterna Grande (Crustumarium, Rome, Italy): studying chamber tombs, burial riotes and funerary representations during the Archaic period. Antiquity Vol. 79. No. 304.
Togninelli, P. (2009). Between Crustumerium and Eretum: Observations on the first iron Age phases and the finds from the Archaic period. In. S, Bell and H, Nagy (eds.) New Perspectives on Etruria and Early Rome, in honour of Richard Daniel De Puma. University of Wisconsin Press, 3-21