Research-2014

Teanum Sidicinum, Campania

February 2002 – Present

Teanum Sidicinum (modern Teano) is situated on a rock outcrop on the slopes of the extinct volcano of Roccamonfina, about 30km to the north west of Caserta in Campania, Italy.

The terrace at Loreto, with the Geoscan Research FM 36 fluxgate gradiometer being balanced in the foreground

Geophysical survey in the form of magnetometer survey was undertaken at the Roman town by teams from the British School at Rome and The University of Southampton over a period of 5 consecutive seasons, starting in 2002. The project was commissioned by Soprintedenza Archaeologia di Napoli e Caserta, in particular Dott. Francesco Sirano and funded by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, the University of Cambridge Faculty of Classics, the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and Southampton University.

At the sanctuary site of Loreto, a small temple was discovered in the first season with further work in the next seasons locating a street grid system with buildings as well as a potential temple or sanctuary compound with processional way. A striking oval feature, the remains of an amphitheatre was located, as well as many circular features, interpreted as archaic tumuli. The survey taken around the extant remains of the theatre revealed insights to the town plan immediately surrounding it, with various buildings and building complexes being identified.

At La Ternitá, a complex townscape with a dual grid system was established by the divergent alignments of roads, with structures aligned along both orientations along the road network.

February 2002

In the preliminary season of 2002, the aim was to locate and map the remains of sub-surface features in the vicinity of the Roman Theatre as well as at the sanctuary site of Loreto. The survey areas surrounding the theatre gave insights to the plan of the town surrounding the extant remains, with buildings and potential walls of a large building complex becoming apparent. At Loreto, a rectangular feature was thought to represent the base of a small temple presumably associated with the sanctuary area adjacent to it.

January 2003

The aims of the 2003 season were to locate and map the remains of the subsurface archaeological features in the vicinity of the sanctuary of Loreto, following the positive responses in 2002. The results of this survey defined a street grid system with buildings as well as a potential temple or sanctuary compound with processional way. The most striking feature from the survey however, appears to be a large oval anomaly which has been interpreted as a possible market place.

October and November 2004

In 2004 the main aim was continue on from the 2003 season in locating and mapping the subsurface archaeological features in two areas surrounding the sanctuary of Loreto. The results showed the first area around Loreto littered with circular features, interpreted as archaic tumuli. This burial area seems to have been used over a long time with burial mounds not always respecting one another. Dromi, the internal chambers of some of these tumuli were also identified by the survey. The second area of Loreto uncovered many more features linking it with the temple discovered in 2002, including a long building, interpreted as a temple housed within a sacred temenos wall. Another site was also surveyed at Teano, in the vicinity of the standing amphitheatre. Here, survey detected an ancient road with potential structures fronting onto it, joining onto the via Latina.

Well Preserved Remains of the Roman Theatre at Teano

September 2005

The aim of the 2005 season was to locate and map the remains of subsurface archaeological features in an area south of the sanctuary of Loreto known as La Ternitá, a terrace overlooking the River Savone. Here, one of the most interesting features brought to light was the appearance of a dual grid system established by the divergent alignments of roads, with structures aligned with both orientations along the road network.

September 2006

Following on from the 2005 season, the aim of the 2006 season was to continue to locate and map the remains of subsurface archaeological features at La Ternitá. The results here continued to demonstrate additional divergent alignments of roads and exposed a multifaceted townscape, far more complicated than the original dual grid system thought to exist in the 2005 season. Numerous structures were also identified aligning to the street system. A quiet area between two of the roads may be identified as a civic centre which would be crucial to the understanding of the settlement.