South Etruria Survey

The South Etruria survey, directed by John Ward Perkins, ran between the 1950’s to 70’s and was a milestone in Mediterranean landscape archaeology. Preceding the urban expansion of Rome, it coincided with the first period of deep ploughing which brought a vast quantity of fresh archaeological material to the surface. The data was never fully published and the original study of the material was greatly limited by the poor knowledge of ceramic types at the time. Consequently, the re-evaluation of this unique data set was at the core element of the Tiber Valley Project.

Rapid developments in ceramic typologies and methods of dating have now made it possible to map with confidence landscape activity over time. Initially, attention focused on the material from the Ager Veientanus, immediately to the north of Rome itself. The collections from the major Etruscan centre of Veii (once the chief rival to Rome for supremacy in the Tiber valley area) and its necropolises are particularly spectacular, and have allowed us to distinguish probable domestic areas and cult areas, as well as several pottery kilns, giving new insight into the development of this important centre. With the completion of the restudy, preliminary results already suggest significant modification of the original synthesis of Tim Potter.