Acilia, Lazio

2006 & 2007

Between 12th July 2006 and 10th August 2007 a geophysical survey was undertaken at the site of Riva di Roma close to the town of Acilia Madonetta, 20km to the south west of Rome and 4km from the Lido di Ostia in the Comune di Roma. The work was carried out on behalf of SIACI for Pirelli RE – Aree Urbane, and was conducted by the British School at Rome and the University of Southampton.

The survey was conducted in order to assess the archaeological potential of an area of terrain some 135 hectares in size prior to development work; located between the low hills of Acilia to the north east, and the coastal plain of Casal Palocco to the south west. Work was conducted over three seasons; from 12th July to 14th August 2006, from 17th September to 15th November 2006, and from 3rd July to 10th August 2007. The location of
the area on the edge of the coastal plain to the south of the river Tiber immediately to the west of Acilia suggested that archaeological material may be present, in particular roads and structures dating to the Roman period, and possible protostoric and Roman settlement on the low hills in the eastern portion of the survey area. It was decided that geophysical survey of the area would allow the nature and extent of any archaeological remains to be mapped prior to further archaeological evaluation using methods of excavation.

The magnetometer survey was successful in mapping and identifying a number of archaeological features across the area, mainly relating to the works of the Bonifica conducted along the coastal plain in the 19th and 20th centuries. Remnants of some mid 20th century military and telecommunications infrastructure were also identified in the survey results, but no extensive evidence was found to suggest significant human habitation in the area in the prehistoric, Roman or medieval periods.

The plain at Riva di Roma with the tufa hills in the background, and the Alban Hills
on the horizon