Falerii Novi, Lazio

1997 – Present

A major ongoing geophysical survey has taken place over four seasons (1997-8, 2002, 2004 & 2008) at the Roman colony of Falerii Novi, undertaken by The University of Southampton, The University of Cambridge and the British School at Rome, first as part of The Tiber Valley Project and subsequently the Roman Towns in the Middle and Lower Tiber Valley Project. Falerii Novi is situated on the lower eastern slopes of Monti Cimino in the volcanic territory to the west of the Tiber valley, c. 50km north of Rome.

The 1997-8 magnotometry survey proved very successful in the identification of many features in the urban setting. From the results, a clear interpretive map was created of the town, showing hundreds of buildings, both private and public, including warehouses, shops, market places, temples, a theatre, and the forum. The overall geophysical plan produced from the results also showed a clear street layout over most of the area which varies from the previous suggested layout of Di Stefano Manzella. The 2002-4 and 2008 seasons demonstrated that evidence for human activity at Falerii Novi extends beyond the towns circuit walls, revealing a possible gladiator training ground beside the amphitheatre, areas of cultivation, and a wealth of mausolea and rock cut burial chambers clustering along the edges of roads leading from the town

The clarity of the geophysical results from Falerii Novi and the large area covered by the survey provided us with one of the most complete town plans from Roman Italy; only Pompeii and Ostia offer similarly extensive plans. The results have considerable potential in shedding new light upon key issues in the development of Roman urbanism.

Select Bibliography:

• Keay, S. Millett, M. Poppy, S. Robinson, J. Taylor, J. and Terrenato, N. 2000. Falerii Novi: a New Survey of the Walled Area. Papers from The British School at Rome Vol 68.

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