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The British School at Rome’s Tiber Valley Project studies the changing landscapes of the middle Tiber Valley as the hinterland of Rome through two millennia. It draws on the vast amount of archaeological work carried out in this area to examine the impact of the growth, success and transformation of the city on the history of settlement, economy and society in the river valley from ca. 1000 BC to AD 1000.
The wealth of surface survey evidence in particular provides a valuable resource for examining these themes. However, no study has ever attempted to incorporate the wide range of settlement and economic evidence available and the full potential of the data for understanding these processes has been largely undeveloped.
British fieldwork in this area goes back to the beginning of the 19th century with Thomas Ashby’s pioneering study of the Roman campagna. However it was the South Etruria survey, directed by John Ward Perkins’ in the 1950s to 70s, which represented a milestone in Italian and Mediterranean landscape archaeology and stimulated a series of field surveys and excavations by British and, in particular, Italian archaeologists in this area.
The Tiber Valley project involves twelve British universities and institutions as well as many Italian scholars.
Tim Potter’s classic synthesis of the South Etruria survey, ‘The Changing landscape of South Etruria’ published in 1979, represented the first and only attempt to analyze developments in one part of this area through time.The first phase of the Tiber Valley project and the restudy of the South Etruria data has led to a fundamental reassessment of our historical and archaeological approaches to the Tiber valley, allowing a new reading of the historical landscape and the changing relationship between Rome and its hinterland. A volume on the ‘Changing landscapes of the middle Tiber valley’ is now in preparation by the director of the project and the two Leverhulme funded research fellows.
The Etruscan civilization was a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria, northern Lazio, with offshoots also to the north in the Po Valley, in the current Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy and southern Veneto, and to the south, in some areas of Campania.
Veii was an important ancient Etruscan city situated on the southern limits of Etruria and only 16 km (9.9 mi) north-northwest of Rome, Italy. It now lies in Isola Farnese, in the comune of Rome. Many other sites associated with and in the city-state of Veii are in Formello, immediately to the north. Formello is named after the drainage channels that were first created by the Veians.
Etruria (; usually referred to in Greek source texts as Tyrrhenia was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria.
Medieval archaeology is the study of humankind through its material culture, specialising in the period of the European Middle Ages. At its broadest, the period stretches from the 5th to the 16th century and refers to post-Roman but pre-modern remains. The period covers the upheaval caused by the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and cultures such as the Vikings, the Saxons, and the Franks. Archaeologists often specialise in studying either the Early Middle Ages or the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages, although many projects and professionals move across these chronological boundaries. The rich nature of the medieval written record has meant that archaeology has often been seen as the "handmaiden to history", especially in the Late Middle Ages. Analysis of material culture may enrich or call into question written evidence from the medieval period and the two sources of evidence need to be used together. Medieval archaeology has examined the development of medieval settlements, particularly the development of medieval towns and castles. It has also contributed to understanding of the spread and development of Christian monasticism during the medieval period.
In archaeology, survey or field survey is a type of field research by which archaeologists search for archaeological sites and collect information about the location, distribution and organization of past human cultures across a large area. Archaeologists conduct surveys to search for particular archaeological sites or kinds of sites, to detect patterns in the distribution of material culture over regions, to make generalizations or test hypotheses about past cultures, and to assess the risks that development projects will have adverse impacts on archaeological heritage. The surveys may be: (a) intrusive or non-intrusive, depending on the needs of the survey team and; (b) extensive or intensive, depending on the types of research questions being asked of the landscape in question. Surveys can be a practical way to decide whether or not to carry out an excavation, but may also be ends in themselves, as they produce important information about past human activities in a regional context.
As with most academic disciplines, there are a number of archaeological sub-disciplines typically characterised by a focus on a specific method or type of material, geographical or chronological focus, or other thematic concern.
Caere is the Latin name given by the Romans to one of the larger cities of southern Etruria, the modern Cerveteri, approximately 50-60 kilometres north-northwest of Rome. To the Etruscans it was known as Cisra, to the Greeks as Agylla and to the Phoenicians as Kyšryʼ.
John Bryan Ward-Perkins, was a British Classical architectural historian and archaeologist, and director of the British School at Rome.
Timothy William Potter was a prominent archaeologist of ancient Italy, as well as of Roman Britain, best known for his focus on landscape archaeology.
Falerii Novi was a walled town in the Tiber River valley, about 50 km north of Rome and 6 km west of Civita Castellana. It was created by the Romans, who resettled the inhabitants of Falerii Veteres in this much less defensible position after a revolt in 241 BC. The town is situated on a slight volcanic plateau.
Forum Novum was a new Roman foundation which developed as a forum or market center during the Roman Republic period. By the early 1st century AD Forum Novum had been elevated to the status of municipium, appearing as such in Pliny's list of towns. It is located within today’s commune of Torri in Sabina in the province of Rieti.
Bucchero is a class of ceramics produced in central Italy by the region's pre-Roman Etruscan population. This Italian word is derived from the Latin poculum, a drinking-vessel, perhaps through the Spanish búcaro, or the Portuguese púcaro.
Etruscan cities were a group of ancient settlements that shared a common Etruscan language and culture, even though they were independent city-states. They flourished over a large part of the northern half of Italy starting from the Iron Age, and in some cases reached a substantial level of wealth and power. They were eventually assimilated first by Italics in the south, then by Celts in the north and finally in Etruria itself by the growing Roman Republic.
David John Mattingly, FBA is an archaeologist and historian of the Roman world. He is currently Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Leicester.
The Silva Ciminia, the Ciminian Forest, was the unbroken primeval forest that separated Ancient Rome from Etruria. According to the Roman historian Livy it was, in the 4th century BCE, a feared, pathless wilderness in which few dared tread. The Ciminian Forest received its name from the Monti Cimini, which are still a densely wooded range of volcanic hills northwest of Rome. They form the part of the forerange of the Apennine main range that faces towards the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Elizabeth Barringer Fentress is a Roman archaeologist who specialises in Italy and North Africa.
Narce was a Faliscan settlement in Italy located 5 kilometers south of Falerii. Its residents spoke an Italic language related to Latin. It was inhabited from the 2nd millennium to the 3rd century B.C. The ancient name of the settlement is uncertain, but it may have been called Fescennium.
The Sangro Valley Project is an Anglo-American ongoing archaeological excavation in Abruzzo, Italy. It is notable for its revolutionary interpretation of Samnium as a dynamic participant in the history of the Adriatic as well as its early adoption of modern excavation technologies, such as GIS. The project currently managed by Oberlin College in collaboration with Oxford University, Durham University and the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Abruzzo, is a multi-disciplinary team of specialists from Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The climate of ancient Rome varied throughout the existence of that civilization. In the first half of the 1st millennium BC the climate of Italy was more humid and cool than now and the presently arid south saw more precipitation. The northern regions were situated in the temperate climate zone, while the rest of Italy was in the subtropics, having a warm and mild climate. During the annual melt of the mountain snow even small rivers would overflow, swamping the terrain. The existence of Roman civilization spanned three climatological periods: Early Subatlantic, Mid-Subatlantic (175–750) and Late Subatlantic.
Vincent Gaffney is a British archaeologist and the Anniversary Chair in Landscape Archaeology at the University of Bradford.