Excavations of the Baths at Roman Carsulae
June 8 - July 19, 2014
Director: Jane K. Whitehead, Valdosta State University
Map of Carsulae Archaeological Park
- The impressive ruins of the Roman city of Carsulae are located a short distance from Terni and from the town of San Gemini, known for its mineral springs. Carsulae grew up along the via Flaminia, which was built in 220-219 B.C. and connected Rome to the Adriatic Sea. The road attracted the settlement of pre-Roman inhabitants from the surrounding hills. The beauty of the site is mentioned by Tacitus and Pliny the Younger. The town was abandoned after a severe earthquake and never reoccupied, so many important structures, including twin temples, an amphitheater, a theater, the Arch of San Damiano, and monumental tombs, as well as the ancient urban plan, remain well preserved.
- The Baths
- The Roman baths, which lie at the threshold of the southern entrance to the city, were excavated in the 1950s by the then-superintendent of archaeology, Umberto Ciotti. The site lay exposed until the winter of 2012 when a beautiful roof was built over the central area of the bath. The goals of our project are to consolidate the exposed remains and to explore the structure further in order to determine its entire plan and the form of its earliest phase, which, if contemporary with the founding of the city, may be one of the oldest Roman baths in existence. In fact, our most recent excavations have revealed Roman reuse of massive structures that appear to be earlier than the traditionally accepted date of the founding of the city. We are also investigating the possibility that the baths had a distinctive function as a place of healing.
- Polygonal Wall
- Recent seasons have also focused on a wall of opus polygonale to the east of the bath structure. It consists of two perpendicular arms, one leading toward a cistern in opus caementicium, which served the baths in the Imperial period, and the other toward a flight of five steps, which appear to lead up to the via Flaminia. The former has revealed an extension in wattle and daub: a transitional wall between the polygonal wall and the concrete-built cistern. The latter arm is overlaid with a shallow pool in tile-paved concrete, which may be a public fountain at the southern entrance to the city. All three zones within the current excavation area have revealed various forms of masonry construction, which indicate long use and many centuries of rebuilding.
- Contact Information
- If you have specific questions about the program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can contact Dr. Jane Whitehead at:
Prof. Jane Whitehead
Dept. of Modern and Classical Languages
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, GA 31698