Excavations of the Baths at Roman Carsulae (Italy)
Field School, June 12 - July 23, 2016
Director: Jane K. Whitehead, emerita, Valdosta State University
The impressive ruins of the Roman city of Carsulae are located a short distance from the town of San Gemini, an hour and a half north of Rome. 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 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 current project began in 2005 under the direction of Jane Whitehead. The original goals were to consolidate the 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. The site lay exposed to the elements until the winter of 2012 when an immense roof was built over the central area of the baths. Our most recent excavations have revealed that the baths are much larger than we first assumed. We have also discovered a central mosaic, in a much disturbed state with an elegant as yet unidentified design. There is evidence for several building phases, extensive hypocaust, and possibly as many as five furnaces.
Goals for 2016 Season
Map of Carsulae Archaeological Park
- We are approaching the conservation phase of the project. To that end we will be determining the parts of the building that should be preserved first and excavating those select areas in preparation for conservation. Our goal will be to expose walls and other features in those areas down to the foundation level.
- If you have questions about the program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can contact Dr. Jane Whitehead at: