The Caesar’s Forum Project is a Danish-Italian research-based excavation project. It is conducted with permission from the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBAC) in collaboration between the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence, Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), the Danish Institute in Rome (DIR) and Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali. The project directors are Prof. Dr. Rubina Raja (UrbNet), Dr. Jan Kindberg Jacobsen (DIR) and Dott. Claudio Parisi Presicce (Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali, Direzione Musei archeologici e storico-artistici). The project is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation since 2017 and Aarhus University Research Foundation since 2019.
Caesar’s Forum was a monumental public space in the centre of ancient Rome, created as an expansion of Forum Romanum. Caesar initiated the construction of his forum in 54 BCE and at its inauguration in 46 BCE, it stood as a manifestation of his achievements and his strive for a single-ruler regime. The complex of Caesar’s Forum became a benchmark for the displays of imperial power in the following centuries, as is visible from Augustus’, Trajan’s and Nerva’s Forum as well as Vespasian’s Templum Pacis complex. Furthermore, Caesar’s Forum became the starting point for an architectural tradition of open public spaces, which has continued up until modern times in the urban architectural layout of larger western European cities. However, the archaeological potential of the area reaches far beyond the Late Republican and Imperial periods. Previous research on the site has established that the archaeological strata of the area covers the period from the 1920s until the earliest phases of Rome’s history, the Late Bronze Age (13th century BCE), hereby capturing the full timeline of Rome’s urban history and development.
The Caesar’s Forum Project was inaugurated in the autumn of 2017 with the participation of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II and the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi. After preparations, the excavations, which are taking place in the south-eastern part of Caesar’s Forum, were initiated in December 2018. Using the latest technology and newest archaeo-science methods, the new excavations on Caesar’s Forum will increase our understanding of the site’s urban development as well as potentially give a better understanding of the site’s other, previously excavated complexes.
The excavations have so far uncovered the historical phases at the site, that is, the remains from Alessandrino neighbourhood, originally established in the late 16th century and in use until its demolition in the early 1930s. The upcoming excavation phase, in which the excavation field will be expanded to 900 m2, will include a further uncovering of the Alessandrino neighbourhood to the north and subsequently a destruction of these remains throughout the excavation field, which will allow for the excavations to reach the sequence of undisturbed stratigraphical contexts ranging from the medieval to the prehistoric phases at the site.