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The second phase of the excavation at Caesar's Forum in Rome initiated

Friday 12 March, the Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi inaugurated the next phase of the excavations at Caesar’s Forum in Rome, Italy. The second phase of the Danish-Italian excavations has already provided new exciting finds.

The second phase of the excavation at Caesar's Forum in Rome has begun (Photo: The Caesar’s Forum Project).
Fragmented tombstone with Latin inscription found during the second phase of excavations at Caesar's Forum in Rome (Photo: The Caesar’s Forum Project).

Despite the early stage of the second excavation phase, archaeologists have already documented several important finds that offer new information about the Alessandrino Quarter in the 1800s. So far, four rooms of accommodation and a courtyard have been excavated. Fragmented tombstones with Latin inscriptions as well as medicine bottles are among the archaeological finds and attest to the possible existence of a stone carver and a pharmacy in proximity to the excavation area.

The excavated courtyard is of particular interest due to the project’s aim of investigating the developments of Rome from 1200 BC until modern times. Previous investigations have shown that the buildings in the Alessandrino Quarter had underground basements. These were constructed in a way that completely erased all archaeological traces from the period between c. AD 1000–1600 – i.e. between the area’s medieval period and the construction of the Alessandrino Quarter. Since there are no basements under the courtyards, the archaeologists now hope to shed new light on this poorly documented phase of Rome’s urban history. In other areas of the excavation, the Danish-Italian team hopes to reach the earliest traces of the Bronze Age (c. 1200 BC) before summer.

The Caesar’s Forum Project

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 Institute in Rome (DIR), the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence, Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), 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.

The first phase of the excavation was conducted in 2019/2020. During this phase, the team excavated – and systematically documented – an area of the so-called Alessandrino Quarter. This residential area was constructed at the end of the sixteenth century AD and housed about 4000 people up until its demolition under Mussolini in the 1930s. The Danish-Italian excavations have successfully brought forth new crucial knowledge about the importance of the Alessandrino Quarter and in particular about details surrounding the time of its demolition.

The second phase of the excavation will continue until the end of August and will expand the excavation area from 2019/2020.

You can read more about the Caesar’s Forum project on the project website here.