Aarhus Universitets segl

PhD projects

An Archaeological Approach to Archaic Rome (6th–early 5th century BC). A Case Study of the Archaic Site from the Caesar’s Forum Area

Through an archaeological approach, this project aimed to reassess the Archaic period (6th–early 5th century BC), a pivotal era in the history of Rome, which previously, for the most part, has been studied against a background of the ancient literary tradition. The approach was based on mixed methodologies consisting of archaeological evidence from Archaic Rome, modern excavations, and archaeological scientific studies. The scope of the dissertation was the examination of domestic architecture and urban development in Archaic Rome. The area of the Forum of Caesar was the starting point for the investigation, as it is one of the rare sites in Rome that contains well-preserved stratigraphy from the Archaic period. 

The PhD project was part of the ‘Caesar’s Forum Project’. The project was funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and Aarhus University Research Foundation and is a collaboration between the Danish Institute in Rome, the Roman Municipal Department of Antiquities, and UrbNet at Aarhus University. On 7 October 2021, Nikoline Sauer successfully defended her PhD dissertation at Aarhus University. 

PI: Nikoline Sauer

Urban development in Rome. Space through time: A study of Caesar’s Forum

Caesar’s Forum and the later Imperial Fora have been widely studied during their periods of construction and use, i.e. the Imperial Period. In contrast, the later phases of Caesar’s Forum remain less studied. However, the new Danish-Italian excavations at the site of Caesar’s Forum provide an excellent opportunity to examine the forum during the Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval period to study how Caesar’s Forum reflects Rome’s urban development.

This PhD project focuses on the continuity and change in the long-term development of the use of space in Caesar’s Forum during Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval period (3rd to 11th century AD). This development is examined through the available archaeological evidence from Caesar’s Forum and aims at recognising urban patterns in the evidence. These patterns are analysed and related to the political, religious, and societal situations and changes in Rome through Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval period. The aim is to reassess Rome and its urban development through a new understanding of the changes in centrality, the use of space, and the urban development visible in Caesar’s Forum. As part of The Caesar’s Forum Project, this PhD project has the unique possibility to test Rome’s existing assumptions and significantly to add to the recent focus and research on Medieval Rome. Furthermore, it can provide new perspectives on what we know about Rome as a city and the meaning and the use and change of Caesar’s Forum and the Imperial Fora in a diachronic perspective.