Italy

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Investigating a pre-Roman oil press

Excavations near Ferrandina in southern Italy, an area rich in sites dating from the Iron Age to the Lucanian period (8th-3rd century BC), have been investigating an ancient olive oil press identified during preventative archaeological work in 2007. Led by Maria Chiara Monaco, Antonio Pecci, and Fabio Donnici from the Università degli Studi della Basilicata, […]

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Sardinian splendours

CWA explores standout ancient sites in the north-west of the Mediterranean island. In the middle of an open plain, a magnificent structure stands out against the blue sky, dominating the flat green fields that surround it. With a long ramp leading up to a tiered, truncated pyramid, this prehistoric monument has been likened to a […]

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The gods of Palermo: the Antonino Salinas Museum

Oliver Gilkes explores a recently refurbished Sicilian museum. Sicily plays host to an unprecedented variety of archaeological sites and monuments, set in an extraordinary medley of landscapes. Combine this with Sicilian panache at cookery (very different from mainland Italy) and its wines, and a visit is a must for enthusiasts of Mediterranean archaeology. Superb museums […]

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Richard Hodges: The Battle of Monte Cassino

Driving past Monte Cassino many years ago with the late Mark Pluciennik, professor at Leicester University and one of the most cerebral archaeologists I have known, I pointed out the Benedictine monastery. Mark replied with words I’ve never forgotten: My father was with the Poles who captured the monastery, and my uncle, his brother, as […]

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Art meets archaeology

A fresh perspective on Pompeii and Herculaneum In the wake of the highly successful Expanded Interiors exhibition at Pompeii and Herculaneum, Catrin Huber and Ian Haynes reflect on what contemporary fine-art practice can reveal about Roman decoration. For many visitors, a trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum is all about the art. Countless ancient cities were […]

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Under the Lateran

Today, a network of subterranean passages spreads out from under the world’s first cathedral, in Rome. Within the tunnels are remnants of Roman buildings dating from the Republic to the 4th century AD. The challenges associated with piecing together this remarkable jigsaw puzzle mean that the remains have never been studied as a group – until now.

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Richard Hodges travels to… Etruria

There are dowsers, whose hazel wands will tremble, not only for water, but also for gold and bronze and iron, even for bones or an urn-full of human dust. Archaeologists have used these mysteriously gifted persons as the truffle-hunter uses his dog or his learned sow, to nose out the buried treasures of ancient cemeteries… […]

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New finds from Pompeii

Excavating Regio V and Civita Giuliana Discoveries continue at Pompeii as more electoral inscriptions, fine frescoes, and victims of the eruption of Vesuvius are unearthed, offering snapshots of public and private life in the Roman city. We take a look at some of the finds so far. In Pompeii’s Regio V, a large-scale excavation is […]

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Travel: Ancient Rome’s first responders

Richard Hodges investigates pestilence and climate chaos in the eternal city The trams rumbling along the Viale Trastevere wake me. The bell announcing morning prayers at San Crisogono tolls a little later. From my terrace, I can see the Ponte Garibaldi and the many roofs stretching away to the distant onion dome of Sant’Andrea della […]

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Bacchus Uncovered: Ancient God of Ecstasy

In 1640, a bronze tablet was discovered during construction work on a palace in Tiriolo, southern Italy. Dating from 186 BC, it records a decree issued by the Roman senate strictly regulating the cult of Bacchus, which it seems had gotten too big for its boots. But despite its ostensible threat to authority, worship of […]

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National Archaeological Museum of Paestum

Fifty years ago, in June 1968, archaeologist Mario Napoli uncovered a beautifully painted tomb in a small necropolis just south of Paestum, the ancient Greek colony Poseidonia in southern Italy. It is known as the Tomb of the Diver thanks to the unique depiction on its plaster and limestone lid of a solitary young man, […]

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