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Roman Villa of Fargola Excavations – Italy

July 6, 2009

Dates : 14 Sept – 7 Nov 2009

Excavation Organisation: University of Foggia

The archaeological site of Faragola has an history stretching back millennia: its remains include a Daunian tribal settlement (4th – 3rd century B.C.), a farm of the early roman period (1st century B.C. – 3rd century A.D.), a large Late Roman villa (4th – 6th century A.D.) and an early medieval village (7th – 8th century A.D.). To date only a part of a substantial villa estate has been investigated, but this has already led to the discovery of an elaborate thermal bath-house and a splendid dining room, two of the most characteristic elements of a luxurious Roman villa. The bathing complex incorporated a large salon decorated with a polychrome geometric mosaic floor. It adjoins the bath-house, which incorporated the cold, tepid, and hot baths (frigidarium, tepidarium, and caldarium) decorated with marble paving. The well preserved remains of this villa enable us to picture an ideal day enjoyed here by its privileged residents: after bathing and conversations in the bathing complex, and possibly a walk in the garden, the proprietor (dominus) and his guests would retire for an evening banquet in the luxurious dining room (cenatio). Today these remains are particularly impressive, decorated with a polychrome marble floor (opus sectile), enhanced with bone, glass, and wood inlay. The most impressive part of this room is a rare example of a semi-circular masonry dining couch (stibadium) incorporated into the wall, complemented by a fountain and running water, and decorated with opus sectile facing and reliefs depicting dancing maenads in gold leaf. This fascinating room also incorporated another special feature: the central area of opus sectile would have been covered with a layer of water, with the effect produced accentuating the colours of the marble and the glass in the pavement. Students will receive instruction in the techniques of archaeological excavation and documentation as well as hands-on experience working with materials and finds processing.

Cost: Free



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