Sant’ Omobono bound

MOLA team
31.05.2013

On 3 June 2013 MOLA Project Officer Alison Telfer starts work excavating in the hugely significant S. Omobono archaeological park in Rome.

The dig, led by Professor Nicola Terrenato of the University of Michigan and supported by The City of Rome and the University of Calabria, aims to make sense of the complex archaeological remains on the site. Several trenches will be opened, one of which will be supervised by Alison.

The early Republican temple podium now visible at S. Omobono, named after the patron saint St. Homobonus, was first uncovered in the 1930s during construction work for new Government offices. This and other masonry remains were exposed dating from the Archaic, Republican, and Imperial periods, demonstrating the rich and continuous use of the area. Known to be the location of Rome’s first harbour, the site is of immense importance to understanding the beginnings of Rome, almost 3000 years ago.

MOLA is joining the fieldwork team this year with a particular mission: to learn more about the rich Archaic period remains (7th-5th centuries BC) that are known to survive beneath the temple podium in an already identified area of the site. Survival of archaeology from this period of Rome’s history is generally scant, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to increase our knowledge of the early harbour; key to the early development of the City. What’s more, being so close to the River Tiber, there is great potential for survival of waterlogged organic remains; the sort of deposits Alison regularly sees in London but extremely exciting and unusual for Rome.

It’s MOLA’s extensive experience with complex stratified urban and waterfronts sites and knowledge of waterlogged deposits that has led us to join the team at Omobono. Alison will be providing weekly updates about the work in Rome so keep an eye on our Current News pages to follow the action.

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