Studying ancient – as well as medieval or modern – cities basically means telling local urban stories based on the reconstruction of changing landscapes through the centuries. Given the fragmentary nature of archaeological evidence, it is necessary to create new images that would give back the physical aspect of the urban landscape and that would bring it to life again. We are not just content with analyzing the many elements still visible of the ancient city. The connections between objects and architectures, visible and non visible buildings, which have been broken through time have to be rejoined, to acknowledge the elements that compose the urban landscape.
Landscape and its content are a very relevant and still vital part of any national cultural heritage. The course will introduce students to the way we have been reflecting on over the last twenty years and still are engaged with the study of the past of our cities, beginning from the most complex case in the ancient Mediterranean World: the core of Italy and of Roman Empire. On the other hand, knowledge means also preservation and defense of material remains and cultural memory.
“The Changing Landscape of Ancient Rome. Archeology and History of the Palatine Hill” presents to a large public the topographical lay-out of the most relevant part of the city (according the Greek and Roman Historians Rome was founded on the Palatine). Research developed on the Palatine since the end of last century by the team of Sapienza Classical Archaeologists opened a new phase in the urban archaeological investigation and in the scientific debate about the relation between archaeological features and literary tradition as well as the “correct use“ of both kind of evidence, key issues of wide archaeological and historical significance.
A city - ruled by kings - is born (8th – 7th century b.c.e.).
April 21st year 753 before common era. This is the day when the Romans believed their city had been founded. And they were probably right. According to the Roman foundation legend, a prince born in Alba Longa by a god and the young king’s daughter - Romulus - founded the city. He celebrated an elaborated rite on the Palatine, killed his twin brother - Remus - encircled the Palatine with a sacred wall, gave the Romans a constitution and reigned over the new born city for 37 years. Thanks to the results of our recent archaeological excavations we know now that the core of the legend is true. By the end of this module you will able to: - discuss present state of scientific debate about the birth of the city in Central Italy - define and identify urban political organizations - identify Late Iron Age and Early Archaic artifacts and building techniques.