Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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New Digs in Rome Volume 49 Number 1, January/February 1996
by Roberto Bartoloni

Roadwork on Rome's Quirinal Hill has revealed several sections of brick wall thought to be foundations of a large house of the Imperial period. Ancient water pipes found here and inscribed with the name of Titus Avidius Quietus, governor of the Roman province of Thrace in A.D. 82 and a close friend of the writer and orator Pliny the Younger, suggest that the house belonged to the prominent Avidii family. The finds have been reburied so the roadwork can continue.

Elsewhere in Rome, the Forum Nervae and the Meta Sudans are the sites of two new joint excavations by the Soprintendenza Archeologica and the Università di Roma. Also known as the Forum Transitorium, the Forum Nervae was a 400-foot-long colonnaded plaza built by the emperor Domitian and dedicated by his successor, Nerva, in A.D. 97. The new excavation may help clarify how it was connected to the adjoining fora of Julius and Augustus, determine whether the surviving foundation at the southwestern end of the forum belonged to a temple of Janus, and identify a number of minor monuments mentioned by ancient authors. It may also reveal what stood in this area during the Republican period, before Domitian began construction of the forum. The Meta Sudans, also built by Domitian, was a 50-foot-high fountain southwest of the Colosseum that may have marked the convergence of five sections of the ancient city.

© 1996 by the Archaeological Institute of America