The Alberese Archaeological Project 2016 Field School

An update from Dr Alessandro Sebastiani, Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology

For four weeks, an archaeological team directed by Dr Alessandro Sebastiani (Honorary Research Fellow) has carried out the third archaeological season at the Roman site of Umbro Flumen (South Tuscany, Italy).

The site was discovered in 2011 thanks to an aerial photograph showing crop marks of an abandoned settlement set along the ancient Roman coast line.

Since 2013 an international research project has worked at the site in order to investigate the nature and complexity of the site.

Excavation to date has demonstrated that the site seems to have been constructed sometime around the third century BC, as a square building facing the Tyrrhenian Sea and along the lower reaches of the river Ombrone.

Through the early Imperial period the site flourished and was richly decorated, before suffering a phase of decline during the late Antonine period.

The site appears to have been partially reoccupied from the fourth century AD, when the central porticoed atrium was blocked and a room was created to serve as a kitchen.

Moreover, at least two other rooms were reused in this phase, for possible manufacturing activities.

The site was abandoned at the end of the fifth or at the very beginning of the sixth century AD, as the latest fragments of pottery testify.

The Alberese Project is carried out by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, in partnership with John Cabot University at Rome, Michigan State University, the Soprintendenza Archeologia Toscana and the Ass. Cult. “Progetto Archeologico Alberese”.

The project is associated to the British School at Rome and runs a Material Culture Studies Winter School with the University of Queensland and the University of Siena.

Statua di generale romano. by Giampaolo.Terrosi on Sketchfab

3D relief statue of the Roman general, dressed in a stained armor with barbarians figures submissive and with victory symbols. The sculpture comes from the Roman city of Roselle and is dated to the first half of the century. A.D.

In 2016 we had students and team members from John Cabot University, Marquette University, Michigan State University, UCL, Accademia delle Belle Arti (Turin) and Charles University at Prague.

A special thank you to Paolo Nannini (Soprintendenza Archeologia Toscana) and Andrea Marcocci (Ass. Odysseus) for the aerial pictures from the kite and the drone.


More info: Alberese Archaeological Project

Ceramic find from Alberese

Ceramic find from Alberese

Glass find from Alberese
Aerial view of the Alberese site captured with drone technology
Members of the team working at Alberese