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The Republican Forum Romanum

Henrik Gerding, Nicolò Dell’Unto

The Forum Romanum constituted the religious, political, economic and administrative centre of Rome for more than a millennium. During this time it went through several changes. It transformed from a liminal zone in the periphery of the Iron Age settlements into a communal space and sacred ground; later into an arena for political struggle and civic ambition; and finally into a showcase for Imperial power and authority. New buildings were constantly being added and old ones rebuilt or replaced. This project deals with the architectural and spatial development of the Republican Forum Romanum. Of particular interest is the spatial configuration of the central Forum area in the mid- and late Republican periods. Thus, in a way, the study connects to the very first archaeological excavation in the Forum Romanum, conducted by the Swedish diplomat Carl Fredrik Fredenheim in 1788–89.

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News from The Swedish Pompeii Project

The Swedish Pompeii Project at Lund University in collaboration with The Swedish Institute in Rome has produced a new 3D-film on the house of Caecilius Iucundus in the Insula V,1 at Pompeii. By combining traditional archaeology with 3D technology, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have managed to reconstruct a house in Pompeii to its original state before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius thousands of years ago. Unique video material has now been produced, showing their creation of a 3D model of an entire block of houses. 

After the catastrophic earthquake in Italy in 1980, the Pompeii city curator invited the international research community to help document the ruin city, before the state of the finds from the volcano eruption in AD 79 would deteriorate even further. The Swedish Pompeii Project was therefore started at the Swedish Institute in Rome in 2000. The researcher in charge of the rescue operation was Anne-Marie Leander Touati, at the time director of the Institute, now Professor of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Lund University.

Since 2010, the research has been managed by the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History in Lund. The project now also includes a new branch of advanced digital archaeology, with 3D models demonstrating the completed photo documentation. The city district was scanned during the field work in 2011–2012 and the first 3D models of the ruin city have now been completed. The models show what life was like for the people of Pompeii before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The researchers have even managed to complete a detailed reconstruction of a large house, belonging to the wealthy man Caecilius Iucundus.

The work has been generously financed by Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs minnesfond and Familjen Rausings Stiftelse (Fondazione Famiglia Rausing).

To see the film, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETd7pszxhnc

For more information on the Swedish Pompeii project: http://www.pompejiprojektet.se/

HISTORIES OF ARCHAEOLOGY in the Graeco-Roman World International Conference, 20-21 October 2016


The participants in the conference held at The Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome

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