Excavations in Amelia
CIML Canada, CIML Beijing, and other partners were set to begin an archaeological excavation in the spring of 2020 on agricultural land adjacent to the city walls of Amelia, the ancient Umbrian and Roman city of Amer/Ameria (Umbria, Italy). Due to Covid-19, the excavation startup has had to be postponed. Surveys have determined that over 30 tombs including artifacts are situated just outside the city walls and represent several cultural phases from the Umbrian peoples to the Romanization. Thus far, 20 bronze and iron grave goods have already been excavated.
The current 5-year license to excavate is the first ever license granted to a foreign institute and covers an area of 25 hectares (about 62 acres). It is anticipated that the research project will reveal grave goods including bronze luxury objects from the ruling elites of the Umbrian period and then grave goods of the private citizens during the Romanization of the area.
For example, in 1963, the extraordinary bronze statue of the Roman Military General, Germanicus, was located in multiple pieces near the Porta Romana in Amelia alongside a travertine column capital of the Augustan period. The larger than life-sized bronze statue is now located in the Museo Archeologico di Amelia. Also of note are the underground cisterns built in the 1st century AD to provide water for the town.
The excavations will confirm the great historical importance of the ancient site of Amelia over the centuries and reveal archaeological traces of Umbrian ethnic identity and cultural exchanges with Etruscans and Faliscans. The chronological period covered by the project is from the 7th to 4th centuries BC.
Amelia is a town located on a hilltop in the Umbrian region of Central Italy, overlooking the Tiber River to the east and the Nera River to the west. It is surrounded by green fields, orchards and forest and is located about 100 kilometres north of Rome.
An ancient and formidable wall 3.5 meters thick and 720 meters long surrounds the old city and provides a most impressive example of polygonal masonry of carefully jointed blocks of limestone, without the use of mortar. About 12,000 people live in Amelia within those walls.
Opportunity for Field Studies at the excavation site will begin in Spring 2020. In addition to the ongoing work by the partners, several universities will be assisting in the excavation in a short field study capacity.
The lead partners in this multi-year license for excavation are CIML Canada, the City of Amelia, CIML Beijing, CIML Council, and the Hubei Provincial Institute of Culture, Relics and Archaeological Research. The scientific partners are the University of La Tuscia Viterbo and CIML Council.
Collaboration on the Project
This archaeological project represents a collaboration of highly qualified and trusted partners to accomplish the goals of excavating one of the most important archaeological sites of the ancient Umbrian and later Roman periods.
Archaeological Research Activities
Because the site area is currently characterized by an agricultural land use, it is particularly well suited to the use of innovative technologies for mapping, analysis and the study of a buried archaeological site in addition to the traditional methods of fieldwork survey and stratigraphic excavation. The following project archaeological activities will include: archive and biographical research, survey with Total Station and GPS, aerial drone use, LiDar survey drone use, archaeological survey, geophysical survey with magnetometer, GPR, study of the collected data, excavation using the stratigraphical method, analysis of the excavated structures, diagnosis and analysis of clay, bronze and iron artifacts and final analysis.