Excavations at Le Mura di Santo Stefano, Anguillara Sabazia

Van de Noort, Robert; Whitehouse, David; Becker, Marshall; Blagg, Thomas; Burnett, Douglas; Caruso, Ida; Claridge, Amanda; Clark, Gill; Costantini, Loredana; Costantini, Lorenzo; Hall Burke, Belinda; Lyttelton, Margaret; Napolitani, Gilberto; Patterson, Helen; Perkins, Philip; Rovelli, Alessia and Sutherland, Sheila (2009). Excavations at Le Mura di Santo Stefano, Anguillara Sabazia. Papers of the British School at Rome, 77(2009) pp. 159–223.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/s0068246200000076

URL: http://www.bsr.ac.uk/research/publications/papers/...

Abstract

This report presents the results of excavations undertaken between 1977 and 1981 at the remarkable ruins known as Le Mura di Santo Stefano, situated near Anguillara Sabazia, just under 3 km south of Lake Bracciano. The earliest phase of occupation concerned a first-century ad farm. Around ad 200 a range of buildings was constructed, including a three-storey rectangular building lavishly decorated with nineteen types of marble, suggesting that the complex was a luxury retreat, possibly part of a latifundium. There is evidence for further activity in the third or early fourth century. In the ninth century, after a period of abandonment, part of the complex was converted into the church of Santo Stefano. The rectangular building was reoccupied and the remaining ruins used as a cemetery. It is argued that the site may have functioned as the centre of a medieval estate, part of a papal domusculta, or alternatively as a fundus of a monastic establishment. In the eleventh century the site was deserted after the skeletal remains of a least 90 individuals, along with the bones of three dogs, were interred in a pit and capped with several pieces of Roman marble sculpture.

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