Italy
Gabii

© Louvre Museum

As part of new research being carried out at the site of Gabii, Éveha International provides various archaeological services on behalf of the project directed by Daniel Roger (Curator, Louvre Museum, and with the collaboration of Charles-Édouard Sauvin and Aurora Taiuti, project supervisors).

The excavation campaigns
(by years)


Direction

Daniel Roger (Louvre Museum, Curator)
Charles-Édouard Sauvin (archaeologist and team supervisor, until 2014)
Aurora Taiuti (archaeologist, logistics and finds supervisor, until 2014)
Steve Glisoni (INRAP, since 2015)

Location and historical summary

 

Gabii is located 18km east of Rome, in the centre of Italy. The ancient city was established on the edge of a volcanic lake which was later drained, in the 19th century.

Gabii was one of the earliest cities of Latium, and legend states that Remus and Romulus were educated here. An Iron Age necropolis found nearby suggests that the site was occupied at least as early as the 9th century BC. A wall was built around the city during the 8th century BC and underwent several modifications throughout the Archaic period. Gabii was taken by the Romans at the end of the Roman Kingdom in the 5th century BC.

The city subsequently prospered. The Roman Republic saw the construction of a large temple dedicated to Juno Gabina. This was completed c. 160 BC and substantial remains still survive today. The temple is located close to the forum and was at the centre of a huge peribolos.

This religious complex began to be abandoned from 250 AD, and Late Antiquity was a period of decline for the city. Nevertheless, Gabii retained some importance. In the later 5th century, there are records of a bishop and written sources from the 6th century continue to report the existence of a Christian community here. A small population continued to live in the city after classical period. The remains of a church which was built partly on the ruins of a classical building are still visible today. The church is first mentioned around 1030 AD, and provides evidence for later occupation of the site.

 

Research history

 

Archaeological investigations at Gabii began in the modern period. The forum was extensively explored during excavations at the end of the 18th century, run by the Scottish painter Gavin Hamilton. This work led to the identification of the Augusteum, a room dedicated to the Imperial cult. Here, a series of fine imperial portrait sculptures were found. After they were bought by Napoleon at the beginning of the 19th century, these sculptures entered the Louvre Museum’s collections.

Consequently, the Louvre Museum has been involved in an excavation project at Gabii since 2013. The project is directed by Daniel Roger (Louvre Museum) and aims to gain a greater understanding of the area the statues are thought to come from. The ultimate objective is to virtually reconstruct the architectural context of these pieces. In a wider sense, the project explores the whole of this part of the city and its urban development. Simultaneous studies are also being conducted by American, Italian and German teams. A conference aimed at presenting the current state of knowledge of the site of Gabii is planned for within the next few years. A touring exhibition based on this major classical site is planned for 2018 and will travel to Italy, France and the USA.

How Eveha International Participates

Topography
Architectural restitution

PARTNERS

Louvre Museum (France)

École Française de Rome (France)

Soprintendenza speciale per i beni archeologici di Roma (Italy)