Il ruolo dei centri minori nell’economia romana: una panoramica dei risultati delle indagini archeologiche nei siti di forum appii ed ad medias

Tymon de Haas, Gijs Tol, Carmela Anastasia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In Roman Italy - as in many other pre-industrial agricultural societies - rural centres must have formed important focal points for surrounding rural populations, providing a wide range of day-to-day amenities and services. Despite their presumed importance, such sites are poorly documented archaeologically.
The so-called Minor Centres-project, carried out between 2011 and 2016 specifically aimed to advance knowledge on rural centres and their role in local economies. The project comprises two different approaches: first, a study of the economic geography of Roman Italy, leading to assumptions about the role of rural centres in regional settlement systems and infrastructure. Secondly, a programme of new archaeological research, comprising large-scale geophysical mapping, field surveys and pottery studies, at the sites of Forum Appii and Ad Medias, two road stations along the Via Appia in the Pontine plain (Lazio, Central Italy) and their immediate surroundings.
The obtained results indicate that both settlements were craft production centres, active in the manufacturing of pottery and metal, convincingly corroborating the presumed importance of rural centres in the provision of everyday goods. On the other hand, both settlements differed significantly in their development. Forum Appii was occupied for at least eight centuries and flourished in the Late Republican and Early Imperial period, when it became a trade hub of regional importance equipped with a river harbour. In contrast, Ad Medias was of much more modest dimensions and already fell in decline in the Late Republican period, mirroring the fate of surrounding rural sites.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationAlle pendici dei Colli Albani
Subtitle of host publicationDinamiche Insediative E Cultura Materiale Ai Confini Con Roma
EditorsAgnese Livia Fischetti, Peter Attema
Place of PublicationEelde
PublisherBarkhuis Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9789492444837
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameGroningen Archaeological Studies
PublisherBarkhuis Publishing
ISSN (Print)1572-1760


  • Roman archaeology
  • landscape archaeology
  • Pontine marshes

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