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The archaeology of rural Villas

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Chapter Summary

Many rural villas and farms are known in the area under examination, especially in the regions of Latium and southern Tuscany. Even if relatively few villa sites have been excavated, field survey projects have gathered abundant data about settlement types, their chronology, patterns in land exploitation and occupation. However, it is worth remembering that one of the crucial problems faced by survey archaeologists concerns site definition. In the panorama of rural villas attested by archaeology, we are now in possession of a special, even a unique case, in which we can compare literary accounts of a villa and its management with archaeological data. The case in question is the famous villa in Tuscis owned by Pliny the Younger, and mentioned in many of his letters. In recent years, the site of this villa, already identified some time ago through brick-stamps bearing the name of Pliny, was excavated.

Keywords: archaeology; rural villas; Tuscany



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