Category: Uncategorized

28 Minutes of Massa Martana

For those wishing to see a bit of Massa Martana, or maybe if you are missing it already, the Commune di Massa Martana has produced a ca. 28 minute film about the town, its surroundings, and its history.  The film features familiar figures, such as the mayor and other prominent Martani like Elena Burchi.  The

Sant’Ippolito (Hippolytus)

Continuing my occasional posts about medieval churches near the Vicus ad Martis, here are some images of Sant’Ippolito, a medieval church near Massa Martana.  The church could date to about the same period as other, visually similar, churches nearby, ca. 13th century.  But, the re-used material in the facade and apse, suggest that the original

Minos Attempts to Kill Baby Minotaur

One Saturday this past summer I had a chance to visit the absolutely amazing archaeological museum in Perugia.  Among the wonders of their collection are a large number of Etruscan and Roman cinerary urns.   One of the most popular motifs among their decorated cinerary urns is the sacrifice of Iphegenia, about which I hope to


On weekends the past summer, I was able to visit some of the medieval churches near Massa Martana.  One of those churches was dedicated to Sant’Arnaldo.  The church is dated to the late 13th century, according to the Commune di Massa Martana.  The facade, below, and details, show indications of later repairs.  Also visible at

Vicus ad Martis at the AIA

I (along with other teams members) will be presenting the results of the 2011 excavations at the AIA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Jan. 5-8, 2012. Our presentation will be in Session 6 (Roman Italy), on Saturday, Jan. 7, from 2:45-5:15.  The conference program and website is here.  It should be a good session.  I hope

Gearing Up — Hats

Next week we begin the 2011 excavations at the Vicus ad Martis, and I am packing my bags.  About this time last year I blogged about excavation footwear, noting that Italian law states that excavators must wear steel-toed boots.  Last year I duly complied with a nice pair of Timberlands — suitable for digging, “This

Bill Thayer on Santa Maria in Pantano

Bill Thayer has recently updated the entry on the Church of Santa Maria in Pantano in his gazetteer of churches in Umbria.  The entry has a well-illustrated description of the phases of construction of the church, the decorative blocks and spolia used in the church, the altar inscription, and other things.    Santa Maria in

Bill Thayer on Massa Martana and Umbria

Massa Martana is the closest town to the excavation. It is where the volunteers usually stay, and where all involved spend a great deal of time. The town is not on the usual tourist itineraries, which leads some to wonder what the town it like. Well, for readers and potential volunteers who want more information

Visiting Local Sites (and sights)

Excavation continued on Wednesday, reaching levels just below a modern drainage channel. We hope to be able to remove the drainage channel today (Thursday). In addition to learning about archaeology through excavation, students who are participating in the excavation also have a chance to travel to local archaeological sites. Yesterday afternoon, the director of the

Fasti: Santa Maria in Pantano

Here is a link to the Vicus ad Martis entry in the Fasti database, which collects brief archaeological reports from parts of the Roman Empire. The Fasti entry contains a summary of the findings from the last two seasons at Vicus ad Martis, which should be of interest to the followers of this blog.

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