It may well become an annual ritual. On 30 April, archaeologist Gianni Ponti—veteran Advisor to the American Academy in Rome and a dean at Rome’s IES—once again brought a somewhat incredulous group of AAR Fellows to the Roman aqueducts near Vicovaro (45 km northeast of the city).
The mission at hand? To explore the interiors of the rock-cut aqueducts of the Aquae Marcia and Claudia near the ex-monastery of S. Cosimato at Vicovaro. Saint Benedict himself founded that community in the 6th century AD, on a spectacular site high on the banks of the Anio river gorge.
Facilitating the visit was a team from the Roma Sotterranea group—an association of archaeologists and speleologists who research and document underground archaeological remains in and around the city of Rome in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities.
But more aqueduct adventures were to follow. On Monday 2 May the AAR hosted a panel presentation of AIAC, the Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica/International Association for Classical Archaeology; the current President of the Association is Elizabeth (Lisa) Fentress, former AAR Mellon Professor-in-Charge (1996-1999).
The theme for the evening was ancient cults and religious life, moderated by prof.ssa Annalisa Lo Monaco. But during a break in the presentations, audience members also had a chance to explore an underground section of the Aqua Traiana that—as chance would have it—runs directly beneath the AAR’s ground level Lecture Room and extends well below the AAR Cortile.
Presenting at the American Academy in Rome on the AIAC program were:
Valeria Parisi (Sapienza—Università di Roma), “Offerte votive nei santuari della Sicilia e della Magna Grecia: dal contesto archeologico al sistema rituale”
Eleonora Ferrazza (Sapienza—Università di Roma), “Horai, Charites e Ninfe nell’arte greca e romana: casi di studio sulla trasmissione di modelli figurativi”
Alexandru Dudau (Accademia di Romania), “From Rome to Dacia: Roman Society and the Cult of Social Genii in an Eastern Province – Inscriptions and Figurative Portrayals”
Elena Roscini (Sapienza—Università di Roma), “Considerazioni su una base iscritta da Acquasparta (Terni)”