About the Project
Grumentum is a Roman town situated on the right bank of the Agri River in western Basilicata. The site was first established in the middle of the 1st millenium BC as a Lucanian settlement with a sparsely populated hinterland. In the 3rd c. BC, Grumentum came under Rome's influence and by the late 1st c. BC, a Roman colony had been installed at the site. This event heralded an age of growth and prosperity in the town and its territory. In the Augustan period, a forum-basilica (rare in this part of Italy) was constructed, followed in the coming centuries by an aqueduct, theatre, amphitheatre, and pair of bath complexes.
Between 2005 and 2014, the Università degli Studi di Verona conducted excavations in the forum area, uncovering the remains of three temples, the basilica, curia and the paving stones of the forum piazza and so-called decumanus. In 2013, a Belgian team led by Dr. Ine Jacobs began exploration of an area just to the southeast of the forum, where geophysical surveys carried out in 2010 and 2011 identified the presence of various rectilinear structures. The British Archaeological Project at Grumentum, directed by Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Taylor Lauritsen, was initiated in the following year to expand investigation of this area.
Thus far, the BAPG's excavations have identified a colonnaded street running parallel to the forum, flanked by a portico on one side and a row of shops on the other. The architectural design of these structures and the artefacts they contain suggest that, despite its proximity to the forum, this area was occupied by lower-status individuals engaged in commercial and industrial activities. As noted above, the town’s public buildings have received considerable attention over the course of the last century. These structures provide useful insights into Grumentum's general development, but tell us little about its social and economic history. The exploration of the BAPG's commercial quarter, in combination with landscape surveys conducted in the ager Grumentinus, will hopefully shed some light on the nature of the urban economy and the town's role within local and regional trade networks.
Thanks to an agreement between the Soprintendenza Archeologica della Basilicata, the Comune di Grumento Nova and Cardiff University, the BAPG serves as an archaeological field school for undergraduate students of archaeology and classics. While many of our participants are Cardiff students, we welcome expressions of interest from any undergrads interested in joining the project. For full details about the 2019 season, please click here.