Rome at Its Core: Reconstructing the Environment and Topography of the Forum Boarium


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Classical Art and Archaeology


This project evaluates environmental stress in Rome during the first half of the first millennium BCE and the consequent human response, with specific consideration of the Forum Boarium valley, the early city’s primary commercial district. Using a combination of literary, archaeological, and environmental data, this project considers the powerful effects of flooding and sedimentation on Rome’s river harbor infrastructure, as well as landscape modification projects intended to assuage the effects of inundation. It marshals years of deep trench excavation and extensive coring survey in the Forum Boarium to address several ecological research questions that elucidate human-environment relationships in Rome, as early inhabitants adapted to and transformed the natural landscape. This project also uses three-dimensional digital visualizations to make this complicated dataset accessible to nonspecialists through a series of topographic reconstructions that depict this region during a pivotal epoch of urban and cultural growth in the Eternal City.