ROMAN PEASANT LIFE IN TUSCANY: THE EVALUATION OF THE CINIGIANO DIGS

Roman ruins are all over the place in Italy and locals normally stifle a yawn when zealous archaeologists lecture about the discovery of yet another Roman villa or thermal bath. Science has managed to puzzle together every minute detail of the modus vivendi of the Roman upper class, but things are very different when it comes to the majority of the population, since surprisingly little is known about the living conditions of the Roman farmer. 
  
During the last years groups of Brits and Americans hailing from the universities of Cambridge and Pennsylvania have tried to fill this enormous gap in a joint venture called the Roman Peasant Project together with the universities of Siena and Grosseto (I've written about the strange sudden influx of young attractive foreigners the project brought to our Tuscan backwater before). The team under scientific director Kim Bowes has been digging through the fields around Cinigiano summer after summer with the aim to unearth living quarters and artifacts which supply clues in regard to the way of life of the Roman farmer. 


Archaeologists of the Roman Peasant Project in a dig near Cinigiano
What did they find?


This summer the collaborators of the Roman Peasant Project are shoveling for the last time through southern Tuscany's hills. Before the closing of the digs the archaeologists have organized a talk to inform the locals about what life would have looked like for the most of us had we been born 2000 years ago. 

ARCHEOLOGI IN PIAZZA - CINIGIANO, JUNE 26 2014, 9.30 pm
The project directors will give an account of the works carried out, artifacts found and knowledge gained of the Roman empire's working class. We'll meet in front of bar Sport, Cinigiano's Athenaeum and true center of any kind of Tuscan knowledge exchange. In case of bad weather the event will be moved to the local theater (but we'll make sure you'll still get a free glass of wine afterwards). The talk is in Italian, but a lot of archaeologists will be around if you'd like to ask question in English later on. 

VISITING THE CINIGIANO DIGS: JULY 2 2014, 7 PM
Join us for a guided tour of one of the Maremma digs near Cinigiano. The significance of the unearthed Roman and medieval artifacts and remains of Tombarelle will be explained and put in context by the experts from the Roman Peasant Project. We'll meet in front of the tourist office (called Pro Loco in Italian) next to bar sport at 7 pm and drive to the dig in our own cars. 

Find more in depth info about the Roman Peasant Project on the website of the University of Pennsylvania. You're just after a drink? Read on about Cinigiano and its surely ancient aperitivo culture.  


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