University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Mediterranean Section Research at the Penn Museum

The Roman Peasant Project seeks to uncover the lived experience of the peasantry in the Roman period: their diet, economic activities, and social networks. We exploit a combination of field survey, geophysical exploration and targeted, rescue-style excavation, and place these results alongside evidence gleaned from historical, zoo-archaeological, archaeo-botanical and geological sources. Our aim is to produce 'thick descriptions' of the lives of the poorest rural inhabitants of this world, who formed perhaps as much as 90% of the population of the Mediterranean in antiquity.


Project Overview

Based in the Comune of Cinigiano, in the Provincia of Grosseto, Tuscany, our team comprises both Italian- and American-based scholars, along with their graduate and undergraduate students. Our objectives are threefold: to expand the study of Roman antiquity beyond the narrow confines represented by the urban-based aristocracies whose textual and material remains constitute the bulk of our sources; to provide our students with the necessary tools to undertake multi- and interdisciplinary research; and to work in collaboration with a contemporary rural community that hosts us each summer season.

For more information about the project please visit The Roman Peasant Project website.

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