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Grant of Millions for a Unique Excavation of the Forum of Julius Cæsar in Rome

The Carlsberg Foundation is donating 11 million kroner to a unique 3-year archaeological excavation project on the Forum of Julius Cæsar in Rome. The excavation, which is scheduled to begin in the autumn of this year, is a collaboration between the Danish Institute in Rome and the Roman Municipal Department of Antiquities: the Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali.

In the immediate future a quite unique archaeological excavation will be undertaken in one of Italy’s most important monuments, the Forum of Julius Caesar, which is Rome’s earliest imperial forum. The project is based at the Danish Institute in Rome and is being carried out with support from the Carlsberg Foundation, which has so far donated 11 million kroner to the project.

“It is with great pleasure that the Carlsberg Foundation is supporting the excavation of one of the most significant classical archaeological sites in Rome. In the coming years the excavation will contribute with important fresh insight within classical archaeology and is an exceptional example of constructive scientific collaboration with the Italian authorities. The spirit of the project can be traced right back to I.C. and Carl Jacobsen, the founder of the Foundation and his son, respectively, both of whom were deeply interested in – and provided financing for – archaeology, and Roman archaeology in particular.”, says Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of  the Carlsberg Foundation.

It is extremely rare that foreign research institutions are invited to collaborate on the excavation of an archaeological complex of such central, national, Italian significance. That this has even been made possible is an expression of a considerable, official Italian recognition of both the high international standard of Danish archaeology as well as the scientific position and academic credibility of the Danish Institute in Rome.

Sources for Other Imperial Complexes

The excavation will take place in the north-eastern part of Caesar’s Forum which is a crucial source of knowledge about the subsequent Roman Empire. The excavation may also add to our understanding of the architectural interrelationship between the Fora of Caesar and those of Trajan, Augustus and Nerva. These are crucial sources for the understanding of the Roman imperial fora that lie buried beneath the Via Fori dei Imperiali, which cuts through them. Using the latest technology in both archaeological and natural scientific methods, the new excavations of Caesar’s Forum will be able to increase our understanding of the area’s other, previously excavated complexes.

Marianne Pade, Director of the Danish Institute in Rome, has this to say:

"The Danish Institute has been given a unique opportunity to take up an ambitious scientific challenge, which will constitute a significant highpoint in the recent years’ intensification of joint museological and research ventures between Denmark and Italy, in which the Danish Institute already performs a central, active role. The Danish Institute in Rome has a long tradition of archaeological academic research and field work in and around Rome, the findings from which are disseminated in various monographs, which occupy a central place in leading international, archaeological research literature.

A substantial Danish research team will be involved in the project under the leadership of archaeologist Jan Kindberg Jacobsen Ph.D. The project is scientifically associated with Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) at Aarhus University. UrbNet is financed by the Danish National Research Foundation and directed by Professor Rubina Raja. 

The excavation of the Forum of Julius Caesar is scheduled to begin this autumn, 2017, and the results of the research will be published both in scientific journals as well as in the Analecta Romana Instituti Danici – the periodical series of the Danish Institute in Rome. 

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