Suasa update

Read on to find out about the Roman roots of country life in Le Marche

Preamble:The Anglo-Italian friendship which inspired this post

In summer 2012 the Suasa excavations were, sadly, not open to the public, because the previous winter’s heavy snow had caused the (modern protective) roof to fall in over a part of them.  Nevertheless, a member of the team kindly showed us round the site, partly because after an interesting lecture on “Archeologia preventiva: il caso dell ager suasanus”, we had made ourselves known to them, as English people  from the nation which pioneered non-digging archaeology, and  sharers of the Suasa team’s admiration for our fellow countryman, Dr J P Williams -Freeman, a Hampshire man, the pioneer of field archaeology and the use of aerial photography in archaeology.

Life in Roman Suasa


Susa forum (taken by Edward Fennell)

Susa forum (taken by Edward Fennell)

In fact this is just one of the fora which have been discovered in Suasa. It included an area sacra, or sacred area. Here two temples have been discovered, one circular (a monopteros, or circular roofless colonnade), the other rectangular.


Roman Road from the late imperial period (Edward Fennell)

A lead pipe ran beside this road, with smaller pipes running off from it to individual buildings.

Public life

Even in the troubled third century AD, there is still evidence of building in Suasa, including one structure which was possibly a Curia, or seat of local government (cf the Curia or Senate-house in the Roman Forum). The public buildings are large in relation to the size of the town, which suggests that it served the local rural population as well as the urban inhabitants.

Who lived there?

There was a pre-Roman road underneath the late imperial road, which suggests that a settlement existed here before the Romans came. Judging by the pottery finds, Suasa was re-founded as a Latin colony of Roman citizens; however,from Gallic and Picene survivals we may deduce that the previous inhabitants were not totally wiped out.

Last but not least – Country folk

Our local way of life goes back two thousand years. Traces of field-markings in the local area suggest that the country round Suasa was not an area of latifundia or large estates, as on the Tyrrhenian coast, but of small peasant proprietors, as today.

PS It has taken me a long time to write this because I left my notes in Corinaldo, and then I got distracted by Raphael and dear old Mr Santi.

About An Englishwoman in Italy

I have a holiday home in Corinaldo in the province of Ancona in the Marche region of Italy. I have been going there since 1993 and would like to share my love and experience of the area. I speak Italian. Ho una casa di villeggiatura a Corinaldo nella provincia di Ancona, Regione Marche. Frequento Corinaldo da 1993 e desidero condividere i miei affetto e esperienza della zona con gli altri. Gli italiani sono sinceramente invitati a correggere gli sbagli.
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7 Responses to Suasa update

  1. Pingback: Suasa and the Roman roots of country life in Le Marche | Le Marche another Italy |

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  4. Edward Fennell says:

    Where did the stone come from and where did it go to?
    Seeing the lower courses of the fora one wonders where was the source of the stone used to build Suasa and – even more tantalising – what happened to it after the city’s destruction/abandonment. Presumably the major buildings became a quarry for invaders to pillage. But is there any sign of the stone being recylced in the surrounding small towns?


  5. Lina says:

    What we leave behind in the region of Suasa. The Romans left traces of roads, temples and public buildings. You left behind your notes on said artefacts. Following their Christmas visit my sons left behind a cat-snagged hoodie, an odd sock and an assortment of presents too heavy for Ryan Air. Happy New Year!


    • alysb says:

      Why is it that half my socks are in Corinaldo and half in England, but it is the matching pairs that have been separated?


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