|The 1998 excavations from the roof of the
Academy. The end wall of the mill is visible, with a relieving arch over
the aqueduct channel. The rest of the complex, including the remains on
Lanciani's sketch, lies under the road.
A trench was opened along the south-east side of the Academy's parking lot adjacent to the Via Medici, with an extension towards the north-west at the north end, leaving access to the car park along a strip adjacent to the Villa Bellacino. It was immediately apparent that in the south-western half of the trench all ancient stratigraphy and ground levels had been removed, apparently during landscaping and terracing works during the 19th century when the Villa Sciarra was prepared for sale. Modern dump layers from reconstruction work in 1994 directly overlay the natural clay in this area, and no trace of the Aurelian Wall survived, although it must have run through the area of the trench between its two known points by Porta S. Pancrazio and under the villa of the Padri Spagnoli. The eastern part of the excavation was disturbed by the trench for a water-pipe laid in 1994, and by a large mortar-lined pit which seemed to be a lime-slaking pit dating from the construction of the Academy in 1912-13. Nevertheless, considerable archaeological remains survived in the north-east part of the trench.
Plan of the 1998 excavations in the American Academy's car park (left of centre). In solid red, the external walls of the mill. Remains seen by Lanciani are overlain in white, showing at least three milling chambers on the north mill-race, and Malcolm Bell's 1990/1991 excavations are in green, to the right.
The American Academy in Rome
Last updated: 12/03/2001