The Libarna Urban Landscape Project is the first research driven, systematic investigation of the ancient city of Libarna conducted since its discovery in the late 18th century. As an important settlement in the region of Gallia Cisalpina (“Gaul on our side of the alps” as the Romans called it), Libarna represents an opportunity to better understand Roman colonies and cultural interaction in northern Italy. Previous work has primarily focused on excavating to “rescue” elements of the city from encroaching development.
This city occupied a strategic position along the via Postumia, a major road and trade route which connected the Etruscan and Gallic hubs of the north to the Roman world, exhibits many traditional Roman elements; however, Libarna is still a site unto itself and as such gives us insight into the political, social, and economic transitions that followed the region’s incorporation into the Roman Empire.
While the ancient city of Libarna became a città morta, “dead city,” in the fifth century CE, the Via Postumia maintained its significance as a vital trade route. Today, modern train lines and a highway parallel the ancient Roman road and expansion of these routes threaten the subterranean remains of the city. Additionally, the region of Gallia Cisalpina occupies a somewhat neglected space in archaeological research and important sites like Libarna are often left out of our narratives of life in Roman Italy and the imperial expansion of Rome. By investigating Libarna, our work hopes to fill in gaps in our current knowledge of the Roman world and urban life in this fascinating region.
Who We Are
The team of the Libarna Urban Landscape Project comprises professors, students, and professionals from diverse backgrounds bringing their various expertise and passion to our investigation into this important site. For the 2017 season, we are joined by:
Dr. Katherine (Katie) Huntley
Katie completed her PhD in archaeology and ancient history at the University of Leicester in the UK and is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Boise State University. Her research centers around Roman material culture as it relates to the daily life of women and children, as well as the understanding of gender in the ancient world. Katie’s doctoral research focused on the material evidence of childhood and children from the first through fifth centuries CE. Additional lines of research include religious beliefs and experience, Roman graffiti, and domestic and family life in the ancient world. She has conducted archaeological fieldwork in sites throughout Romania, England, and Italy. Previous work in Italy includes a five year term as archaeological illustrator in Pompeii as well as a season as co-director of the Pompeii Post-Excavation Project (PPExP).
Dr. Hannah (Nana) Friedman
Nana completed her PhD work at the University of Leicester in the UK and is an Assistant Professor of Classics at Texas Tech University. As co-investigator of the Barqa Landscape Project, Nana studied the copper mining district of Faynan, a site containing some of the earliest industrial activities in human history. She has also conducted archaeological fieldwork in Pompeii, Romania, England, Texas, and NW Arkansas. She has taught at the University of Leicester, the University of Oxford and Birbeck College, University of London. Nana was also a fellow at the University of Arkansas’s Digital Institute of Archaeology. Her publications discuss ancient Roman slavery, agriculture, pollution, and spatial control through observation. Currently, Nana’s focus includes work on gendered perceptions of archaeological finds in public discourse and media. She has been president of the local chapter of the AIA since 2012.
Michael (Mike) Boyles
Alexandra (Shura) Harris