Archaeologists Uncover a Villa With a Winery in Italy


| LAST UPDATE 04/25/2023

By Amie Alfaro
Marble Geometric Pattern Villa
@emlynkd via Twitter

In the world of archaeology, there is always something interesting to be discovered. It offers a view into how people from another period lived. Archaeologists in Italy uncovered something special when they found the Villa of the Quintilii. Keep reading to learn about this exciting discovery.

While the archaeologists were trying to locate the starting gates of a villa’s chariot arena, they found something they certainly weren’t expecting to find. They discovered a winery. The winery had everything, from a grape-treading area to wine presses to a cellar for storage and fermentation. While all these components were standard for a Roman winery, the researchers noted, “Although these features are typical of Roman wineries in several Mediterranean regions, however, their decoration and arrangement are almost unparalleled for a production context in the Roman, and perhaps entire ancient, world.” They went above and beyond with the construction and decoration of this villa.

Ancient Roman Villa Winery
@emlynkd via Twitter
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Not only was there an elaborate winery for residents and guests to enjoy, but there was also a theater and a baths complex. The Villa of the Quintilii occupied almost 60 acres outside of Rome. Per Smithsonian Magazine, archaeologists believe that the Quintilli brothers constructed the villa. They served as Roman consuls but, unfortunately, were killed by the Roman emperor Commodus. Afterward, Commodus took their lavish home for himself. The villa was decorated in marble, which was unusual for this period since marble could become quite slippery when wet. This marble was also unique because they found it placed in geometric patterns. The archaeologists believe this winery was “built primarily as a display of wealth.” Emlyn Dodd, the lead author of the journal, believes that the winery was added to the villa, or at least renovated, during the reign of Gordian III. He was the emperor between 238 and 244 CE. Dodd told Science, “They’re taking it to a bizarre degree of opulence we never see in ancient production facilities.”

This fascinating discovery has excited archaeologists. This region has not seen opulence of this kind before. If you are interested to read the study in full, click here.

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