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Hidden Treasure of Rome

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This collection is the result of the Capturing the Life Cycle of Ceramics in Rome (CALC-Rome) and Hidden Treasure of Rome (HTR) projects. The CALC-Rome project's research questions focus on the function, use, and re-use of ceramic vessels deposited in ritual and funerary contexts in Republican and Imperial Rome. What individual or community choices, social conventions, practices and beliefs were at play when vessels were selected for use in the meaningful moments of burial or ritual offering, and how can we better understand them by studying the vessels themselves? In order to study the social dynamics of the funerary and ritual deposition of ceramic vessels, this project was established in coordination with the Hidden Treasure of Rome (HTR) project, which is providing access to an extraordinary collection of complete or near complete vessels from ritual and funerary contexts in the area of Rome, Italy.

Since the summer of 2014, University of Missouri (MU/Mizzou) archaeologists from the Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Department of Art History and Archaeology have been cataloguing a previously unstudied collection of antiquities from Room V of the Antiquarium at the Musei Capitolini in Rome, whose transfer to MU is being funded by Enel Green Power (EGP) as part of the Hidden Treasure of Rome (HTR) project. MU archaeologists have been performing coordinated morphological study, chemical analyses, and a use wear study with structured light scanning, with the aim of understanding the production, use and deposition of these objects.

Thus far, formal analysis has been conducted for a sample of 249 black gloss vessels dating from the Roman Republican period (4th to 1st centuries BCE), with X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) performed on a subset of these objects, providing data that sheds light on the production of the artifacts. During the first phase of the HTR agreement a pilot project, CALC-Rome, funded by Mizzou Advantage and Research Council, was launched in collaboration with experts from the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas (CAST-UA), the UMR 6249 Chrono-Environnement of the University of Burgundy Franche Comté (UBFC), and Carleton University (Canada). The goal was to develop an approach to the scanning of these artifacts that supports both detailed metric study for research on their use and digital display and archiving. The results of the initial Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), 3D scanning, and formal analysis are archived here. Object titles in this collection correspond to the Object codes in the Musei Capitolini catalog.

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These data are made available to the research community by special permission. Descriptive metadata is available to everyone but to be granted access to this collection's content please send a request to: Please ensure you are a registered user before submitting the access request.

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