The Archeologist Marisa de' Spagnolis born in Formia on 16-08-1950 and resident of Rome, is originally from Itri (LT) where her family lives since all most five hundred years.

Marisa de' Spagnolis graduated from the University of La Sapienza in Rome–Italy in Classic Literature, relating to Archeology and subsequently specialized in Classic Archeology with a Thesis on Antique Topography (to be published by the University).

Marisa de' Spagnolis started to work with the Superintendency of the Ministry of Archeology since 1973. At the end of 1977 she was employed by the Ministry of Fine Arts and started to work for the Superintendency of the Ministry of Archeology of Rome.

In this Superintendency she was responsible for the Rome historic center, and took part in several excavation works. Marisa de' Spagnolis brought forth a splendid Domus painted in fresco in via Eleniana. She excavated a Thermal Plant, under Palazzo Valentine, found splendid marbles in the Mausoleo said "Berretta del Prete", along the Appia Antica road, she carred out ground tests in Testaccio, in Stazione Termini, in Colle Oppio, and in Isola Tiberina etc.

The most important excavation was no doubt that of via Anicia where Horrea was found connected with the harbour area of the Tevere river. During these works she personally recovered a small marble slab representing part of the Forma Urbis of Rome shaped in seventeen fragments. The repertory known as the "slab of via Anicia" was recovered on 13 May 1983. Shown on the slab is the Temple of Dioscuri, whereby it was well known from the antique sources due to the particularity which represented its cavity in a transversal form. This marble document of exceptional historical and topographical value has opened a new page regarding the topography of old Rome and was published (The Temple of Dioscuri in Circo Flaminio).

Following her marriage with the Archeologist Baldassarre Conticello in 1982, and the birth of her only daughter Maria in 1984, she moved to Pompei in 1987 and started to work with the Superintendency of Archeology of Salerno, Avellino, Benevento, and was appointed as Director of the excavation Office of Nocera and Sarno.

In the territory of Nocera, Sarno and Scafati, she remained 10 years during which she witnessed several archeological important discoveries. Among those, there were: 540 protostorical tombs of the Valle del Sarno (including chronologically the second half of the IX Century b.C. up to VI Century a.C.):, at Nocera superiore she discovered tombs from V Century b.C. up to V a.C. (among those the hellenic tombs evidencing the Omeric myth of Dionisos and the pirates of the Tirrenian sea, the funerary monument of a sutor dated 1 a.C.), Hebrew inscriptions (which evidenced an existing synagogue), the monumental roman necropolis of the first Century b.C. in Pizzone (with the Numisii the Lutatii and Cornelii tombs), in Nocera inferiore the archeological area in Piazza del Corso. In Scafati constituting the oriental suburb of Pompei, she discovered several villas, buried due to the Vesuvio earthquake of 79 a.C. some of which were studied (villa Popidi Narcissi Maioris, Villa Vesuvio, Villa Cascone Sorrentino etc.), and funerary monuments among which the Gens Decia monument, and the sepulchre of the most important Pompein family: the Lucrezi Valenti during the period of Nerone.

Most of the excavations carried out have been the subject of scientific publications. The narrations of the archeological discoveries during those 10 years of intensive excavations, difficulties of all types, narrated in a book recently published under the title of "10 years in Pompei and in the valle del Sarno. Experiences and emotions of an archaeologist".

Marisa de' Spagnolis left Pompei and the Superintendency of Salerno in 1997 and was transferred to Rome for the Suprintendency of the Ministry of Archeology of Lazio and was responsible for certain areas of the Province of Rome and Latina, which up to date she still carries out. During those years, several exavations were made in Segni (where recently 2 sculptures were discovered, one of which in Greek marble), in Valmontone and in the outlet area a thermal plant was discovered. In Cori samples of excavations permitted us to document the frequentation of the area during the prehistorical and protostorical period, in Norma stratigrafical excavations allowed us to precisely date part of the walls in polygonal works, and to document the protostorical phase of the town, in Colleferro pleistonical defence areas of Elephas antiquus, in S. Cesareo villas and tombs, as well as an important part of the via Latina.

Marisa de' Spagnolis printed seventy archeological publications out of which 18 books, as well as a genealogical research on her own family and on Don Giovanni Camillo de' Spagnolis, a musical ancestor of the period 1600.

She held conferences in Italy, Israel, Greece and the United States.

She is actually Director of the Archeological Museum of Sperlonga.


Image: Itri, medieval castle



E-mail antiqualux@gmail.com
Immagine in alto: Riproduzione grafica dei frammenti marmorei della più antica Forma Urbis esistente,
rinvenuti in Via Anicia a Roma.

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