GIA’s research project “The People and the State, material culture, social structure and political centralization in central Italy (800 -450 BC)” is jointly funded by the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research and the Groningen Institute of Archaeology for the period 2010 - 2015. Research concentrates on the effects of early state formation on the social fabric of village communities in central Italy during the period 800-450 BC and centres on the settlement and burial grounds of Crustumerium. The team will study how the material culture of the community living at Crustumerium reflects changes in their funerary customs and daily lives, as a result of a changing social organization of their settlement and its territory. It focusses on the transformation of the settlement from a proto-urban village to an urban centre. The research is structured into two subprojects:

  • Settlement and territory of Crustumerium, settlement archaeology and early state formation in central Italy (800 – 450 BC) (Jorn Seubers MA, 2011 - 2015).
  • The cemeteries of Crustumerium (800 - 450 BC), a social and artefact based analysis (Dr. Barbara Belelli Marchesini, 2010 - 2014).

The research will be rounded off with a synthesis on community life and social structure in Crustumerium and central Italy from the late Iron Age till the early Republican period (800 - 450 BC) in the light of early state formation.


Project Supervision
The research programme “The People and the State” resorts under the umbrella of the International Crustumerium Research supervised by Dr. Francesco di Gennaro, former inspector of the fourth municipality of Rome under the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma (the archaeological superintendency of Rome). It is headed by Prof. Dr. Peter Attema, professor in Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Groningen and by Dr. Albert Nijboer, lecturer in the same department.

Sarah Willemsen MA
Sarah Willemsen MA has worked as a PhD student within the Crustumerium project from September 2008 onwards. Her thesis presents the results of the GIA excavations on the Monte Del Bufalo burial ground. The focus of her work is on the change in the funerary customs, occurring around the end of the seventh century BC. Whereas the tomb architecture becomes more and more elaborate, the funerary wealth decreases dramatically. In her thesis Sarah provides an elaborate description of the changes and seeks to illustrate the reasons why the customs changed in the way they did.

Dr. Barbara Belelli Marchesini
Dr. Barbara Belelli Marchesini has been working on Crustumerium with the SSBAR since the 1990's. She joined the "The People and the State" as a post-Doc researcher in 2010, with the objective of writing a synthesis on the burial ground Monte Del Bufalo.

Jorn Seubers MA
Jorn Seubers MA graduated from the GIA in 2005 with a specialization in the archaeology of the central Italian Iron Age. After this he worked in IT for several years. In 2011 he returned to the GIA for a PhD on Crustumerium. His studies will focus on the settlement and aim at the collection and digitization of all relevant archaeological sources within the territory of Crustumerium. A fresh analysis of old and new quantitative and qualitative data, for example with the use of a GIS, will open up a new range of interpretative possibilities for the archaeology of Crustumerium. The objective will be to analyse the development of the settlement on a local and regional scale in the light of state formation theory.

Researchers Contact details