Sustaining Rome: The supply and use of water in the Eastern Caelian

  • PhD Candidate: Elettra Santucci

Elettra Santucci is an architect. She was born in Rome and graduated from high school in Orlando (USA) with the Valedictorian award. Her main interest research focuses on ancient hydraulic systems, such as aqueducts, distribution castella aquae, fountains, baths, drainage systems. She graduated cum laude from Architecture at Roma Tre University with a master degree thesis on the urban hydraulic system of Ostia Antica. Since 2006 she is an archaeo-speleologist of Roma Sotterranea Association, and since then she collaborates with the Archaeological Superintendence of Rome and Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Heritage in survey and research projects on several monuments and hydraulic systems of Rome, such as the Colosseum, the Cloaca Maxima, the Villa of Maxentius, the Domitian Terrace nymphaeum, and on hypogea archaeological sites such as the western slope of the Capitoline Hill, the Privata Traiani domus, the Mithraeum of Circus Maximus. She studied the ancient hydraulic system of thermal complexes of the Diocletian Baths and the Trajan Baths. She studied some of the Roman aqueducts: the urban paths of republican aqueducts of Aqua Appia and Anio Vetus; the still visible ruins of Aqua Claudia-Anio Novus; and made explorations and surveys in a still active stretch of the Trajan Aqueduct next to Bracciano Lake. Outside Rome she made surveys of the hydraulic systems in the archaeological sites of Veii and Gabii. She manages different surveys techniques, including digital photogrammetry, 3D modeling and graphic design. In her professional activity collaborates as freelance architect with the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica, the Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Heritage and the National Roman Museum.

The PhD brings together skills from hydrology, hydraulic engineering and water modelling together with archaeological analysis to explore water supply to south-east Rome and beyond. Drawing on the rich evidence from the study region for water-related infrastructure, from pipes and cisterns, through drains, latrines and bath systems, through to major sections of the Claudio-Neronian aqueduct, this PhD will offer an important new perspective on the role of water is sustaining success transformations of the city.

Supervisory Team (Newcastle University): Professor Ian Haynes, Professor Richard Dawson, Dr Thea Ravasi

Advisory Board: Professor Margherita Azzari (Universita' degli Studi di Firenze), Dr Duncan Keenan-Jones (Queensland University), Professor Paolo Liverani (Universita' degli Studi di Firenze), Dr Davide Motta (Northumbria University).