Aarhus University Seal

Aarhus University Research Foundation funds the continued uncovering of urban stratigraphies in Caesar’s Forum in Rome

Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) will fund the crucial phase of the international archaeological excavation project on Caesar’s Forum in the heart of Rome through its new Flagship initiative. The excavation project is a collaboration between Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (Aarhus University), the Danish Institute in Rome and the Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali.

The Forum of Caesar in Rome, Italy. With the funding generously donated by Aarhus University Research Foundation, The Caesar Forum Project will continue to give groundbreaking new insights into one of the world’s most important urban sites. (Photo: Giovanni Murro).

The Caesar’s Forum Project has received an AUFF Flagship Grant of 10 million kroner from Aarhus University Research Foundation to continue some of the most significant Danish archaeological research in Italy in recent years. The Forum of Julius Caesar is one of the most important public spaces of the Late Republican period. When the excavation project was announced in 2017 – receiving initial funding of 11 million kroner from the Carlsberg Foundation – it offered a rare possibility for Aarhus University and the Danish Institute in Rome to collaborate closely with the Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali on an archaeological complex of central significance, both nationally as well as internationally.

The project is conducted under the leadership of Professor and Centre Director Rubina Raja from Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) at Aarhus University, Dr. Jan Kindberg Jacobsen from the Danish Institute in Rome and Director Dr. Claudio Parisi Presicce, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali – Direzione Musei archeologici e storico-atistico, bringing together competences from a wide range of disciplines and countries.

We are extremely grateful for the massive funding received under the new Flagship initiative of Aarhus University Research Foundation. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the important standing that humanities have at Aarhus University,

says Professor and Centre Director of UrbNet Rubina Raja.


Unique 3000 years of urban stratigraphies in Rome

The Forum of Caesar is mostly known for being the location of Julius Caesar’s monumental public space in the heart of Late Republican Rome. However, it holds information about the entirety of Rome’s long history and prehistory. Until now, modern and medieval phases have been uncovered during the first part of the excavations begun in December 2018. The subsequent and crucial phase of the excavation, co-funded by AUFF and the Carlsberg Foundation, will uncover the remaining more than 3000 years of archaeology and history, being the first excavation to cover the entirety of Rome’s history in one urban excavation. Using the latest high-definition methods and technologies from both archaeology and natural science, which UrbNet has been pioneering since 2015, the excavations of Caesar’s Forum will give groundbreaking new insights into the urban development of one of the world’s most important urban sites.

The work conducted at Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) in collaborations with our Italian colleagues will present entirely new insights into the archaeology and history of one of the most important urban sites in the classical world and we are proud to be part of this frontrunner project,

says Rubina Raja.


About the grant from Aarhus University Research Foundation

AUFF Flagships is a new and ambitious type of grant that supports extraordinary research efforts at Aarhus University. The grant requires cooperation with one or more national actors, and it is expected that one or several other foundations support the project. The Caesar’s Forum Project, which was selected as the first AUFF Flagship, was already supported by the Carlsberg Foundation. 

Aarhus University Research Foundation received four applications. All applications were reviewed by international experts of the relevant research fields, and the application by Rubina Raja received a review with a total score of 4.95 on a scale of 1–5, with 5 representing the score ‘Outstanding’. Though all four projects hold great potential, the experts found that The Caesar's Forum Project stands out.


Read Aarhus University Research Foundation's press release here.

Read the Carlsberg Foundation's news feature about the new funding here.