Since 2006 the Archaeology Department of the RAS coordinates, in collaboration with the Superintendence, excavation and restoration projects on the archaeological site of Stabiae, in which every year take part many American and European universities. In the two-year period 2010/2011 more than one hundred students of archaeology and architecture have taken part in research activities on the site of Villa Arianna and Villa San Marco, involving themselves in archaeological excavation, architecture and paleobotanical studies.
Since 2010 the foundation cooperates with the Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg. In the excavation project in the thermal area of Villa Arianna take part Russian archaeologists and restorers, in order to restore and make available for the public this part of the villa.
In July 2011, Ras signed an agreement with the H2CU Center, a consortium of Italian-American universities, which has among its leaders La Sapienza in Rome and the Columbia University in New York. After that, was launched a five years excavation project, during which 15 students and researchers of Columbia University took part in the excavation of Villa San Marco.
The Department of Archaeology deals also with the promotion of the program “Adopt a Project”, to find partners and sponsors, who can work with RAS on the five major excavation projects, in return for long-term loans for exhibition in the local museums. With the aim of promotion the site of Stabiae, two exhibitions were held abroad, showing frescoes and objects from the Otium Villas: the first exhibition -“In Stabiano” – was inaugurated in 2004 at the Smithsonian Museum of Washington, and then was showed in nine American cities. In 2008 was inaugurated at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg the exhibition “Otium Ludens”, which – according to the London Times – is one of the best ten exhibitions of that year. The archaeological team of the RAS also organizes workshops and courses in archeology and human sciences for schools, providing guided tours, lectures and fun activities, and additional educational programs organized during the study tours for teachers of the European Community, as part of the Lifelong learning Programs, in order to promote the development of the territory of Vesuvius.
Department Sea and Underwater Archaeology
From the activities sponsored by the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation, founded in 2005, was created the Department of Underwater Archaeology. With its seat in the beautiful and various frameof the Vesuvian Institute, the Department follows up and promotes initiatives to spread the knowledge of the sea world, with particular attention to the Campania’s archaeology. The evidences related to ancient Rome have interpreted the Campania region as the best expression of its military power, thanks to the fleet of the Tyrrhenian see “Classis Misenensis”, with its seat in Miseno, and of its economic power, thanks to the commercial port “Sinus Baianus”. It becomes very important also the strong social contribution through the creation of many coastal villas, perhaps the most numerous complex ever built. Thanks to the harmony between the charm of the ancient and the technological evolution, the research of submerged heritage, promoted by the Department, represent an important opportunity for scientists and researchers, thanks to its usability as well as to new discoveries and increased protection of the conservation’s issues.
Com.te Porzio and Plinio Seniore
The RAS Foundation has promoted a plan to build a boat, Com.te Porzio, with high technology for researches, equipped with a DP Dynamic Positioning System that allows fixed positioning, without the use of anchors, and the HPR Hydroacoustic Position Reference System for transponders, for detecting and at the same time controlling up to 58 submerged signals.
The Com.te Porzio is supplied with the independently operating submarine Plinio Seniore, also available for the Department of Underwater Archaeology. It reaches the depth of 300 meters and hosts 2 guests / technician (besides the pilot).