School of History, Classics and Archaeology


The Lateran Project

Archaeologists beneath the Archibasilica of St John Lateran.

The Lateran Project is a collaboration between Newcastle University, the University of Florence and the Vatican Museums. It examines an area spread over 5,097 m2 beneath the Archibasilica of St John Lateran, Rome operating at depths of up to 8.5 m below ground level.

In addition to the earliest phases of the Constantinian basilica, the world’s first cathedral, and the Lateran Baptistery the site contains a fifth century Nymphaeum and parts of the famous Oratory of the Santa Croce.

Earlier structures of importance include elements of the barracks and principia of the Castra Nova Equitum Singularium, constructed under Septimius Severus, a substantial bath complex and the so-called ‘casa trapezoidale’ variously interpreted as a house, schola or macellum. Still earlier structures accessible for study include sections of palatial housing in use up until the second century AD.