Archaeological Campaigns below the Florence Duomo and Baptistery, 1895-1980 presents the results of one of the major archaeological campaigns of our times: the decade-long excavation below Florence's cathedral of S. Maria del Fiore.The book presents a cutaway vision of a great city that would be hard to match anywhere, exploring a site that was in use for 1500 years, from the founding of the Roman settlement of Florence to the burial there of Giotto and Brunelleschi. In terms of structures, the excavation uncovered a Roman house, an Early Christian basilica, a Carolingian crypt, and further rebuildings from the eleventh century and later. For artifacts, the findings constitute a virtual encyclopedia of ancient and medieval art in mosaics, frescoes, the grave of Florence's earliest documented saint, the first elaborate tomb of the Medici, and outstanding examples of Roman and medieval glass, metalwork, and ceramics. Forty-one specialists in material culture and archaeological science report on those finds in the book, and hundreds more illustrations are carried on the author's website, www.franklintoker.com.But the findings from below the Florence Duomo are not limited to art history. The Roman house gives a glimpse of life on the Italian peninsula in the half-millennium between Emperor Augustus and the Ostrogoth king Theodoric. The construction of a large basilica with its rich mosaic floor marks the evident revival of a battered city: a turn of events entirely unexpected from the few other fragments of early Florentine history that survive. The later additions to the church of S. Reparata (as the early cathedral was titled by then) also constitute rare remains from the turbulent centuries that followed.Archaeological Campaigns additionally caries the results of excavations at the Baptistery of Florence and digging to establish the construction history of S. Maria del Fiore. The excavation results for S. Reparata, S. Giovanni, and S. Maria del Fiore make a fundamental contribution to the history of a city that has itself contributed so much to western civilization.
About the Author
Dr. Franklin Toker joined the archaeological excavations of the Roman and early medieval buildings below the Florence Duomo in 1969, then directed the work through its conclusion in 1974. In 1973 and 1980 he supervised separate excavations that established the original project for the cathedral that stands today. Dr. Toker has since 1980 taught urban history and the history of medieval and American art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. He has lectured widely in North America, Europe, and in India, China, and Japan. At the University of Florence, Dr. Toker was the first non-Italian called to teach the history of art within that ancient institution.