Darian Marie Totten


Ph.D., M.A. Stanford University
B.A. University of Chicago


My research interests include the economy and society of the Roman Mediterranean,  landscape studies, Late Antiquity, and the transition to the early Middle Ages. 

In my dissertation, Thinking Regionally: Rural landscapes and economic connections in Roman southern Italy, I investigated the intersection of local and larger-scale economic activity in the rural contexts of this region from the 1st-6th centuries C.E., employing archaeological, epigraphic, and literary evidence. I'm currently transforming this study into my first book. 

I've participated in excavations and field surveys in many places, primarily in Italy: Rome (including the Roman Forum: post-Aedem Castoris project), Lemnos (Greece), central Italy (near Rieti and Falerii), and at the villa sites of Villa Magna (Lazio) and Faragola (Puglia). 

Currently, I am co-director of the Salapia Exploration Project, with my Italian colleagues Dott. Roberto Goffredo and Dott. Giovanni de Venuto of the Università di Foggia. This is a comprehensive survey and excavation project concerned with both the human built landscape and long-term environmental change of the Salpi Lagoon, along the Adriatic coast of Puglia, Italy. We are currently excavating the port site of Roman Salapia (1st c. BCE to 7th c. CE) and the subsequent Medieval settlement, where we are exploring the urban life and trading connections of this place. 

In addition to my work on the ancient Roman past, I'm also concerned with contemporary conversations on the management and deployment of archaeological heritage, especially in Italy. To date, I've published on the uses of Etruscan heritage in Italy on the national, European, and international stage to think about how identities and places are made in an increasingly global world.