Archaeological investigations of the site from 2007 to 2009 focused on substantial areas of the bailey at the summit of the fortified settlement, aimed at clarifying the nature and extension of the stratigraphy relating to the construction, occupation and destruction sequences of the area and of the structures within the walled circuit. On the western side the great semicircular tower CF 9 was investigated: three construction phases were identified. In the latest phase underneath the conglomerate pavement a series of cavities were built, these intersect to create a lattice for the setting of wooden axes. It has been hypothesized that the platform functioned as a support for a war-machine, clearly the power of the war machine is in direct correlation to nature of the substructure which supported it.
The rectangular room CF10, situated behind the latter, was excavated down to the original beaten earth floor, in a preparation of smoothed mortar. The good construction techniques and of the rooms leading into CF10, together with the archaeological material recovered (in particular a cuirass linked with bronze rivets, with traces of cloth, coins of the Aragonese period, glazed and tin glazed pottery and mortars) suggest that the room had a residential function, probably reserved for part of the military garrison and for a high-status person.
Along the northern side of the bailey near the northern curtain wall, a large room CF8 has been brought to light, which in its last phase of use was a cult building. At the centre of the Eastern wall a masonry structure was discovered, decorated with frescoes which imitate a facing of polychrome marble; the southern and northern walls are also decorated with frescoes depicting human figures and polychrome geometric designs of the late 14th-15th centuries. The pavement of the room was raised; a new floor was built which partly covered the frescoes decorating the walls of the building which on the basis of the pottery and coins was abandoned in the mid 16th century.
Along the northern side, but close to the so-called Palatium, another area was investigated. It relates to the defensive structure in a small room and a small tower (CF 256). with a passage which linked the village (CA “C”) with the plain above (CA “B”). The western side of room 12, was also brought to light, between the northern section of the walled circuit of the bailey and the large central cistern. The substantial layers of collapsed masonry include roofing elements as well as two great blocks of walls and fragments of wall plaster. On the smoothed mortar pavement of the room was a great partially worked stone block, with relief decoration in the form of eggs between darts, like the stone block itself, the carving of the latter is incomplete. These characteristics suggest that this was an ‘unfinished’ product, probably initially envisaged as an architectural element (capital?) and later reused as a basin or acquasantiera. Ceramics were recovered of the 15th and the 16th centuries (yellow and green glazed pottery, plain and decorated maiolica including that of Montelupo, and unglazed pottery), as well as numerous glass wasters (pieces of fused glass and vitreous drops) which suggest the existence of a glass production workshop nearby.
At the beginning of the village belownext to the walled circuit, a bread oven was excavated. The oven is circular in plan and realized in rows of quadrangular bricks. The hearth consists of flat stones, curved tiles (pantiles) and mortar and is lodged on a walled base resting directly on the earth. Furthermore, the oven rests against a new wall which, on the basis of its construction technique and dimensions, has been interpreted as the last curtain wall of the village, relating to the enlargement of the settlement, dating to the late medieval period.
Field survey on the slopes of Monte Petrino continued, aimed at the systematic recording of the terraces relating to the exploitation of the territory around the castello in the medieval period, as well as the evidence for pre-Roman and Roman settlement, relating above all to villas-farms specialized in viticulture.
- Francesca Sogliani - IBAM CNR; Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera, Università degli Studi della Basilicata
- Luigi Crimaco - Museo Civico Archeologico di Mondragone “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)
- A. Carcaiso - Museo Civico Archeologico “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)
- A. De Gregorio - Museo Civico Archeologico “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)
- M.A. Minopoli - Museo Civico Archeologico “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)
- F. Gabellone - IBAM CNR
- G. Bruno
- Maria Cerovaz
- M. Musella - Museo Civico Archeologico “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)
- B. Gargiulo - Museo Civico Archeologico “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)
- D. Roubis - IBAM CNR; Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera, Università degli Studi della Basilicata
- IBAM CNR
- Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera, Università degli Studi della Basilicata
- Comune di Mondragone – Museo Civico Archeologico "B. Greco" di Mondragone
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