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Excavation

  • Monte Petrino - Rocca Montis Draconis
  • Mondragone
  • Rocca Montis Draconis
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Provincia di Caserta
  • Mondragone

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Credits

  • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

    MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

    ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

    AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

  • AIAC_logo logo

Summary (English)

  • During the archaeological investigations on the site took place between 2012 and 2013 were investigated substantial portions of the fortified settlement summit plateau, with the intention of continuing the excavation of stratigraphic environments enclosed by boundary walls and understand their attendance phases and the consequent abandonment.

    The 2010 excavation (September 8 to October 4) concentrated mainly in CA “C” (the first village below the summit plateau of the settlement) and especially in the area positioned at S cisterns already dug in past years (CF 20-23) and near the circular tower (CF 9) overlying the entire village. The area chosen for the excavation was already identified in its supporting structures during the reconnaissance of 1997; at the beginning of the investigation it appeared with some walls in evidence and a substantial collapse of rubble within a large quadrangular building, highlighted completely during the excavations (CF 22). To the east of the latter, it has been excavated completely a cistern and an area affected by other walls with relative floor levels (CF 302), while to the north has been partially investigated a small area bounded by a straight wall, which was to serve as a base for the housing of wooden poles to support a canopy of perishable material. They also continued the work of cataloging and arrangement of archaeological finds in the Restoration Laboratory and warehouse findings of the Archaeological Museum of Mondragone B. Greco.

    In the excavation of September 2011, the interventions are mainly concentrated in two areas: near a fortified place in the lower side of the montain (CAE), including the two towers connected to a big wall and in the central area of the summit plateau (CAB), interpreted as the upper stalls (CF 11), in particular in the SW, outside the building CF 8, already dug during previous campaigns and interpreted, in its phase of final attendance (XIV-XV sec.), as a private chapel. Both areas respond to specific questions on which the scientific research on the site is trying to provide some explanation: how to access and site defense at every stage of its existence and the division and location of spaces belonging to different company teams and the various powers (aristocratic, religious, military, commercial) who shared the most important area of the site in question, ie the summit plateau.

    The area called CAE is located on a natural terrace on the western slope of Mount Petrino, at a lower cost than the summit plateau where they develop the main archaeological evidence of the area. Among the areas there are about one hundred meters in altitude (CAB: 409 s.l.m .; CAE: 333 s.l.m.); They are connected by roads that follow the contours of the mountain and through the two villages (CA C and D CA) occupying the western and southern slopes of the relief. The rampart along 7.38 meters wide and 5, preserved to a height of about 1 meter and 50, constitutes a powerful defense system the only way of access to the settlement fortified on the northern slope of the rise, being the southern side inaccessible because very steep and devoid of vegetation. It is powered at either end by two towers of polygonal shape, it separated by gates, which extend toward the north side, past the breakwater. The east tower, rectangular, has a base full masonry preserved for m 2:50 high, while it is devoid of the elevation; however retains on the exposed surface a cavity made in the masonry, from 50 cm to 1 meter wide and 50, which has been interpreted as the basis of a sighting functional corridor of the access path from the settlement north, where the saddle adjacent the rise was a more immediate access from the sea to the inland plains to Teano and Capua. The second guard tower has an irregular polygonal shape, with base in solid masonry and is located at the west of the coast, from which it is separated by a wide gap three-meter and 50, to plant splayed towards the interior of the ridge. E ‘has been suggested here that there is a large enough step to make access carts and equipped troops could quartered in the range of flat land. Guarding this gate there was the tower also has a lookout corridor made transversely to allow a perspective view to the valley, but at the same time to avoid being seen. The similarities of size and structure with the corridor in the east tower and the intervisibility of the two military check points argue in favor of a coherent and unified system of defense, put in place in all probability during the conflict between the Angevins and Aragonese for conquest of the Kingdom, in the late fifteenth century, when the Fortress of Mondragone was one of the most important fortresses of the Duchy of Sessa.

    Finally on the summit plateau CA B stratigraphic some checks in front of the chapel of later Angevins age excavated in 2010 (CF 8), to clarify the succession of external floor levels were conducted. Again, there are questions of the abandonment of the settlement, which occurred in the mid-sixteenth century, if it was caused by the gradual and repopulate the surrounding plain or whether it was due to a catastrophic event, an earthquake or a siege, as seems to testify to the dynamics of powerful layers of collapse present in all settlement building. The abandonment was in any event preceded by intense revamping of the floors in the center of the plateau, which were raised compacting of results from previous demolition material. Witness the discovery in these layers of a very considerable amount of finds with various datings, including ceramic (ceramic of the XV and XVI century (glazed monochrome yellow and green, white glazed and polychrome, polychrome majolica ceramics from Montelupo and achromatic), objects iron is used in construction (split pins, hinges, nails, locks) and in craft activities (scissors, needles textiles) and for warfare (bites and other items to harness a horse, two leaf tips, an arrow and a ball lead by musket), along with nearly 50 coins, mainly horses Ferrante d ‘Aragona issued between 1472 and 1496, but also coins of Louis XII (1502-1505) discovered in the collapse that has obliterated the last levels of attendance , next to a Roman coin-bell (265-240 BC) and a Roman imperial age.

    Work also continued reconnaissance on the slopes of Mount Petrino, aimed at the systematic mapping of the terraces that attest to the systems of exploitation of the territory adjacent to the castle in the Middle Ages as well as evidence of the settlement of pre-Roman and Roman times, mainly relating to specialized farm-villas in viticulture.

  • Francesca Sogliani - IBAM CNR; Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera, Università degli Studi della Basilicata 

Director

  • Luigi Crimaco - Museo Civico Archeologico di Mondragone “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)

Team

  • M. Musella - Museo Civico Archeologico “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)
  • A. Carcaiso - 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

Research Body

  • Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali IBAM CNR
  • Museo Civico Archeologico “B. Greco” Mondragone (CE)
  • Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Archeologici di Matera, Università degli Studi della Basilicata

Funding Body

  • Comune di Mondragone (CE)

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