Excavations in the Giarnera Piccola, undertaken by the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Innsbruck, reopened the same areas as in the previous years with the aim of identifying the settlement’s occupation phases. This entailed the extension of the excavation to the south and deepening of the trench in zones A, D and especially in G, in order to obtain a complete stratigraphy of the area.
Three earth graves were found in the central zone (tombs 3, 4 and 7/2007). They had been robbed and only a few skeletal remains were preserved within them. Tomb 4/07 had been reused and the bones of the earlier skeleton placed in a heap. Structures 3 and 4 were characterised by tile collapses and irregular cobbled surfaces. This zone was disturbed by clandestine activity whilst the southern zone was less disturbed by agriculture and illegal excavation.
Excavation in the context with the paved surface, in the southern part of the excavation, revealed a house/structure (8), a number of paved surfaces, a collapsed but not robbed “a grotticella” tomb (tomb 5/07), a presumed earth grave, an area with a number of pits and hollows, a layer of tiles, a row of stones and a hearth. It is thought that these structures went out of use in the 4th century B.C. and house 5 was built on top of the abandoned structures.
Structure 8 (circa 7 × 5 m), on an east-west alignment was divided into two by an internal wall forming to the east a closed room (circa 3.80 × 2.60 m) and to the west an open space (circa 3.80 × 3.50 m). The open space originally had a cobbled paving, a patch of which was preserved in the south-east corner. This space also had a hearth in one corner and presented a tile collapse. It may be suggested that in the period of abandonment the tiles from the collapsed roof were compacted into a single layer, possible as part of a ritual act.
The new paving may be interpreted as a “processional” route to the “a grotticella” tomb 5/07, found at a depth of circa four metres at the end of the paving. The grave goods were amassed together due to the pressure of the overlying earth which had caused the tomb to collapse. The tomb group, some of which very fragmentary, comprised 130 artefacts: Daunian vases, black and red glaze wares, Gnathian ware, painted vases, lekythoi with reticulate decoration, 27 Apulian red-figure vases, some of very fine quality, one bronze basin, silver fibulae and a bronze belt with mould-made bronze hooks.
On the basis of the paved surface seen as a processional way, the tomb structure, the very rich tomb group and presumably ritual space north of the tomb it is possible that this was a family tomb which included the burial of the head of the family. The finds, in particular the pottery, date tomb 5/07 to between 330-320 B.C.
- Astrid Larcher - Università di Innsbruck, Istituto di Archeologia Classica e Provinciale Romana
- K. Mager - Università di Innsbruck
- M. Auer
- T. Senfter
- S. Reyer-Völlenklee - Università di Innsbruck
- Manuele Laimer - Università di Innsbruck, Istituto di Archeologia Classica e Provinciale Romana
- Università di Innsbruck
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