The 2015 and 2016 excavations in the area of the Museo Diffuso were undertaken as part of the University of Salento’s archaeology field school.
In the area of Fondo Casino (Zone G), situated at the entrance to the Museo Diffuso, investigations continued in the residential quarter, in particular building G10, which was uncovered during earlier campaigns. Building G was a large structure comprising several rooms facing onto a large road. The excavation was extended on the west side of the area exposing two new rooms, in which the wall collapses were preserved, datable to the early 5th century B.C. The collapse in room A, identified in 2014, was completely removed, below which lay a floor surface of crushed tufa and beaten earth.
North of building G8, excavations continued in an area where the remains of a hut relating to the Iron Age settlement (8th – 7th century B.C.) had emerged. The hut was oval in plan and c. 10 m in diameter. The remains of the perimeter wall foundation, a base of small stones, were also found in the southern part of the hut, although in a worse state of preservation. Inside the hut, structures dividing the functional spaces were identified, together with the remains of materials used during the structure’s everyday life (fragments of millstones, cooking stands, pottery, ornaments).
In the area of Fondo Pera, the excavation continued of a large building (C1) in which two circular kilns were inserted. In the area north of building C1, a modern dry-stone wall was dismantled making it possible to uncover an area where a large accumulation of stones was present, probably resulting from the collapse of the walls forming part of a room. At the centre of the area, the stones formed a circular structure and perhaps covered a cistern mouth. Two perfectly smoothed large limestone blocks closed the area towards building C1. Inside building C1 the smaller kiln was excavated, situated in correspondence with the change in level between the area of Fondo Pera and that of Fondo Sentina and della Cupa. Part of the kiln’s collapsed dome, together with a few tile and pottery fragments, were found inside the structure. The pottery dates the kiln’s abandonment to the late 6th century B.C.
The kiln had a circular plan with an elongated praefurnium oriented NW-SE. It was built with a low wall of medium-sized stones, a layer of unbaked clay had been applied to the interior by hand (finger marks were visible). The clay was then baked by the kiln’s heat and so preserved. At the centre of the firing chamber, there was a small pillar built of small limestone blocks that must have supported the domed cover; this was also plastered with clay (partially preserved). There were no traces of a perforated firing floor. The vessels to be fired must have been placed directly on the bottom of the structure. The traces of burning stopped at the entrance to the praefurnium where the wood for heating the structure must have been placed.
- Grazia Semeraro - Università degli Studi del Salento, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali
- Corrado Notario - Università del Salento
- Laura Masiello - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Puglia
- Comune di Cavallino
- Regione Puglia
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