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Excavation

  • S. Maria in Pantano
  • S. Maria in Pantano
  • Vicus (ad) Martis Tudertium
  • Italy
  • Umbria
  • Provincia di Perugia
  • Massa Martana

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Summary (English)

  • About 13 km from Todi, at the current location of the church of S. Maria in Pantano (“St. Mary in the Bog”), so called because of once-frequent flooding of a local torrent, an old stopping point (statio) on the Roman road seems to have grown to a place of significance, to judge from the several inscriptions from the area, and the presence of the ancient name – Vicus (ad) Martis Tudertium – for the site on itineraries, including the famous Peutinger Tablet. Nevertheless the site appears to have been abandoned by the time the church was built, around the 9th c. Indeed the church itself, which incorporates a late imperial Roman building, was the sole visible structure from this once important site.

    Our first season of excavation in Summer 2008 uncovered an area ca. 10×10 m, and revealed the presence of at least two phases of construction at the site. Large walls and some floor remains appear to be datable to the late first century BC, while sometime in the late second century AD, after flooding—and perhaps more—destroyed the earlier levels, new walls were built, some on top of the older ones. Small finds such as coins, stamped pottery, and amphoras have helped with the dating, but a number of questions still surround the site and its relationship to nearby Todi.

    These questions remain despite the use of geo-magnetic survey in 2008 on a much larger area than was actually excavated. Survey at the _Vicus _site revealed the presence of fairly large structures spread out over a large area around the church of S. Maria. A small excavation over one of the anomalies observed in the survey discovered a substantial wall. This correspondence enables us to have significant confidence in the survey analysis for the rest of the area, and helps guide excavation in future campaigns.

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