The excavations were extended in the area uphill from the Provinciale 39 road bringing to light the remains of a large mansio. The complex was characterised by the reuse of earlier structures, to which others were added that were identified by the different building techniques used for each phase.
The following settlement sequence has been identified thus far:
1. A first settlement linked to pottery production, attested by traces visible in the areas where modern interventions have removed the Republican and imperial levels.
2. A second phase, both residential and agricultural, characterised by the construction of a rectangular building, perhaps with a porticoed courtyard, facing south onto a stretch of via glareata. The chronology was suggested by an exclusive concentration of mid Republican coins in this area, recovered from the plough soil excavated over the entire surface.
3. In phase three, a building with opus reticulatum walls and cement conglomerate foundations was built a few tens of metres to the north. The quality of the build, size of the rooms and the presence of monochrome mosaic floors with small tesserae seems to indicate that this was the pars urbana of a villa, which continued to exploit the earlier structures as the pars rustica. The remains of the baths documented in the locality of Vignale at the time when the via Aurelia was built (c. 1830) can be related to this complex. This phase is dated to between the end of the 1st century B.C. and beginning of the 1st century A.D.
4. Phase four, was characterised by the construction, in the western part of the area, of a rectangular courtyard, surrounded by a quadriporticus with columns of broken tile, which occupied the open space between the second and third phase buildings, joining them together to form the mansio. The presence of tile stamps with the name M.FVLVI.ANT links this phase with the creation of the kilns found on the other side of the modern road, where the same stamps were also found. This phase dates to the first decades of the 1st century A.D.
5. During phase five, the mansio was altered and remained in use until the second half of the 4th century A.D. There also seems to have been some spatial reorganisation within the complex in this phase (construction of baths by the southern entrance to the courtyard; division of one room into cubicula).
6. Phase six, saw a change in the structure’s function. The walls and roofing in perishable materials, postholes and hearths and the abandonment of the small baths suggest a transformation of the settlement. A community of farmers settled close to this still privileged place linked to the ancient consular road. The creation of a necropolis, extending from the north-eastern corner of the mansio portico as far as the remains of the villa appears to date to this phase.
Discoveries of numerous late antique coins in the abandonment layers date the settlement’s transformation to the beginning of the 5th century.
- Enrico Zanini - Università di Siena, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti
- Elisabetta Giorgi - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Elsa Pacciani - Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
- Andrea Camilli - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana
- Samanta Mariotti - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Alessandro Carabia - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Pasquino Pallecchi - Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
- Francesco Ripanti - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Nina Marotta - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Università degli Studi di Siena
- Azienda Agricola Tenuta di Vignale s.r.l.
- Azienda Agricola “La Traiana”, Poggionuovo Bracciolini (AR)
- Camping Pappasole s.r.l.
- Comune di Piombino - Quartiere di Riotorto
- Direzione Nazionale Unicoop Tirreno
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