The 2015 excavations continued work inside the fenced-in area and the extension outside it, where in 2014 a large late antique mosaic was uncovered.
Inside the enclosed area, the excavations were concentrated in the north-western corner, in order to investigate the topographical and functional relationships with the room in the antique and late antique villa with the mosaic.
Like the rest of the site, this area was damaged by deep ploughing which has reached the ancient floor levels. The remains of a room decorated with a mosaic of small white and black tesserae was uncovered. The mosaic was not exposed completely as a precaution prior to consolidation. The mosaic’s typology dates it to the 1st century B.C. and it seemed to be part of the villa maritima of this period, as it presented very close similarities with the other mosaics uncovered in various parts of the excavations.
To the north of the room with mosaic, in earth disturbed by ploughing, there were substantial remains of opus signinum faced with marble, possibly part of a floor built on suspensurae that would therefore suggest the presence of a bath complex in this area. At present, the state of preservation of these remains prevents any hypothetical topographical and functional reconstruction, which will have to await the results of further excavation.
Also in this area, and again within stratigraphy disturbed by ploughing, two patches of polychrome mosaic with a plait motif and large tesserae, suggests that the hypothetical baths continued in use until the late antique period.
The external trench was opened in order to completely excavate the late antique mosaic floor and determine the perimeter of the modern agricultural shed which having been built on top of the ancient walls, had protected the mosaic from plough damage.
The shed covered an area of 12 × 12 m and inside it the mosaic was better-preserved in the third to the north (the part excavated in 2014), while the two thirds to the south were more fragmented. The preserved parts, together with the traces left in the mortar make up, made it possible to reconstruct a mosaic with plaited motifs that continued the decoration of the part excavated in 2014.
The new evidence adds further support to the hypothesis that this was a triclinium belonging to the late antique phase (4th century A.D.) of the villa’s occupation.
The remains of a marble pool surrounded by a mosaic of small white, grey, and black tesserae, stylistically attributable to a 1st century B.C. production, was discovered at the centre of the room in a contemporary pit dug in order to rob the ancient architectural elements.
Based on the pool’s position, it may be suggested that the room was originally an atrium with an impluvium, which was later transformed into a triclinium, although the stratigraphic sequence needs further investigation.
- Enrico Zanini, Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche e dei Beni Culturali
- Elisabetta Giorgi, Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche e dei Beni Culturali
- Elsa Pacciani- Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
- Samanta Mariotti, Università degli Studi di Siena Samanta Mariotti- Università degli Studi di Siena
- Pasquino Pallecchi- Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
- Andrea Bellotti
- Francesco Ripanti
- Nina Marotta