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Excavation

  • Villa di Poggio del Molino
  • Poggio del Molino, Populonia
  •  
  • Italy
  • Tuscany
  • Provincia di Livorno
  • San Vincenzo

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Summary (English)

  • The site is situated on the northern side of the promontory that divides the beach of Rimigliano, to the north, and the Gulf of Baratti to the south.
    Florence University carried out four excavation campaigns on the site in the 1980s and in 2008, the university resumed its investigations here. The 2015 campaign was funded by the “Associazione Culturale Past in Progress”. In addition to students from Florence University, foreign students also took part in the excavations, in particular from the Arizona University, Hofstra University, Long Island NY and Union College, NY. As the excavation was run as a field school, pupils from Italian schools and volunteers were involved in such activities as sieving, removal of the excavated soil, cleaning, washing, and marking the finds.
    The research has shown that in the late 2nd century B.C., an imposing fortified building stood on this site, to defend the territory of Populonia against attacks by the pirates that in this period infested the Mediterranean. Between the end of the 1st century B.C. and the first years of the 1st century A.D., the building was transformed into a farm with associated cetaria, a structure for the production of garum (fish sauce), equipped with vats for macerating the fish. Around the mid 2nd century A.D., substantial restructuring turned the building into a maritime villa. Arranged around an ample open area forming a garden, the residential rooms, with mosaic floors and painted walls, were on the south-west side (_cubicula_ and triclinii ), the domestic-service quarters with the kitchen and perhaps rooms for the personnel stood on the south-eastern side, while to the north-west stood a baths complex also decorated with mosaics and frescoes.

    The excavation area covers about 2,500 m2, about one third of which has been investigated to date.
    Work continued in areas not yet explored in order to uncover more evidence for the main construction phases of the building and its plan, as well as the function of some sectors, and the absolute chronology of the occupation phases alternating with periods of abandonment, which remain unclear.

    A month long field school for mosaic restoration also took place. Private funding and the collaboration of the Laboratorio di Restauro del Mosaico della Fondazione Ravenna Antica made it possible to begin the definitive (_in_ situ) restoration of the eight mosaics presently known on the site, with the completion of the first two this season.

  • Giandomenico De Tommaso - Università degli Studi di Firenze 

Director

Team

  • Pier Paolo Mariani-Progetto Archeodig
  • Ambra Fiorini-Università di Firenze
  • Helga Maiorana- Università di Firenze
  • Martina Fusi- Università di Firenze
  • Stefano Genovesi- Progetto Archeodig
  • Paola Perpignani-Fondazione RavennAntica
  • Carolina Megale - Università degli Studi di Firenze

Research Body

  • University of Arizona
  • Università di Firenze

Funding Body

  • Associazione culturale Past in Progress

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