The investigation brought to light a rural settlement and a late Roman necropolis. The remains were situated in an area 170 m long, on a north-south axis, and 40 m wide on either side of a railway line. The burials were grouped in the southern part of the excavation area, whilst only a small nucleus was situated north of the railway line and the settlement was situated in the central part.
The settlement structures, situated immediately south of the railway line, had been heavily damaged by ploughing. The remains were those of a structure that was presumably arranged around a courtyard. At least two building phases were identified despite the fact that no floor surfaces survived. To the south-west of the courtyard sections of wall were identified in association with large holes, a quadrangular cooking-stand and the remains of a drain on a north-east/south-west alignment. These structures indicate the presence of rooms whose plan and function it was not possible to reconstruct. The very patchy remains of walls and holes attest that the complex originally extended to the north and south in the areas that were later occupied by the burials.
Dating elements for the settlement phases were scarce. The construction typologies of the walls (during the first phase characterised by the almost exclusive use of cobbles, later by an increased amount of brick/tile fragments) were among the commonest for rural sites in the Po valley throughout the Roman period and, therefore, provided no precise dating. The pottery covered a long chronology running from the Flavian period to the last decades of the 3rd century A.D.
Fourteen inhumation burials were investigated in the cemetery area south of the settlement. The coverings of many had been heavily damaged by ploughing. A small nucleus of burials (four) was also identified north of the railway line. In this context only one secondary cremation burial was documented, whose date, based on a glazed olpe, can be attributed to the first decades of the 4th century. Of the 17 inhumation burials recorded, 12 were in tile coffins (sesquepedales and large reused tegulae) with flat covers and five were “a cappuccina” with the covering tiles resting directly on the soil or in imbrices. The assemblage of grave goods recovered suggested a full 4th century date for this necropolis.
The data from the preliminary analysis of the tomb contexts indicates that the necropolis occupied the site in a period following the settlement’s abandonment. At present no tombs coeval with the settlement occupation have been found, neither is it possible to suggest who the late Roman necropolis was used by.
- Francesca Garanzini
- Giuseppina Spagnolo - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Piemonte e del Museo Antichità Egizie
- Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Piemonte e del Museo Antichità Egizie
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