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  • Nervia, Area mura settentrionali
  • Ventimiglia
  • _Albintimilium_
  • Italy
  • Liguria
  • Provincia di Imperia
  • Ventimiglia

Summary (English)

  • In 2012, the International Institute of Ligurian Studies investigated zones 1000A and 4000 in the area of the northern walls of the ancient Roman town of Albintimilium.
    In zone 1000A, the excavations were extended to the north of the walls, for a total of 18 m2, with the aim of clarifying the stratigraphic situation that had emerged in previous years, and of exposing another sector of the walls.
    The removal of a series of modern agricultural layers revealed the edges of a large robber trench (US 1167), which reached the crest of the walls and cut the layers which in antiquity abutted the north face of the walls themselves.
    The excavation of these layers and, in particular the layer of levelling (US 1165) and midden US 1171, produced a large quantity of material datable to the end of the 1st-2nd century B.C. These included high quality artefacts such as a gemstone incised with the episode of Ulysses and the Sirens, the silver lid of what was probably a pyxis showing Mercury with moneybag and caduceous, and a large number of finely worked glass fragments. Excavation of the large robber trench, whose fill was mainly constituted by stone rubble from the demolition of the walls and a large quantity of powdered bonding material, led to the exposure of another stretch of wall three metres long.

    During the 2012 campaign, work also continued in area 4000 with the intention of continuing research in the necropolis that occupied this zone from the mid 5th century A.D. onwards. Four new tombs (TT. 309-311, 313), were discovered, situated along the north face of the wall. Their excavation confirmed the two phases of use known so far (phase 1: mid-second half of the 5th century A.D.: phase 2: end of the 5th-6th century A.D.), as it was seen that in order to position burials 309-310 in graves with terracotta/tile covering, the earlier burial 313 was reduced in size.

    The excavations confirmed the importance of this sector, in particular in connection with the late antique history of Albintimilium when, following the Gothic invasions at the beginning of the 5th century A.D., the quarters north of the decumanus maximus were gradually abandoned. The residential areas seemed only to occupy the southern insulae, where there was substantial evidence of the Byzantine and Lombard phases, and burials came to occupy the abandoned urban spaces: the theatre, baths, decumanus maximus, the pomerium. It was also in this period that the section of wall being excavated was gradually abandoned, the structures partially robbed and covered by a landslide, and the area around the North Gate came to be occupied by a cemetery with masonry-built and “a cappuccina”, earth grave, and amphora burials.

  • Daniela Gandolfi - Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri 


  • Daniela Gandolfi - Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri


  • Carlo Varaldo - Università degli Studi di Genova
  • Daniela Gandolfi - Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri
  • Viviana Pettirossi - Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri
  • Lorenzo Ansaldo - Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri

Research Body

  • Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri, Bordighera (IM)

Funding Body

  • Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri, Bordighera (IM)


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