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Excavation

  • Grotte Scalina
  • Musarna
  •  
  • Italy
  • Latium
  • Provincia di Viterbo
  • Viterbo

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Credits

  • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

    MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

    ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

    AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

  • AIAC_logo logo

Summary (English)

  • This season’s excavations, directed by Vincent Jolivet (CNRS, UMR8546, Paris) and Edwige Lovergne (University of Paris I, ED 112), concentrated on two sectors: the dromos of the monumental tomb and the cistern of a small oppidum situated about 100 m to the east of it.

    The excavation showed that the dromos gradually filled with earth naturally and this process was probably completed by the end of antiquity. Clandestine excavators had robbed the tomb in the 1970s, but only reached the end of the dromos in correspondence with the tomb’s entrance. The presence fragments of Faliscan red-figure pottery and of black glaze pottery from Tarquinia in several of the lower levels of fill of is of great interest, both as evidence of the vessels used in the banqueting room, and as confirmation of the tomb’s dating to the last quarter of the 4th century B.C.

    Once excavation of the dromos was completed the funerary chamber was entered; two of the lower blocks closing it were preserved. The chamber was sub-rectangular in plan (c. 5 × 6 m), with a central pillar and was filled to a height of c. 1 m by an accumulation of earth from which emerged the fragments of at least nine large nenfro coffins and their covers. The latter were undecorated and were pitched or, more commonly, had a rounded profile. One of the coffins presented a right to left incised inscription, Vi:larth, the name and cognomen of the deceased, a member of the family who owned the funerary complex, which can be read as Vipe, Vipine or Vipinana.

    A small oppidum (330 m2) was situated east of the tomb, at the far end of the plateau, which had been closed off by the creation of a deep ditch. The housings for a wooden bridge were identified on either side of the ditch. The excavation of a cistern, whose presence was indicated by a rectangular well, aimed to date the site’s occupation and gain a better understanding of any possible relationship with the tomb. This was a circular cistern, shaped like a spinning-top, filled with earth of which only the upper part was excavated this season. Fragments of 1st century A.D. pottery and fragments of the opus signinum faced pillars, which seemed to have consolidated the vault, were recovered. This restoration work probably took place in the Roman period, while the cistern – and the site itself, of a military nature – could date to the archaic or more likely the Hellenistic period, and be connected with the foundation of Musarna situated just over 1 km away.

  • Vincent Jolivet, CNRS 
  • Edwige Lovergne - Università di Paris I 

Director

  • Vincent Jolivet, CNRS

Team

  • Edwige Lovergne, ED 112, Università di Paris I

Research Body

  • CNRS, École normale supérieure (Paris)

Funding Body

  • CNRS, École normale supérieure (Paris)
  • Département des Sciences de l’Antiquité, Association Archéologique Pharos, Fondation Carivit (Viterbo)

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