The first excavations at the Villa del Vergigno were conducted between 1989 and 1994. In 2013 the site was re-opened with a focus on the unexcavated, agricultural sector of the villa, which is an area that appears to be a large, walled courtyard adjacent to the main residential complex and its bath.
This season’s excavation revealed what is likely the courtyard’s southern perimeter wall, located approximately twenty-five meters from the southern peristyle of the main complex. The method of construction of this wall is similar to the lower courses of the villa’s walls that have been dated through ceramic evidence to the period between 80 and 50 B.C.E., a period that coincides with historical accounts of Roman colonial activity in this area of northern Etruria. Datable ceramic evidence from 2013, such as stamped Arretine terra sigillata, supports an interpretation that the agricultural sector is contemporary with the main residential complex, though further excavation is needed to clarify this hypothesis.
Excavation of several rooms adjacent to this southern wall uncovered the remains of what is possibly a kiln, suggesting that the nature of activity here might have included ceramic production. The likelihood that the remains of a kiln are emerging is increased due to the fact that three, possibly four, additional kilns were discovered on the site during the excavation seasons of the 1990s. Additionally, near this hypothesized kiln, excavations came upon the top layers of a large pit in which were found numerous roof tiles, brick, and ceramics, as well as north African and Empoli-type amphorae datable to the third and fourth centuries C.E. The latter evidence indicates that this area of the site had a long duration of activity.
Surface survey was also conducted on the outlying areas of the villa. Ceramic and structural remains were discovered approximately ninety meters to the northeast of the villa complex, which led to the beginning of excavation at this area. At present, perpendicular wall courses, though rather small in width, have been uncovered and the associated ceramic evidence ranges in date from the last centuries B.C.E. through to the Medieval period. Further investigation is needed to establish a chronology and interpretation of this area, though it seems possible that structures here may pre-date the construction of the villa itself.
- C. McKenzie Lewis – Concordia College
- Fausto Berti - Museo Archeologico e della Ceramica di Montelupo Fiorentino
- Lisa Afeltra
- Pino Fenu - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Andrea Violetti - Coop. “Ichnos”
- Lorenzo Cecchini - Coop. “Ichnos”
- Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota (USA)
- Cooperativa Ichnos, Montelupo Fiorentino, Toscana
- Sistema Museali di Montelupo Fiorentino, Toscana
- University of Wyoming, Laramie (USA)
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