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Excavation

  • Villa del Vergigno
  • Podere Virginio
  •  
  • Italy
  • Tuscany
  • Florence
  • Montespertoli

Tools

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)

  • i) overview
    The primary goals of the 2013-2015 seasons have been: a) to establish and understand the site’s residential and agricultural sectors; b) to map the site digitally through Geographic Information Systems and the plug-in application “PyArchInIt”; c) to study the scale and nature of agricultural production at the site and its role in the regional and Mediterranean economy. The results of the 2015 season support the ongoing hypothesis that the site was constructed in the late second or early first century B.C.E. and abandoned during the fifth century C.E. In 2013 and 2014, architectural and industrial remains discovered in the area outside the residential sector suggest that an expansion of the residence, or an entire second phase of the site, occurred in the late Imperial period, possibly after the original Etrusco-Roman domestic villa had gone out of use. In 2015, excavation continued in three contiguous areas of the agricultural sector of the site and four new, adjacent areas were opened. The area under excavation in 2015 was approximately 20m x 10m.

    ii) Etruscan & Roman Age
    The villa’s residential zone, excavated 1989-1994, consists primarily of walls of alternating courses of limestone, brick, and concrete, with foundations of travertine and unworked limestone. These walls date to the late second or early first centuries B.C.E. In the area adjacent to the villa’s residential zone, a foundation pit was discovered in 2015 that contains many small fragments of Etrusco-Roman ceramics datable to the initial phases of the site. Within the residential zone, a floor of small and medium-sized limestone blocks without concrete was uncovered. Adjacent to this flooring is a rectangular structure of travertine blocks used to form a basin. Together, these features likely indicate the presence of a wine press datable to the late second/early first centuries B.C.E. Dolia, discovered nearby in the early 1990s, help support the interpretation of a wine press at the site.

    iii) Late Antiquity
    Excavations uncovered rectilinear walls (10.5 × 5m) of recycled material (travertine, limestone, brick) without concrete, located outside of the residential sector, on the edge of a huge depression (20m in diameter), and most likely built in late antiquity. Since different types of construction are apparent, it is probable that these walls underwent several protracted stages of construction. The use of reused material, the small thickness of the masonry, the absence of concrete, and no apparent foundations suggest a building of one floor with low walls, or a structure built into higher ground. Inside the building there is an oven or kiln, likely datable to the fourth century C.E., though first century C.E. stamped terra sigillata was found in the associated layers.

    Additionally, a large pit (ca. 10m x 5m), filled with charcoal and domestic materials (e.g., pottery, animal bone, glass, iron, lead, bronze fragments), is located between this building and the residential zone. Some layers of the fill also contain building remains (e.g., roofing tile, limestone, travertine) and remains of a dolium in situ. This building, constructed with recycled materials, may be part of the final period of habitation at the villa. The presence of Empoli-type and North African amphorae indicate that the site was economically productive during the late third and fourth centuries C.E.

    In the late fifth or early sixth century C.E. the entire site was abandoned. During this period the structure of the oven / kiln collapsed, evidenced by a series of rich layers of concotto, bricks, and coal. In the layers connected to this feature, a few fragments of iron slag and some overcooked ceramic fragments were found.

  • C. McKenzie Lewis – Concordia College 

Director

  • Fausto Berti - Museo Archeologico e della Ceramica di Montelupo Fiorentino

Team

  • C. McKenzie Lewis – Concordia College
  • Francesco Cini – Cooperativa Ichnos
  • Kurtis Butler – University of Wyoming
  • Andrea Violetti - Cooperativa Ichnos
  • Anna Mastrofrancesco – Cooperativa Ichnos
  • Emma Anderson – Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Eva Cincar – Cooperativa Ichnos
  • Giulia Gallerini – Cooperativa Ichnos
  • Lorenzo Cecchini – Cooperativa Ichnos
  • William Ramundt – University of Arizona

Research Body

  • Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota (USA)
  • Cooperativa Ichnos, Montelupo Fiorentino, Toscana
  • Sistema Museali di Montelupo Fiorentino, Toscana
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming (USA)

Funding Body

  • Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota (USA)
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming (USA)

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