The excavations on Monte Cimino undertaken by the Archaeological Superintendency for South Etruria and the La Sapienza University of Rome took place between 2009 and 2012.
The settlement, situated on the highest part of South Etruria (1053 m a.s.l.), covers an area of ca. 5 hectares formed by two topographical units defined as the lower plateau and the summit plateau or “acropolis”, both surrounded by massive perimeter walls. The walls on the lower plateau, datable to the Final Bronze Age and preserved to over 4 m in height, were by a dry-stone make-up constructed in steps and timber facings (sector 4). The acropolis walls, preserved to a height of up to 6 m, had at least two construction phases (Final Bronze Age and 4th-3rd century B.C.).
A monumental complex was investigated on the summit of the acropolis (sector 1). This was constituted by a massive wall, supported externally and internally by radial walls, which surrounded most of the summit and abutted a series of trachytic stone masses placed so as to form a crown.
The stratigraphic deposit (1.60 m) was characterised by alternating layers containing abundant charcoal and archaeological material, probably the remains of ritual fires datable to the Final Bronze Age (phase III), and sterile layers dumped on top to seal them. The monumental structure, its position on the summit, the nature of the archaeological deposit, and the finds suggest that there was a cult site on the acropolis, while the lower plateau was occupied by a fortified settlement.
The occupation of the site, dating from at least the Late Bronze Age, ended at the end of the Final Bronze Age. The site was then reoccupied in the archaic and late Etruscan periods.
The 2013 excavations confirmed the presence of a dromos entrance structure in the southern stretch of the wall. About one metre wide, the dromos was delimited by two dry-stone, rectilinear and parallel walls at least 2 m long (within the excavation area), standing to a height of 1.7 m. The structure was paved with gravel and cobbles. The finds recovered belong to the south Etrurian proto-Villanovan facies (Final Bronze Age: 1150-950 B.C.).
A new trench (11) was opened in the north-west part of the lower plateau. The evidence partially confirmed what had been documented in sector 4. The internal structure of the fortifications, to about 2 m from the wall, was formed by an earth embankment contained by “caissons” (at least 2 × 2 m) built of stones. There was a large amount of pottery in the embankment. Up to 4 m from the fortifications there was a sort of base built of stones interrupted by a series of postholes, probably the remains of a palisade. Therefore, in this case also, the internal rampart was formed by timber constructions with foundations built of stones. Behind the wall traces of possible structures were identified but not excavated.
The results of the pollen analyses show that in the Final Bronze Age the site had undergone deforestation, and this has favoured the erosion of the occupation layers causing them to accumulate towards the perimeter walls.
- Barbara Barbaro - Sapienza. Università di Roma – Dipartimento di Scienze delle Antichità
- Isabella Damiani - Comune di Roma – Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale
- Francesco di Gennaro - Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico “Luigi Pigorini”
- Nicola Ialongo - Sapienza. Università di Roma – Dipartimento di Scienze delle Antichità
- Andrea Schiappelli - Matrix 96 Società Cooperativa
- Andrea Cardarelli - Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità
- Laura Sadori
- Flavia Trucco - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell
- Agnese Vacca
- Fabiana Macerola - Sapienza. Università di Roma – Dipartimento di Scienze delle Antichità
- Francesco di Gennaro - Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma
- Andrea Schiapelli
- Vanessa Poli - Museo civico archeologico etnologico di Modena
- Dipartimento di Scienze delle Antichità – Università Sapienza di Roma
- Comune di Soriano nel Cimino
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