• Siponto
  • Manfredonia
  • Italy
  • Apulia
  • Provincia di Foggia
  • Manfredonia


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  • 194 BC - 1263 AD


    • The excavation aimed to study the settlement’s post-classical facies and to make an in depth study of the better known earlier phases. Just below the _humus_ a series of buildings came to light arranged around an open space and separated by narrow paths. Several were clearly residential buildings; one building may have had a productive function. Their construction was very poor, using structural elements from earlier buildings. Only a few courses of the walls survive and in several parts show signs of the robbing to which they were gradually subjected from the time of their abandonment, which occurred for various reasons, in the second half of the 13th century. The beaten floors, where better preserved, were made of earth with traces of calcarenite. Finds of tiles document the type of roof covering. The pottery, glass, metal and bone finds attest the centres important role in the sphere of relationships both with neighbouring areas and the eastern Mediterranean. Worthy of note is the discovery of a quadrangula with effigies of saints Peter and Paul, related to pilgrimages to the Holy Land. This is the only example known to date in southern Italy. Some earth graves were intercepted which suggest the presence of a cult building or that the area fell into disuse and was then used as a burial ground.
    • An aerial-photogrammetric survey was undertaken of the Siponto Archaeological Park (Manfredonia-FG) prior to the topographical survey carried out in September 2007 by a team of 12 (from the universities of Bari and the Salento and the _Dipartimento di Beni Culturali LabTaf_ ). The recording of the ancient wall circuit, surface collection both inside and outside of the walls to a range of 200 m, and recording of the earlier visible archaeological structures added to knowledge of the site and its territory. A new topographical plan was made of the ancient city, showing the circuit walls according to the survey results. The investigation confirmed the presence of a defensive system constituted by two different walls, built using different techniques and materials in two distinct phases. The inner circuit, the earliest, was built in _opus quadratum_ of large limestone blocks, with quadrangular towers. Along this first circuit three towers of this type were identified, two in the south-western stretch and one in the southern stretch. What was probably a small opening, perhaps a postern gate, was identified in the vicinity of the western corner of the walls. The later external circuit stood at about 10 m from the earlier one and was built of re-used calcarenite blocks from the latter and stones of various shape and size, bonded with strong mortar with frequent stone and terracotta inclusions. The sudden rise in height, which can also be seen on the aerial photographs surrounding the ancient city, corresponds to this second circuit wall. The investigation of the surrounding territory identified a significant scatter of materials (pottery, glass, metal, marble) in the south-western part of the town, suggesting the presence of a suburban villa.
    • Dall’8 settembre al 17 ottobre 2008 si è svolta la VII campagna di scavo nel Parco Archeologico di Siponto. L’indagine ha interessato in maniera intensiva alcuni edifici già evidenziati nella zona occidentale (ambiente X e XII) e l’area localizzata ad Est dell’ambiente IX. In quest’ultima zona sono emerse le creste di diverse strutture murarie che delimitano due ambienti: il XIV di circa 46 m2 e il XIII di circa 26 m2 (XIII e XIV), entrambi preesistenti all’ambiente IX. Nella metà SudEst dell'ambiente XIII è stato realizzato un saggio conoscitivo fino al primo piano di calpestio. Lo scavo del crollo ha restituito interessanti elementi strutturali: tratti di canalette, due conci e una chiave d’arco. Il piano di calpestio è costituito da un battuto in sabbia di calcarenite compattata, simile a quelli finora ritrovati in altri settori dello scavo. Ad Ovest è stata chiarita la funzione abitativa dell’ambiente X. La rimozione del crollo ha consentito di leggere più chiaramente il perimetro dell’edificio: a pianta rettangolare, lungo 9,00 m e largo 5,20 m, e dotato di un avancorpo nell’angolo NordEst. Sotto il crollo è apparso uno strato consistente di terra scura, mista a cenere e tracce di bruciato, ricco di reperti ceramici, vitrei e metallici in giacitura primaria, forse il risultato di un incendio subito dall’edificio. In relazione con il piano di calpestio in sabbia di calcarenite compattata sono stati scoperti alcuni annessi: un ampio focolare accuratamente realizzato; accanto ad esso un basamento in blocchi di calcarenite squadrati ed infine una vasca litica munita di fori di afflusso e deflusso di liquidi, trovata in giacitura secondaria sul focolare. A Nord di questo edificio è proseguita l’indagine nell’ambiente XII: è stato messo in luce il perimetro, anche se non completamente dal momento che il muro d’ambito orientale prosegue verso Nord, oltre il limite dell'area indagata. L’edificio, anch’esso di forma rettangolare, è lungo 11 m e largo 6,30 m. Lo scavo del crollo, lungo le strutture murarie perimetrali, ha restituito numerosi frammenti di intonaco dipinto. Al di sotto del crollo è apparso un lembo di pavimentazione in ciottolini, simile ad altri resti di piani pavimentali trovati nelle precedenti campagne. Lungo il perimetro interno i muri presentano, in alcuni tratti, un elemento di rinforzo, tecnica che potrebbe motivarsi per l’instabilità delle modeste strutture a seguito dei frequenti episodi tellurici testimoniati dalle fonti nella zona. La zona di circolazione esterna presenta uno stretto vicolo tra gli ambienti X e XII ed un passaggio più largo tra gli ambienti XII e VIII, da cui provengono abbondanti resti di ossa umane scomposte. Addossate ai muri perimetrali di questi edifici si conservano due sepolture plurime: un inumato mostra i segni della rimozione per ospitare la successiva inumazione. La presenza così fitta di resti ossei umani ed i numerosi frammenti di intonaco dipinto fanno pensare alla presenza di un edificio religioso nelle vicinanze, potrebbe essere tale proprio l’ambiente XII.
    • Investigations to the north of Room XII uncovered the apse area of a building: the remains of a small side apse were identified, built in squared limestone blocks bonded with earth, together with clear traces in negative of a larger apse in the central part. Inside the building the stratigraphy was heavily disturbed and thus difficult to interpret. Outside a vast cemetery area was identified, heavily disturbed by ploughing. The intervention was limited to the excavation of two burials in earth graves at the western edge of the trench. To the south of the urban area, where a magnetometer survey had shown up strong anomalies, the perimeter of Room XI was defined and two new rooms, XV and XVI were discovered. All were rectangular and on a north-south alignment. A road, running east-west, about 4 m wide, separated the buildings from a complex of walls, of different widths and construction. These delimited an area of about 527 m2 with a pseudo-trapezoidal plan, with an articulated subdivision of the internal space, of which to date at least four rooms have been identified. The south wall was particularly imposing, on an east-west alignment, preserved for a length of 23 m and about 1.4 m wide. The structure was built a sacco, with a double facing of squared calcarenite blocks, and a core of stones mixed with terracotta fragments bonded with earth mixed with calcarenite sand. The discovery in the south-western zone of an area used for the preparation of mortar for construction work was of particular interest. Characterised by a quadrangular, very compact layer of mortar, calcarenite and slaked lime, there was a residual lump of mortar on its surface. In rooms XIII and XIV, in the eastern part of the area under investigation, the excavation reached the lowest occupation level of the stratigraphy. In Room XIII the floor surface that was partially uncovered in 2008 was completely cleaned. On the floor, abutting the western perimeter wall, there was a small hearth built of stones and tile surrounding an earthy deposit showing clear traces of reddening caused by exposure to heat. In the north wall, where an opening had been discovered in the west part, another was found on its east part. Both were just over 0.80 m wide and had been blocked in a later phase. The investigation in Room XIV ascertained the structure’s residential function. The removal of the collapse from the perimeter walls revealed the roof collapse of cover tiles. This in turn overlay a floor surface of compacted calcarenite sand, which was more or less uniformly preserved across the whole surface. Among the features associated with this building were four circular post holes, parallel to the south perimeter wall and a pseudo-quadrangular arrangement of stones bedded in mortar situated in the north-eastern corner. This was interpreted as the remains of a hearth.
    • The ninth excavation campaign in Siponto Archaeological Park took place between 29th August and 7th October 2011. The aim was to continue investigating the perimeter of the large building identified in 2009 in the southern part of the town. The building had a pseudo-trapezoidal plan covering an area of about 525 m2 (21 x 25 m), with a well-organised division of the internal spaces. At present at least seven rooms are known, of which two of substantial size on the eastern side and southern sides (respectively 80 m2 and 110 m2). The building had been subjected to heavy and accurate robbing which appeared planned. Therefore, the structures were only visible in negative or at foundation level, and it was very difficult to make a clear interpretation of the stratigraphy. The walls showed various construction techniques, indicating diverse building phases and restructuring. The building had an interesting rainwater collection system, constituted by drains underlying the floor surface (well-preserved in the large room on the south side) and by two cisterns of different sizes, partially filled with small cobblestones, perhaps to aid drainage. The water supply was also guaranteed by a well built into the south perimeter wall during the building’s construction. This cylindrical structure was built of large blocks arranged in regular courses, shaped to form a circular perimeter (diam. 0.50 m). Interesting architectural and sculptural elements, pottery, and glass finds came from the destruction layer, giving a date of the full 13th century, which a preliminary study suggests relate to the Mediterranean cultural _koiné_ and high social status.


    • C. Laganara Fabiano, G. Ceraudo, A. Busto, P. Gentile, R. Palombella, M. Sammarco, G. Sarcinelli, A. Valchera, 2008, Indagini archeologiche e aerotopografiche a Sipontum. Il “Progetto Siponto”, in Archeologia Aerea, 3: 119-134.
    • C. Laganara, A. Busto, R. Palombella, 2009, Elementi per la ricostruzione di una città abbandonata nel Medioevo. Il caso di Siponto (Manfredonia, FG), in: V Congresso Nazionale di Archeologia Medievale (Foggia-Manfredonia, 30 settembre - 3 ottobre 2009), Firenze: 210-216.
    • C. Laganara, A. Busto, R. Palombella, P. Albrizio, C. Petronella, G. Sarcinelli, E. Zambetta, 2009, Siponto. La campagna archeologica 2008: notizie preliminari, in Atti XXIX convegno nazionale di studi sulla Preistoria, Protostoria e Storia della Daunia (San Severo, 15-16 Novembre 2008), San Severo: 143-163.
    • C. Laganara (a cura di), 2011, Siponto. Una città abbandonata nel medioevo, Grenzi Editore, Foggia.