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  • Marina Militare Americana
  • Gricignano di Aversa
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  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Provincia di Caserta
  • Carinaro

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Chronology

  • 1800 BC - 1600 BC
  • 820 BC - 720 BC
  • 300 BC - 200 BC
  • 100 BC - 1 BC
  • 200 AD - 400 AD

Season

    • A Roman farm, abandoned in the late antique period (4th century A.D.), and of two inhumation burials have been found on the construction site of the new American naval base. A small area of late Imperial necropolis, situated in the zone of the “Central Depot” was also investigated. This comprised “a cappuccino” and enchytrismos burials (grave goods: small jar or small jug and a coin). A large channel, obliterated at the beginning of the 1st century B.C., can be dated to the Republican period. In the “Library” area, on the so-called paleo-ground level 2, datable to an initial phase of the early Bronze Age, traces of an elongated rectangular hut were uncovered. In the eastern area of the construction site, on the so-called paleo-ground level Flegreo 1, the remaining part of the village found in 1998 and characterised by circular huts, was excavated. Female burials and a child burial, wells and midden pits were found in the paleo-ground level known as “delle pomici umificate”. These finds attest the existence of a settlement in the same place. In an earlier period the zone was occupied by a large village, excavation of which is still in progress, characterised by rectangular huts with apsidal ends. The settlement investigated in the area of the “Forum Village” (6.400 m2) dates to the late Eneolithic period. This had oval huts alternating with enclosures, wells and nuclei of burials. Two monumental dwellings were identified, characterised by perimeter posts set into a narrow channel and a large annular corridor. One of the houses stood within a vast enclosure. Also present in the area were wells filled with dumps of pottery and faunal remains. Fifty burials related to this settlement, including sub-rectangular and sub-oval earth graves and small pseudo-grotto tombs. In the latter the deceased was buried in a foetal position; however, the skeletal remains were often disarticulated and a vase, broken before being placed in the tomb, was present.
    • The preliminary trenches dug on the site of the shopping centre looked at the area delimited in antiquity by a large ditch of Republican date that was identified in previous years. The levels examined revealed that the site was occupied from the 4th-3rd century B.C. until the end of the Imperial period. The earliest occupation phase relates to the scattered nuclei of burials in either tufa built “a cassa” tombs or earth graves. The tomb groups, where recovered, suggested a date somewhere within the 4th-3rd century B.C. The trenches were dug at various points in the ditch and the upcast material related to its construction contained large amounts of archaeological material (Campana A black glaze, Dressel 1A and 1B amphorae and dolia fragments). Inside the ditch blocks of tufa of large dimensions were dumped, the building rubble from a sanctuary with at least two temples dedicated to Hercules and Venus Ericina. Part of this complex may now have been discovered in the area north of the ditch, south-east of the crossroads between the eighth cardo of the centuriation and the decumanus. Here, a structure was uncovered that was aligned with the axes of the centuriation, preserved to foundation level and built in stone blocks alternating with tufa ashlars and bricks. This technique suggests a mid Republican date. In the Imperial period a small necropolis with enchytrismos burials was laid out over the demolished building. A trench excavated to the east brought to light the _decumanus_ of the centuriation, a beaten earth road on a north-south alignment of which three levels of use were identified. The earliest dated to the mid 2nd century B.C. As regards the prehistoric levels, dwellings with complex organisation were identified on the lithoid layer of the Agnano-Monte Spina eruption. This was probably the continuation of the village excavated in previous years, situated just to the north. On the level of the first palaeo-ground surface traces of agricultural organisation came to light.
    • In the area destined to house the veterinary clinic there was a late Imperial necropolis with burials within amphorae. The necropolis obliterated what was probably a villa rustica. On the site where the shopping centre will stand, there was a system of beaten earth roads with two main axes. The larger crosses the entire area from north to south, whilst the smaller, in the northern half, runs approximately from east to west. Other late Roman burials in tufa “a cassone” tombs were present in the north-west sector. These probably related to a small agricultural settlement of which only traces were found. Excavations continued on the Bronze Age village in the southern part of the zone, on the so-called palaeo-ground level III, revealing an oval hut (15 x 5 m) and the lines of several cart tracks on a south-south east/ north-north-west alignment. In the same area eleven burials were identified on the volcanic level of the so-called “pomici umificate”, overlying that of the “Agnano-Monte Spina”. Inside the navy “Support Site”, by the crossroads between the VIII cardo, south of the cardo maximus and the I decumanus, west of the decumanus maximus, in the so-called Ager Campanus system, excavation revealed numerous road surfaces. The earliest, on an east-west alignment (circa 7.80 m wide) was a stretch of the VIII decumanus. The small channel running along one of its sides was filled with 2nd-1st century B.C. pottery. The central zone of this area also revealed evidence relating to the Hellenistic period, including several pits and a well filled with a dump of 4th-3rd century B.C. material. A beaten earth road, on an east-west alignment, also came to light, dating from the end of the 4th century B.C. onwards. The 1st century B.C. level was cut in several places by cremation burials, with the remains of ustrina and grave goods comprising terracotta and glass unguentaria.
    • Six burials were uncovered belonging to the earliest phase in the area of the shopping centre. The earliest was a cremation inside a quadrangular hole lined with calcareous stones (last decades of the 9th-first decades of the 8th century B.C.). The ashes were inside a lidded impasto jar accompanied by grave goods comprising a pouring cup, two bowls, an impasto sculpture of a man sitting on a cart drawn by two horses, a miniature knife, a bronze spiral and a miniature dolium. To the east were four burials in earth graves containing geometric and Italo-geometric pottery, bronzes and brown impasto pottery (early Orientalising period). The burials relate to the large necropolis of the early Orientalising period (92 tombs) excavated at circa 900 m to the west. Another necropolis, dating to the first half of the 3rd century B.C. extended to the south of the road and comprised 55 new burials with modest grave goods. The road surfaces were raised at least twice, and a long enclosure wall was built to divide the cemetery area from the agricultural land. East of the wall a small cult area was established comprising an altar and a well with a terracotta well-curb. The well was filled with tiles, pottery (3rd century B.C.), terracotta statuettes of female figures and anatomical ex-votos. Numerous small pits contained coarse pottery, black glaze ware, miniature vases and standing figurines. Between the cult area and the crossroads the remains of two residential buildings (3rd century B.C.) were identified, built of squared tufa blocks faced with tufa chippings, The entire area was obliterated (end of the 2nd-first decades of the 1st century B.C.) and three channels were constructed at the same time as most of the wells in the area went out of use. Between the 1st-2nd century A.D. two small rooms were built and were subsequently altered between the 2nd-3rd century. On the south-west side of the area there was a lime kiln built with squared tufa blocks. Finally, a modest structure, originally formed by two rooms (1st-2nd century A.D.), later altered and enlarged and up against which a well and two “a cassa” tombs were built, dated to the Imperial period.

Bibliography

    • F. Zevi 2004, L’attività archeologica a Napoli e Caserta nel 2003, in Atti del XLIII Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2003), Taranto: 853-923.
    • S. De Caro 2002, L’attività della Soprintendenza archeologica di Napoli e Caserta nel 2001, in Atti del XLI Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2001), Taranto: 635-675.
    • S. De Caro 2001, L’attività della Soprintendenza archeologica di Napoli e Caserta nel 2000, in Atti del XL Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2000), Taranto: 865-905.
    • S. De Caro 2003, L’attività della Soprintendenza archeologica di Napoli e Caserta nel 2002, in Atti del XLII Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2002), Taranto: 569-621.