logo
  • Monte Tezio
  • Monte Tezio
  •  
  • Italy
  • Umbria
  • Provincia di Perugia
  • Perugia

Credits

  • failed to get markup 'credits_'
  • AIAC_logo logo

Monuments

Periods

  • No period data has been added yet

Chronology

  • 1200 BC - 800 BC

Season

    • Archaeological interest was stimulated by the unnatural topography of the hilltop. Enclosed within a perimeter constituted by a double concentric embankment, with a ditch in between, it formed an ellipse (axes 180 m and 160 m), at levels which gradually and noticeably sloped downwards. This enclosure which has been known for some time is perceptible from the ground but above all from the air. The excavation was preceded by a series of surveys using GPS instruments in order to obtain a 3D model of the ground showing its overall layout and original conformation. A total station was used to set out a preliminary network of geo-referenced points on the main topographical features which allowed the precise positioning and anchoring of all recorded excavation data. In this preliminary phase low altitude flights were made in order to make a complete photographic record of the site, documentation which was programmed and undertaken, from a vertical and oblique perspective, in different periods, times and climactic conditions, between May-August 2007. The excavation looked at an area in the western sector of the summit of Monte Tezio, covering circa 150 m2. The area followed the line of the artificial perimeter which was more or less flat and then rose towards the interior and the summit, on a sight slope. A first occupation phase was identified, perhaps seasonal, on the summit. The uniformity of the finds, almost exclusively pottery with the occasional bronze, all fragmentary apart from a large pin, suggested a chronological horizon in the final Bronze Age.
    • The 2008 excavation enlarged the investigation along the western sector of the summit, following the line of the artificial perimeter rising towards the summit, on a sight slope. Here, the terrain showed clear signs of deposits (earth, detritus, materials) caused by hill-wash and wind from the summit area. The in-depth excavation documented its shape and composition. Following this the line of the enclosure’s perimeter appeared better-defined, although certainly incomplete and substantially lower and flatter as the original standing parts had not survived. The latter, dry-stone built, had in part gradually fallen down into the ditch in front, which appeared to present a section that had been deliberately filled. The excavation also looked at a wide area of the internal surface of the enclosure, towards the summit on an east-west alignment. This produced an image of the summit, immediately below present ground level, that was substantially bare and marked only by natural rock outcrops, distinctly fractured into thin layers. None of the many finds recovered to date document occupation phases any later in date than the Bronze Age. However, despite this it cannot be suggested that the site was definitively abandoned. There is also no evidence to suggest changes in the site’s function through time from strategic hub for territorial control and defended settlement to cult site, according to patterns of settlement continuity and discontinuity of function often seen in analogous hilltop situations.
    • The 2009 campaign again looked at the western sector of the summit area of Monte Tezio, extending the excavation area. Along the south-western edge of the trench a long stretch of a sort of external facing was exposed. This had been constructed by fixing large limestone slabs edgeways into the ground and served to contain the thick wall behind it. This wall was a dry-stone structure with a raised embankment. The artificiality of the structure was clearly shown by the arrangement in sequence of its various stone elements and by its outline which followed the artificial line of the summit’s edge, progressively re-entrant and convex. The 2009 campaign confirmed the prolonged occupation of the summit, probably covering several generations. The uniformity of the finds, almost exclusively pottery with the occasional bronze, (all fragmentary apart from large decorated pins) and iron, suggested a chronological horizon in the latter part of the final Bronze Age. However, on the basis of results obtained to date (although the study is on-going) the chronological horizon could be the early Iron Age.
    • La campagna 2010 doveva interessare ancora il settore occidentale dell’area sommitale di Monte Tezio ed estendersi, poi, in più direzioni. Per restituire a un ampio tratto della recinzione perimetrale ed alle aree immediatamente contermini, a monte e a valle, in terrapieno e in fossato, una più sicura configurazione planimetrica, dimensionale e strutturale. Doveva, perché l’inspiegabile diniego da parte della Comunità Montana dei Monti del Trasimeno (che pure negli anni precedenti aveva mostrato interesse e volontà di fattiva collaborazione) del mezzo fuoristrada, indispensabile per raggiungere giornalmente la cima e scenderne, ha di fatto impedito la materiale esecuzione dello scavo. La campagna si è, dunque, realizzata solo attraverso attività di magazzino. Attraverso la classificazione, l’inventariazione, la documentazione grafica e fotografica dei materiali scavati nel corso delle campagne precedenti. E attraverso la ricomposizione, il consolidamento e il restauro di un’ampia e rappresentativa selezione di reperti. Insomma un lavoro intenso e sistematico di documentazione, protrattosi per l’intero periodo previsto di scavo, che è valso, con analitica oggettiva attendibilità documentaria, a definire con sicurezza sempre maggiore le fasi di presenza e di occupazione, ancorché stagionale, della cima del monte da parte di nuclei cospicui di popolazione, per più generazioni. La generalità dei materiali, quasi esclusivamente ceramici allo stato frammentario e più raramente, ma con sempre più frequenti eccezioni, bronzei (soprattutto spilloni decorati) e, ancora più raramente, in ferro, sembra, difatti, ormai delineare un orizzonte cronologico che a partire dalla fase finale dell’Età del Bronzo pare sempre più ragionevolmente e documentatamente attestarsi forse alla Prima Età del Ferro.
    • Work again concentrated on the western sector of the summit of Monte Tezio, extending the excavation area and, in particular, deepening the excavations from the previous campaigns. This led to a clearer definition of the enclosure’s perimeter, despite the fact that it was largely lowered, with respect to its original height and flattened by collapse and land slippage. The bad state of preservation was also due to its substantial instability. Several new stretches of “facing” came to light along the south-western edge of the excavation area. These were constituted by large limestone slabs fixed vertically into the ground, functioning as containment for the thick walls to the rear. These walls comprised dry-stone built structures and embankments. The construction of the wall attests great ability, from the arrangement in sequence of the various stone components, to the line itself, which uniformly followed the summit edge, progressively re-entrant and convex, even though only surviving at ground level and in discontinuous sections. Inside the perimeter wall, the excavation revealed a just as ingenious arrangement of cobbles and mediums-sized slabs, similarly fixed vertically in the ground. In the absence of postholes, this arrangement probably served as the base for the supporting elements of timber walls. Hearths characterised by substantial concentrations of pottery and animal bones were found in association with the cobble and slab structure. The 2011 campaign confirmed the prolonged occupation phase on the hill summit. The finds were almost exclusively pottery and occasional bronze artefacts (however, as documented in 2009, with increasingly frequent exceptions: mainly large decorated pins), glass paste and even more rarely iron. They provide a chronological horizon, beginning in the final phase of the Bronze Age and continuing into the early Iron Age.
    • The 2012 campaign, like the 2010 season, came to an enforced halt. The intention had been to investigate the western and northern sectors of the summit area of Monte Tezio, then to extend in other directions in order to improve the plans of the perimeter enclosure (embankment and ditch) and adjacent areas, both up and down hill. The intention had also been to check the excavation results from previous campaigns, at least in some sectors. None of this was possible due to the lack of a vehicle for reaching the site. Therefore, some survey work took place, mainly in order to check the condition of the earlier excavations and, more generally, the surface of the site. In practice this turned into a finds season, which served, through study and documentation of the excavated materials from previous years, to confirm the occupation phases on the hilltop, even though seasonal, of large groups of individuals, for several generations, defining a chronological horizon that beginning in the late Bronze Age appears to extend into the early Iron Age.
    • This excavation’s fate is clear. After the forced interruption in 2010 and 2012, the 2013 campaign suffered another stoppage at the end of the three-year concession. The excavations were intended to investigate the western and northern sectors of the summit area of Monte Terzio and extend in other directions in order to more accurately define the plan, dimensions and structures of larger stretches of the perimeter earthwork and ditch enclosure and of adjacent areas. In some sectors the excavations were to be deepened. However, once again lack of funding and availability of a four-wheel drive vehicle for getting up to the summit each day prevented the season from taking place. As in 2012, the only fieldwork that took place was some survey. The cataloguing, graphic and photographic documentation of the material from previous campaigns continued alongside new seminars and laboratory work. The latter involved the Department of European Prehistory at Perugia University and the Archaeological Superintendency. In other words, in place of the excavation assiduous attention was concentrated on the documentation, which confirmed the occupation phases, however seasonal, of the summit by substantial nucleuses of people for several generations, in a period mainly centred around the final phases of the Bronze Age. It has been decided not to request the renewal of the excavation permit in order to concentrate on the study and publication of the site and materials.

Bibliography

    • G. Fontana di Sacculmino, 2007, Ecomuseo Colli del Tezio, in “L’Ingegnere Umbro” XV, 12 [63]: 16-18.
    • M. Matteini Chiari, L. Mattacchioni, 2007, Archeologi sulla vetta del Tezio, in “L’Ingegnere Umbro”, XV, 12 [63]: 19.
    • M. Matteini Chiari, 1997, Umbria dal cielo. La fotografia aerea non al servizio dell’archeologia, in Assisi e gli Umbri nell’antichità, atti del Convegno internazionale di studi sull’Umbria nell’antichità, 18-21 dicembre 1991, Assisi: 431-481, in particolare 434-437 e 464-466.
    • M. Matteini Chiari, 1979/1980, La ricognizione per un’ipotesi di definizione territoriale: il territorio eugubino in età preromana, in Annali della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia. Università degli Studi di Perugia 17, n. s. 3: 211-221.
    • M. Matteini Chiari, L. Mattacchioni, 2008, Archeologia in quota. Lo scavo di monte Tezio, in “Il Gruspigno”, Giornale dell’Ecomuseo Colli del Tezio, I, 1: 4.
    • M. Matteini Chiari, 2009, Monte Tezio 2009. La terza campagna di scavo, in “Il Gruspigno”, Giornale dell’Ecomuseo Colli del Tezio, II, 4: 4.
    • L. Mattacchioni, 2009, Riscoprendo la storia sul Tezio: chi, come e quando, in “Il Gruspigno”, Giornale dell’Ecomuseo Colli del Tezio, II, 4: 4.
    • L. Matacchioni, 2013, The frontier territory to the right of the middle corse of the Tiber: Monte Tezio, in Atti Convegno “Frontiers of the European Iron Age”, Cambridge 20-22 Settembre 2013, in stampa.