• Astura
  • Nettuno
  • Italy
  • Lazio
  • Provincia di Latina
  • Latina


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  • No period data has been added yet


  • 300 AD - 800 AD
  • 1100 AD - 1300 AD


    • In the summers of 2007 and 2008 the University of Groningen worked on a section containing archaeological materials, exposed by marine erosion. The location of the site corresponded to the southern edge of the settlement site of Astura, identified by Fabio Piccarreta in the 1970s (Piccarreta 1977, 21). The section contained a single (ex situ) thick band of archaeological materials dating to the Late Roman and Early Medieval period, a phase that so far was almost completely lacking in the dataset built up by the GIA team for the archaeological map of Nettuno (Attema et al. 2010). One of the principal aims of this study was to obtain insight in the material culture of the post-Roman periods, with a specific emphasis on the locally produced utilitarian pottery. The single finds layer yielded predominantly ceramic fragments, but also glass vessels, building materials and metal items, dating between the 4th and 8th centuries AD. Most ceramics proved to belong to crudely made local coarse wares, but a substantial number of fine ware imports, amphorae and oil lamps indicate that Late Roman and Early Medieval south-east Lazio still participated in wider economic trade networks, especially with North Africa. The find of over 150 coins, all small denominations and dating between the 4th and 6th century AD, point to a commercial function of the site. It can be hypothesized that the harbor at Torre Astura, located 300 meters to the north, still functioned as a landing-stage for the settlement. A single structural element was found in the section as well. It represents either a wall or a large foundation block and is made with cement, incorporating large fragments of building materials and ceramic fragments. The structure was cut into the Palaeolithic sabbie rosse and strengthened on both sides by an accumulation of shards and soil. The pottery from this fill provides insight in local material culture in the 7th and 8th centuries AD, after the cessation of large-scale importations (based on analogies with materials found at Crypta Balbi, Rome). Furthermore the fill contained more than 1.000 fragments of so-called ceramica dipinta in rosso, named after its typical decoration of red-painted circles over the body of the vessels. The fragments (more than 1,000 pieces) belong to only a handful of vessel shapes, mostly amforettes, and include several wasters. It is therefore clear that this ware, found in great numbers in the southern peninsula, was produced on this site. The types found at Astura find parallels at Privernum, in strata dating to the late 12th and 13th century AD. This date therefore provides a terminus post quem for the construction of the wall. A thin band of glazed fragments on top of the structure has not been analyzed yet, but should therefore be of Late Medieval or later date. Awaiting further study we must therefore conclude for now that the GIA team identified one of the rare instances of continuity from the Roman periods until the Middle Ages for the study area.


    • P.A.J. Attema, T.C.A. de Haas, G. Tol, 2010, Between Satricum and Antium. Settlement Dynamics in a Coastal Lanscape in Latium Vetus. Babesch Supplement 18.
    • P.A.J. Attema, T. Derks, G. Tol, (in press), The ‘Carta Archeologica’ of Nettuno, evidence for late antique and early medieval settlement on the coast of South Lazio near Antium and Torre Astura (Italy), in Pasquinucci, M., S. Menchelli & S. Santoro (eds.). LRCW 3.
    • P.A.J. Attema, T. Derks, G. Tol, 2011, The ‘Carta Archeologica’ of Nettuno, evidence for late antique and early medieval settlement on the coast of South Lazio near Antium and Torre Astura (Italy), in S. Menchelli, S. Santoro, M. Pasquinucci & G. Guiducci (eds.) LRCW 3. Late Roman Coarse Wares, Cooking Wares and Amphorae in the Mediterranean: Archaeology and Archaeometry. Comparison between Western and Eastern Mediterranean, BAR International Series 2185(I), Archeopress, Oxford, 447-457.
    • G.W. Tol, 2012. A fragmented history. A methodological and artefactual approach to the study of ancient settlement in the territories of Satricum and Antium, Groningen Archaeological Studies 18, Barkhuis Publishing/Groningen University Library, Eelde/Groningen.
    • G.W. Tol & P.A.J. Attema, in press. A road station on the Tabula Peutingeriana. Excavations at Astura, in LRCW 4.
    • G. Tol & T. Kauling, 2012. Opgravingen te Astura (Lazio, Centraal-Italië): de munten, Paleo-aktueel 23, 33-39.