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  • Convento di Urbisaglia
  • Convento di Urbisaglia
  • Urbs Salvia
  • Italy
  • The Marches
  • Provincia di Macerata
  • Urbisaglia

Credits

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Periods

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Chronology

  • 130 BC - 500 AD

Season

    • In 2006 excavations were undertaken on the area south of the temple-cryptoporticus belonging to a series of building complexes of early Imperial date. These were served by a graveled passageway and had clearly undergone structural alterations in the mid-3rd century A.D. The building investigated was named “of the well” after one was found situated in a courtyard area paved with limestone slabs, of the mid-Imperial period, linked to the outside by a stairway. A stretch of basalt road was also brought to light situated on an east-west alignment. Circa 2.10 m wide with footings and pavements it delimits the area of the temple-cryptoporticus to the south. To be noted is the recovery of a large marble krater of Neo-Attic type, whose fragments had been re-used in later walls. Its relief decoration shows a line of female figures (nymphs) who, hand in hand, dance towards the left. Of the original composition only five figures remain, however, the development of the decoration must have included at least another two dancers. The relief is elegant and formal, characterised by the manneristic stylization of the figures which reproposes the ornamental language of the Archaistic style. In the forum area research continued aimed at uncovering the monuments facing onto the piazza to the north and west, in particular the porticoed buildings relating to the main phase of monumentalisation in the Tiberio-Claudian period. The excavation reached down to the earliest phase of the colony of Urbs Salvia (end of the 2nd century B.C.) attested by the remains of buildings, sandstone column bases and beaten pavements. Another building was partially excavated, characterised by a central apsidal pool (the floor of which was in marble from Sciro), abutted by two small almost square spaces, all with waterproof plaster. The structure’s plan and topographical position suggest that it was a small bath complex. (Giovanna M. Fabrini)
    • Le ultime due campagne di scavo (2007-2008) nell’area forense di Urbs Salvia hanno riguardato sia l’indagine in profondità nel settore del Foro civile, ad Ovest della Strada 78 Picena (cardo maximus/tratto urbano della Salaria Gallica), sia ulteriori ricerche a Est della stessa strada nella zona del complesso santuariale Tempio-Criptoportico e Tempietto. Quanto al settore civile, sul lato Ovest della piazza forense in corrispondenza dei portici di età tiberiano-claudia lo scavo ha portato in luce strutture precedenti relative a una serie di basi in arenaria di colonne che sia per il materiale impiegato, sia per i primi dati stratigrafici (lo scavo è tuttora in corso) possono essere assegnati alla fine dell’età tardo-repubblicana o già alla prima età augustea, quando la città conosce un notevole sviluppo urbanistico con l’avvio di un progetto unitario pianificato che coinvolge in primis il centro monumentale, con la definizione degli spazi pubblici e degli assi viarii. Nel settore cultuale del Foro i recenti scavi hanno evidenziato e riportato in luce, a Sud della galleria meridionale del complesso Tempio-Criptoportico di età tiberiano-claudia, una strada lunga più di 70 m, provvista di crepidines e relativi marciapiedi, già dotata di un sistema fognario in età augustea e successivamente basolata in età tiberiana, con pietre in arenaria locale, e più tardi utilizzata - ricoperta da successivi battuti - fino al V secolo d.C. Nell’ambito dell’impianto urbanistico quindi, l’area del Tempio-Criptoportico risulta definita, fin dal suo impianto originario, ad Ovest dal cardo maximus, ad Est dal primo cardine orientale, a Sud dalla strada di cui si è detto, e a Nord plausibilmente da una analoga strada di servizio. E’ stata inoltre avviata l’indagine di scavo in uno degli ambienti (botteghe?) che affacciano sulla Strada Sud, riscontrandone un utilizzo tardo come deposito di macerie e detriti edilizi.
    • Excavations of the preserved area of Road I Cardo East at the junction with the southern road of the Cryptoporticus basically confirmed the stratigraphic sequence established in 2007-2008, but revealed two important new elements. Firstly, the existence of a system of fistulae which ran under the basalt paved road, of which one supplied a fountain situated at the road crossing. The concrete base of the fountain is still preserved, as are the imprints resulting from the laying out of the external facing, including an open space marked by basalt blocks placed in a vertical position and higher than the road level. The water probably flowed into the great drain situated close by and linked to the road drainage system. The drainage system on the southern side of the southern road of the Cryptoporticus was constructed (together with the building “delle acque”) as early as the Augustan period, while the basalt paved road is of the Tiberian period. This indicates that the water supply system for the town, evidence for which comes from two _fistulae_ laid during the preparation of the road, must also be of these periods, presumably from as early as the Augustan period. The aqueduct and cisterns for the use of the citizens realized by _Gaius Fufius Politicus_, freedman of _Geminus_, and placed under the protection of the Nymphs, presumably also existed by the Augustan period. The other important discovery was a series of brick pillars, contemporary with the road axis and arranged in a north-south direction aligned with the internal corner of the road junction. They represent the front of a colonnade which – it is important to note – must have continued on the northern side of the southern road of the cryptoporticus where at least one other pillar has been identified. At the margins of this excavation the eastern limit of the south _temenos_ of the Temple-Crytoporticus was identified, situated some metres from I Cardine Est: given the plan and its location in relationship to the portico, one must ask what was the nature of the monumental entrance to the stretches of the two roads with porticoes to the area behind the sanctuary complex. However, the main fact to note is the clear evidence of the continuity of the double curtain wall of the southern side of the temenos which demonstrates a complex organization of the area behind the Temple. This will be the focus of the 2010 field season. Giovanna M. Fabrini _Area of the Forum_ Research in the area of the Forum was aimed at defining the layout of the buildings facing on to it, both from the north and from the west, and understanding their chronological sequence. Although this investigation is still on-going, a first working hypothesis can be proposed as regards the monumental development of this area of the Roman town. In particular the earliest phases, so far documented by layers of collapse, seem to be of the Republican period. Over these levels a sequence of buildings of a monumental character were later built which from the late Republican-Augustan period define the two sides of the Forum piazza and which only took their definitive shape in the second half of the 1st century AD. Roberto Perna
    • _Forum sector of the Temple-Cryptoporticus_ The archaeological deposit relating to rooms 8 and 9 were investigated, at the inner corner of the crossroads between the I Cardo East and South Road of the cryptoporticus. The trench (denominated P.I.S) revealed the access to the area on the front of the eastern gallery of the cryptoporticus, through a corridor denominated “eastern” which ran between the perimeter of the eastern _temenos_ and the western side of I Cardo East. The portico was formed by three pillars in _opus testaceum_, attested on the eastern front of room 9: together with another pillar situated on the south front, they constituted a covered space providing access to the north, through an opening flanked by two pillars, to a corridor which both to the north and south led into the vestibule opening onto the semi-interred floor of the cryptoporticus. This space, which had an entrance with two columns leading into the eastern gallery of the cryptoporticus, had this function during the monument’s first phase, in the Tiberian period. This function was lost when the vestibule fell out of use, substituted in a second phase, by parallel openings created in two of the rooms facing onto the western corridor of the complex. Therefore, a new monumental entrance was created on the eastern side, linked to the upper floor of the porticoes by the creation of a raised terrace, accessed by a stairway and supported on two rows of pillars linked by rounded archivolts built along the sides of the I Cardo East which became, in correspondence with the eastern front of the temple-cryptoporticus, _a via tecta_. The porticus went out of use in the 2nd century A.D. when the second phase restructuring of the western front was undertaken. The stratigraphy investigated in rooms 8 and 9 clearly showed, starting from the earliest excavated levels, the presence of destruction and robbing layers (beginning-mid 4th century), followed by an alluvial event which affected the entire area (second half of the 4th century). This was followed by wall collapses and further robbing, and the formation of further, even later abandonment layers. These were cut by pits that have produced both medieval and modern materials. During the summer 2010 restoration work was also carried out with the aim of securing, consolidating and conserving two floors in _opus signinum_ and mosaic, found between 2004 and 2006 in the so-called building “delle acque”. This intervention financed by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Macerata and undertaken by the Ditta Sforzini e Mantella Restauratori Associati di Tivoli, also foresaw the creation of a wooden roof as part of a project to open the site to the public. Giovanna M. Fabrini _Forum Area_ The investigations in the forum of _Urbs Salvia_ aimed to investigate the earliest development phases in its north-western sector, in order to integrate the evidence and further define the working hypothesis regarding the monumental evolution of this area of the Roman town. In particular, the first traces of occupation in the area seemed to be linked to the construction, in the Republican period, of a vast trapezoidal room, paved with wooden planks. Following the partial abandonment of this room and its subsequent destruction, in the Republican-Augustan period, a sequence of buildings developed which partially respected the earlier alignments. The layout remained thus until its definitive re-organisation and monumentalisation which, in the mid 1st century A.D. gave the area its final structure. Roberto Perna
    • Nel sito di Pollentia-Urbs Salvia le ricerche, condotte nel periodo dal 30 maggio al 24 giugno, hanno riguardato: l’area a Sud della galleria meridionale del Criptoportico, circa all’altezza dell’incrocio tra il I cardine Est e la Strada Sud basolata, indagando precisamente l’Ambiente 8, affacciato sulla Strada 1440 e il vano 7 attiguo alla Galleria Est del Criptoportico, e precisamente nel Vano denominato 7. L’area civile del Foro, ad Ovest della Strada 78 Picena. Nell’Ambiente 8 lo scavo ha portato in luce strutture attribuibili a fasi diverse, quali i resti di una fornace e quelli di una vaschetta con vasca, compresi i muri di delimitazione dell’ambiente stesso Di questa fornace lo scavo per quanto limitato non ha consentito di acquisire elementi utili a definire esattamente il periodo di costruzione, né di vita, mentre i dati di scavo consentono di fissarne il termine ante quem della distruzione nel corso del III secolo d.C. Per quanto riguarda l’Ambiente 7 aperto sulla galleria orientale del Criptoportico l’indagine ha inteso praticare per la prima volta un intervento di scavo in uno degli Ambienti attigui alla galleria Est del Criptoportico rimettendone in luce i muri perimetrali Nell’area civile del Foro sono proseguite le indagini nei Settori 1, e 2N del Saggio 4 al fine di individuare i rapporti funzionali e cronologici delle strutture indagate a Est ed Ovest del muro 1728, connettendole con quanto gia scavato nel settore 3. Nel Settore 1 sono stati indagati i livelli di distruzione della _porticus duplex_ di età augustea. E raggiunti i livelli legati all’abbandono delle fasi precedenti caratterizzati dalla presenza di numerose tracce di travi in legno carbonizzate. Nel Settore 2N l’ampliamento dello scavo ha consentito di individuare mretti realizzati con ciottoli di fiume legati da malta povera c possono essere collocate in età repubblicana.
    • This year, research on the site of Pollentia-Urbs Salvia concentrated on the area south of the southern gallery of the cryptoporticus, in particular room 7 facing onto the basalt-paved road, and the area of room 8 , divided into rooms “a”, “b” and “c”. The civic forum area west of the ex SS 78 road west of the SS 78 Picena road were also investigated. In room 8, excavation of the kiln identified in 2012 continued. The results showed the kiln was built between the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries A.D., in a phase connected with the reorganisation of the entrances to the cryptoporticus. The structure was of the vertical type with elliptical or sub-rectangular plan and central open channel (Cuomo Di Caprio I/d), associated in particular with the production of cooking jars. It was only used for a short period, which did not go beyond the early 3rd century A.D. Underneath the kiln, levels relating to the Augustan occupation phases were excavated, including a wellhead. The excavations in room 7 removed the topmost and latest occupation levels. The main aim of the research in the civic forum area was the continuation of the excavation in Trench 4, sector 2N, in particular deepening the trench in the northern part of the sector to reach the earliest levels, formed by the remains of cobblestone foundations, which it is thought date to the 2nd century B.C. The mid Republican walls, that also showed the use of bricks in their construction, overlay the early foundations.
    • This season’s research investigated the area south of the southern gallery of the cryptoporticus, in particular room 7 facing onto the road, the area of room 6 adjacent to it on the west side, and the forum area west of the ex SS 78 road. In room 7, investigation continued of the remains of a small pottery kiln. This had an elliptical or sub-rectangular plan, with an open central channel and can be attributed to the C5/C6 (ovoid) type in the “Giordani” typology. Two successive phases of use were documented. In room 6 the excavations went down to a surface (US 2618) characterised by a structure (US 2611) made of sandstone _basoli_, large squared stone blocks and brick/tile, with a small sandstone _cippus_ at the centre. In the forum, the excavations continued in sectors 2N and 3 of trench 4. In the first case, the area was extended to the north, identifying walls of Republican date that integrated with those already excavated further south. Thus, it was possible to define further the layout and structural characteristics of the area for the period astride the 2nd century B.C. In sector 3, later levels were investigated that were connected with the rise in the level of the limestone paving during the last phase of a large building, whose plan was already known and a part of its south-eastern sector excavated.
    • This season’s research investigated the area south of the southern gallery of the cryptoporticus, in particular room 7, to the west of room 8 excavated in 2012-13, and the area of room 5 where the perimeter walls were identified. In the forum area west of the ex SS 78 road, the corner between the north and west sides of the buildings facing onto the square was excavated. In room 7, work continued on the remains of a pottery kiln. It was revealed to be a small rectangular structure with a beaten clay floor. The kiln was cut into the clay and a cordon of baked clay formed the external edge. The remains of three small pillars were preserved, while the arches that would have linked them and the perforated floor had not survived. The sub-circular _praefurnium_ was preserved. The materials associated with the structure suggest a dating of no later than the mid 1st century A.D. Excavations began in room 5, identifying the perimeter, and removing the layers relating to the latest occupation phases. In the forum area, excavation continued in Sectors 2N and 3 in trench 4, both situated on the northern edge of the civic zone of the forum square. In sector 2N, the excavation interrupted in 2013 was completed by removing the clay fill from the foundations of wall US 3451, which formed the western edge of the area. In sector 3, the aim was to complete the investigation inside the quadrangular room at the northern edge of the area, in the trench opened in 2005, where the earliest levels of the 2nd century B.C. settlement were reached. Research also began to the exterior, where a better picture of the structures was gained, and the post-2nd century A.D. phases defined.
    • This season, excavations on the site of Pollentia-Urbs Salvia took place in several sectors: the area south of the southern gallery of the cryptoporticus, by the crossroads between the I cardo East and the basalt-paved South Road, to investigate Room 8 facing onto Road 1440; Room 7 adjacent to the East gallery of the cryptoporticus; the civic area of the forum, west of the Picena Road 78. In Room 8, the excavations uncovered structures from various phases, such as the remains of a kiln, those of a vat and the walls of the room itself. The limited excavation of the kiln did not provide any dating evidence of any use for an exact definition of its construction date or period of use, while the excavation data fixed the _terminus_ _ante_ _quem_ for its destruction within the 3rd century A.D. The exploration of Room 7, which revealed the room’s perimeter walls, was the first time excavation took place in one of the rooms adjacent to the eastern gallery of the cryptoporticus. In the civic area of the forum, the investigations in Sectors 1 and 2N of trench 4 continued with the aim of identifying the functional and chronological relationships between the structures excavated to the east and west of wall 1728, connecting them to what was previously excavated in Sector 3. In Sector 1, the destruction levels of the Augustan _porticus_ _duplex_ were investigated. The abandonment levels of the preceding phases were reached, characterised by the presence of substantial traces of carbonized timber beams. In Sector 2N, the extension of the excavation led to the identification of low cobblestone walls bonded with weak mortar, which can be dated to the Republican period.
    • This season, excavations on the site of _Pollentia-Urbs_ _Salvia_ continued in the area of the temple-cryptoporticus complex, the civic area of the forum (Trench 4) and in Trench 5, north of Trench 4. In the temple-cryptoporticus complex, excavation continued in rooms A5 and A6, south of the southern arm of the cryptoporticus (CSS, cryptoporticus road south). At least four phases were identified. Phase I: construction of the rooms in the Tiberian-Claudian period. Phase II: room A6 was divided into two areas. Phase III: dating to at least the late 2nd century A.D., creation of a single room. Phase IV: the last construction phase, post 3rd century A.D., characterised by a new division of the rooms. The work in the civic area of the forum of _Urbs_ _Salvia_, aimed to continue the investigations in Sector 2N. The Republican phases were represented by two destruction layers and the remains of a cobblestone wall. This occupation phase was interrupted when the already known _porticus_ _duplex_ was built in the Augustan period. The destruction of the _porticus_ was covered by a thin layer of soil mixed with baked earth, on which the walls associated with the subsequent urban reorganisation of the forum were built. Trench 5 was situated in the area where, in 2015 and 2016, geophysical surveys undertaken in collaboration with the University of Camerino, indicated anomalies suggesting the presence of walls that could be associated with a system of fortifications of pre-Augustan date. This season’s research brought to light the superficial structures of an imperial building that was probably a bath complex.
    • In the forum of _Pollentia-Urbs_ _Salvia, the excavations of the Republican building, begun in 2001 and interrupted in 2004, were reopened. The aim was to prepare the area for the construction of the foundations for a fixed roof prior to restoration and the subsequent musealisation of the building. The occupation levels had already been associated with the presence of a _concilibulum_ predating the foundation of the Gracchan colony in c. 118 B.C. The excavations uncovered the partially preserved structures of three kilns, the first (A) situated at the eastern edge of the south room, the second (B) situated further west and the third (C) to the north-west. KILN A Kiln A was covered by a substantial destruction layer that had been levelled prior to the construction of the later building, below which were the levels filling the kiln’s firing chamber. Of interest was a perfectly circular pit on the wall of the firing chamber, perhaps of a ritual nature associated with the construction of the later Republican building like those excavated in previous seasons. KILN B In kiln B the collapse of the firing chamber, of which the base cordon was preserved, was excavated. A pilaster built with tile and baked clay fragments was present at the centre of the firing chamber floor. KILN C The excavation began with the removal of the collapse of the kiln, which overlay the levels of fill and abandonment primarily made up of tile wasters. The fills relating to the abandonment and destruction of kiln C were cut by the pit dug for the construction of kiln B.Sometime after its abandonment, the area of the combustion chamber was occupied by a forge. The excavations documented several main occupation phases in the area. Kiln C belongs to phase one, which was completely destroyed in order to enlarge the small production installation. Kilns A and B date to the second phase; in the third phase, probably not too different in date from the construction of the Republican building, a small forge was built in the area previously occupied by the combustion chamber of kiln C.

FOLD&R

    • Giovanna M. Fabrini. 2007. Urbs Salvia (Urbisaglia, MC): monumenti e complessi edilizi nell’area del Foro . FOLD&R Italy: 82.
    • Giovanna M. Fabrini. 2009. URBS SALVIA (Urbisaglia, MC): indagini di scavo nell’area forense (campagne 2007-2008). FOLD&R Italy: 152.
    • Giovanna M. Fabrini, Roberto Perna. 2010. URBS SALVIA (Urbisaglia, MC). Indagini di scavo nell’area forense (campagna 2009) . FOLD&R Italy: 189.
    • Giovanna M. Fabrini, Roberto Perna. 2011. Urbs Salvia (Urbisaglia, MC): nuove acquisizioni nell’area forense (campagna di scavo 2010) . FOLD&R Italy: 225.
    • Giovanna M. Fabrini, Roberto Perna. 2015. Pollentia - Urbs Salvia (Urbisaglia, MC). Indagini di scavo nell’area forense (campagne 2011 - 2014) . FOLD&R Italy: 341.
    • Roberto Perna, Gianfranco Paci. 2013. Una villa romana nel territorio di Pollentia-Urbs Salvia: Note preliminari sulle indagini archeologiche condotte presso Villa-magna (Urbisaglia – MC) Investigations at Monte Palazzi (Passo Croceferrata, Grotteria, Calabria) and in the Locrian chora in 2010-2012. FOLD&R Italy: 371.

Bibliography

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    • R. Perna, 2006, La decorazione pittorica delle basiliche del teatro di Urbs Salvia, in Picus. Studi e ricerche sulle Marche nell’antichità, 26: 135-50.
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