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  • Le Guardiole
  • Santa Marinella
  • Castrum Novum
  • Italy
  • Latium
  • Rome
  • Santa Marinella

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Monuments

Periods

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Chronology

  • 299 BC - 499 AD

Season

    • During September 2010, work concentrated on the graphic and photographic documentation of the ruins of the _balneum_ of “le Guardiole” and the ruins in the sea, visible in section, along the stretch of coastline between “Torre Chiaruccia” and “Casale Alibrandi”. Edoardo Bruni (Società Poseidon) undertook a first campaign of underwater survey. The visible remains of the _balneum_ of “le Guardiole”, traditionally attributed to a Roman villa, are divided into eight rooms orientated north-west/south-east, facing onto the south side of the via _Aurelia vetus_. Stratigraphic analysis of the walls documented a number of differences in interpretation, with respect to the conclusions previously proposed by researchers, identifying at least four phases for the complex, including one perhaps dating to the early medieval period. The _balneum_ of "le Guardiole", was traditionally attributed to a Roman villa, to which the fish pools situated west of the "le Guardiole" ditch were also thought to belong. An analysis of the archaeological remains documented on land and in the sea in this sector, showed that there is no coherence in the alignment of this group of structures. On the contrary, from a topographical point of view there are analogies between the _balneum_ and another building also orientated on the same axis as the via _Aurelia vetus_. The short distance between them could even suggest that they were part of a single complex, strictly connected to the road, whose first abandonment should be dated to that of the road (Trajanic-Hadrianic period). The ruins of _Castrum Novum_ in the sea are documented by an interesting stratigraphic section extending for hundreds of metres along the coastline north of Santa Marinella, between "Torre Chiaruccia" and "Casale Alibrandi". The section is divided into two large sectors revealing two different archaeological realities but which give an idea of the limits of the Roman town and the occupation of the site, before the foundation of the colony in 264 B.C. In the western sector two levels were identified datable more or less to the Villanovan period, characterised by a series of occupation layers and very compact layers of pottery fragments. The eastern secto revealed a series of Roman buildings. Among these a second _balneum_ with an apse, preserved to a height of at least 1.50 m, and a cappuccina burials, unfortunate destroyed by illegal excavation.
    • During the 2013 season, the main discoveries were made in the _balneum_ and the square building both situated in the area of the Guardiole. In the _balneum_, a robber trench was excavated inside the room identified as the _frigidarium_. Elongated in shape, it cut a drain that crossed the complex on a north-east alignment and the fill contained numerous brick fragments from the facing of the parapets. There was no modern material within the fill, suggesting that the robber trench was dug shortly after the abandonment of the _balneum_, in order to remove a drain cover for reuse. In the area in front of the entrance (room 5) into the _caldarium_ and its _praefurnium_ (room 6), the extension of the excavation towards the west revealed two new walls that seemed to delimit the corridor leading to room 6. A lead _fistula_ with an inscription was found in layer US 202, the first layer free of modern material. The pipe was c. 50 cm long and at least 5 cm in diameter. One side of the _fistula- had been cut in order to recoup part of the metal. As regards the square building, which had been identified as part of the villa, the materials found in the portico and in two rooms may indicate the presence of a commercial activity, perhaps linked to the sale of fish. The position of the complex, open onto the road, and its plan similar to that of a large atrium _domus_ of Pompeian type, could indicate it was used for a purpose other than agricultural production. It is worth considering the possibility that at least during the imperial occupation phase, in the 1st and 2nd century A.D., the building could have been transformed into a _caupona_, an inn with attached structure for selling fish and a small hotel with _balneum_ for travellers on their way to and from _Centumcellae_. The pottery and coins found to date suggest that the first construction took place in the second half of the 3rd century B.C., or at the latest in the mid 2nd century B.C. The subsequent occupation phases, between the 1st century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D., is well-documented. The final occupation phase was dated by the presence of African kitchenwares and several coins issued during the reign of Commodus, between 183 and 189 A.D., a sesterce of Septimius Severus of 197-198 A.D., and in particular a sesterce of Alexander Severus minted in 231 A.D. In the light of the available evidence, it is likely that the building was abandoned sometime after the mid 3rd century A.D., at the latest the end of that century or in the first decades of the 4th century when a child was buried in a late African amphora placed in the ruins of the _balneum_.
    • This season’s research concentrated on the areas south of the le Guardiole bath complex (Zone A, Sector 1, Room 8), west of the latrine (room 5) and north of room 4, where only part of the fill of a quadrangular cistern, which supplied water to the _balneum_, was excavated (room 9). The cistern was filled by a thick layer (US 300) that contained numerous fragments of painted plaster (mainly red), fragments of marble slabs and tiles covered in layers of mortar, probably from the dismantled hypocaust floors in the heated rooms. The finds included ARS and African cooking ware in addition to a pin with an oval head and a _ligula_ (small spoon) for ointments. The new excavations in sector 2 of zone A provided further evidence for the quadrangular complex, defined as a villa, opening directly onto the _via glareata_ that has been identified as the bed of the via _Aurelia Vetus_. More specifically, room 5 was excavated revealing the presence of a _dolium_ embedded in the northern corner of the room. In the adjacent room 4, a drainage channel was excavated. Made of overlapping imbrices it cut across almost the entire room. As the investigations stand, the so-called “quadrangular building” seems to present anomalous characteristics with respect to what is usually seen in known rural villas in the territory on the Tyrrhenian side of Etruria. The position of the complex, opening onto a road, and its plan similar to that of a large atrium _domus_, could indicate a function other than agricultural production. It is worth considering the possibility that at least in the imperial occupation phase, in the 1st-2nd century A.D., the building was transformed into a _caupona_, a tavern that also sold fish products, to which was attached a small hotel with a _balneum_ for travellers on their way to and from _Centumcellae_. During this campaign, a first photogrammetry survey of the structures visible along the section on the seaward side of zone B and of part of the structures in sectors 1 and 2 in zone A was undertaken by Véronique Picard (IRAA-CNRS, Université de Pau) and Aurélia Lureau (Université Paris 1 - UMR 8215 du CNRS).
    • The 2015 campaign concentrated on the area in front of the Casale Alibrandi in the locality of Bufalareccia (Zone D), where during the 18th and 19th centuries, the remains of the ancient city were excavated. Three _sondages_ were opened in an area situated immediately east of the SS 1 (via Aurelia). The first (_sondages_ 1), revealed a stretch of the 3rd century B.C. _castrum_ walls, built in _opus_ _quadratum_ of blocchi scaglia, about three metres wide. A number of rectangular rooms, aligned east-west, were present directly north. At present, their function is unknown. These rooms, datable to the Republican period, had already been identified by a magnetometer survey undertaken in 2011, which made it possible to reconstruct the topography of the ancient settlement. Several areas of a probable “piazzale” paved in basolato, in the area immediately outside the _castrum_ (to the south) appeared in _sondages_ 3. A number of structures faced on to these areas, most had been obliterated by a modern road. Some, like the basolato, were documented during a rescue excavation in the 1980s. Further north (_sondages_ 2), the excavation uncovered a series of structures relating to three occupation phases, whose chronology remains to be clarified. The latest was attested by four walls in _opus_ _mixtum_ one metre wide, in a radial arrangement and orientated east-west. The particular form of this structure suggests it was a substructure for a semicircular building, possibly a cavea. The project to enhance all of the area investigated from 2010 onwards (zones A and D) was begun having been recently approved by the local administration. The project will provide for the restoration of the ruins uncovered to date, with a view to the creation of an archaeological park in the future.
    • The 2016 excavations took place in the ancient urban area facing the Casale Alibrandi, on the low rise situated at km 64.400 of the via Aurelia, in the locality of Capo Linaro (Santa Marinella). Work continued in two sectors that were investigated last year (Sectors DI and DIII) and three new ones were opened: D IV, D V, and D VI. In Sector D I, the excavation of room 2 continued where the exploration of the foundation stratigraphy confirmed the dating of the first construction to within the first half/mid 3rd century B.C. In room 1, the work started last year was continued. In Sector D III, the excavation area was extended towards the via Aurelia exposing another section of the basalt-paved “Piazzale” and the investigation of the walls just visible above ground nearby. The stratigraphy has begun to reveal occupation that continued until at least the 4th century A.D. A new sector D IV was opened in order to continue the excavation of the Roman colony’s large fortification wall, discovered in 2015, whose presence was picked up by the magnatometry survey. The excavations exposed a section of the wall about 30 m long and 2.80/3.00 m wide, built in a chipped _opus_ _quadratum_. One course was preserved on top of the foundations, the blocks placed with the short side facing outwards. Immediately next to the wall, on the exterior side, two late antique tombs were excavated, one a tile-lined grave, the other a simple earth grave. The remains of three rooms emerged abutting the interior side of the wall, preserved almost at foundation level, one of which revealed traces of a figured mosaic floor with white and black geometric motifs. The materials indicate occupation between the 3rd and 5th century A.D., with traces of prehistoric (Bronze Age?) and Etruscan occupation. A fragment of a rough terracotta lid with an Etruscan inscription was found. In the new sector D V, situated within the ancient urban area, the remains of at least four different rooms were identified, built in stone and clay. They were part of the same residential complex investigated in sector D I, already seen in the survey. Here, the stratigraphy also documented occupation phases dating to between the 3rd and 4th century A.D. _Opus _ _spicatum_ floors dating to the imperial phase were clearly visible, although cut by various modern robber trenches. In sector D VI, a trench of limited size, a small section of extra-urban stratigraphy was investigated, which included several channels cut into the terrain and partially lined with _opus_ _signinum_. Occupation until at least the 4th century A.D. was documented.

Bibliography

    • F. Enei, S. Nardi Combescure, G. Poccardi, V. Cicolani, 2016, « Castrum Novum (Santa Marinella, prov. de Rome) », Chronique des activités archéologiques de l’École française de Rome [En ligne], Italie centrale, mis en ligne le 29 février 2016, consulté le 27 novembre 2016. URL :http://cefr.revues.org/1492 ; DOI : 10.4000/cefr.1492,
    • F. Enei, 2016, Castrum Novum. Storia e archeologia di una colonia romana nel territorio di Santa Marinella, Quaderno 3, Acquapendente.
    • http://www.archeo.ens.fr/IMG/pdf/CN-2.pdf
    • F. Enei, M. L. Haack, S. Nardi Combescure, G. Poccardi, Castrum Novum. Storia e archeologia di una colonia romana nel territorio di Santa Marinella, Santa Marinella, 2011 (Quaderno n. 1).
    • F. Enei, M. L. Haack, S. Nardi Combescure, G. Poccardi, Castrum Novum. Chronique des campagnes de septembre 2010 et septembre 2011, Chronique des activités archéologiques de l’École française de Rome, 2012 (http://cefr.revues.org/616).
    • F. Enei, M. L. Haack, S. Nardi Combescure, G. Poccardi, Castrum Novum. Storia e Archeologia di una colonia romana nel territorio di S. Marinella, Acquapendente, 2013 (Quaderno n. 2).
    • M. L. Haack, S. Nardi-Combescure, G. Poccardi, F. Enei, N. André, V. Picard, Castrum Novum. Chronique de la campagne de septembre 2012 (http://cefr.revues.org/862?lang=it).
    • L. Desibio, F. Enei, S. Nardi Combescure, G. Poccardi, V. Sia, M. T. Levanto, A. Squaglia, 2015, The Castrum Novum project : History and Archaeology of a Roman Colony (Santa Marinella, Rome, Italy), International Journal of Archaeology, Specia Issue : Archeological Sciences, 3, p. 62-75.
    • F. Enei, M. L. Haack, S. Nardi-Combescure, G. Poccardi, L. Desibio, M. Galletti, A. Squaglia, D.Vattier, 2014, Castrum Novum (Santa Marinella, prov. de Rome), in Chronique des activités archéologiques de l’École française de Rome [En ligne], Italie centrale, mis en ligne le 15 mai 2014, consulté le 19 décembre 2014.
    • F. Enei, S. Nardi-Combescure, G. Poccardi, J. Benes, M. Galletti, K. Kodydkova, A. Lureau, K. Paclikova, M. Preusz, A. Squaglia,2015, Castrum Novum (Santa Marinella, prov. de Rome), Chronique des activités archéologiques de l’École française de Rome [En ligne], Italie centrale, mis en ligne le 24 juin 2015, consulté le 25 juin 2015.