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  • Molino San Vincenzo
  • Molino San Vincenzo
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  • Italy
  • Tuscany
  • Florence
  • Scandicci

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Monuments

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Chronology

  • 200 BC - 400 AD
  • 1600 AD - 1900 AD
  • 1400 AD - 1800 AD

Season

    • The site of ‘Molino San Vincenzo’ occupies a cultivated field situated in the Pesa valley, on the lower slopes on the left side of the river. Close to the Roman villa of ‘Del Vergigno’, the ‘Molino San Vincenzo’ also forms part a uniform landscape of _villae_. A survey of the field identified a large surface scatter of archaeological material, but also a smaller concentration, 50 x 50 m, the object of this year’s excavations. The pottery confirmed the identification of the site as an agricultural/rural settlement of high social standing. The excavation began in August 2012 with the opening of two rectangular trenches – area 1 was 10 x 10 m and area 2 of 10 x 5 m. Seventeen people took part, including fourteen students from the universities of Erlangen and Vienna. Two linear concentrations of stones forming two parallel lines on a SW-NE alignment flanked by various fills were uncovered in the eastern sector of area 1. This structure was identified as a road with lateral ditches. The finds, mainly pottery fragments, nails, bronze and bone objects all of varying dates from the Roman to modern period, suggest that the road was built in the years subsequent to 1800. However, the finds were of importance as the pottery provided a vast panorama including black gloss ware, terra sigillata and African productions. The main result of the excavation in trench 2 (5 x 10 m) was the discovery of a dry-stone wall. It was 60 cm wide and formed an L-shaped corner. Built in a vast foundation trench, the wall was exposed at a depth of about 50 cm. To the west, it continued beyond the trench edge. The construction technique and the finds suggest a date in the middle or late imperial period. A pit filled with Roman material, above all _dolia_ fragments was excavated in the north-western corner of the trench. The find of a large lump of _opus caementicium_ and mosaic _tesserae_ attests the high status of the Roman structure at Molino San Vincenzo.
    • The site 'Molino San Vincenzo' occupies a cultivated field located in the Pesa-valley at the first hill slopes of the left bank of the river. 'Molino San Vincenzo' is part of a homogeneous villae landscape and situated near the Roman villa 'Del Vergigno'. The campaign of 2013 was started on September 2nd and finished on September 22nd. Because of the holistic and integrated approach concerning the archaeological studies at the site Molino San Vincenzo, various field activities such as an intensive survey of the area, a geophysical prospection and an excavation were conducted. 13 people attended at the excavation, including 11 students from the University of Vienna. The intensive systematic survey was carried out in the surroundings of Molino San Vincenzo and covered an area of approx. 2.3 hectares. The survey area was subdivided into grids of 10 x 10 meters in which the surveyors were regularly arranged in two groups of four people per grid, gathering all the materials on the surface, especially fragments of tiles and ceramics. The spatial distribution of the material indicates zones of high human activity at Molino San Vincenzo. An absolute maximum of artifacts can be found in a well-defined area in the northwest of the field, corresponding to the geophysical investigations which also recognized a dense pattern of archaeological structures in this zone. Low concentrations of archaeological finds were recorded in the south-east of the survey area. The geophysical survey was carried out by the Austrian Archaeological Institute from September 3rd until September 6th. An area of more than 4 hectares was investigated on both sides of the current local road. The most significant results have been achieved in the field of Molino San Vincenzo, where the excavation and the survey are located both. The most important result of the survey was the identification of an architectural complex in the northern half of the field. The magnetic anomalies indicate a rectangular structure of 57 x 64 meters, forming a building. This building is organized into four distinct areas with a central courtyard. Three out of this four areas are arranged around the courtyard and are apparently divided into multiple compartments to form the residential part of the building. The fourth area can be found approx. 7 meters from this main building and may probably be characterized as a warehouse. The excavation (trench 2/2013) was conducted in a trench of 6.30 x 6.80 meters, continuing last year’s work in trench 2. Partially identical to the section of 2012, trench 2 was enlarged towards the south and east considerably. Archaeological investigations resulted in the excavation of a foundation wall out of various sized stones and the foundation trench, already known from 2012’s excavations. By the fact that the foundation trench has significant bigger dimensions than the footing of the foundation itself the trench had been refilled with geological sediments as additional enforcement. All material found within the foundation can be dated to the roman imperial period. In the east of trench 2 a small section of another foundation was excavated, built in a different building technique. Aside this second foundation a fireplace was located. In the northern part of trench 2 three small circular post (?) holes were recorded, possible as evidence of lightweight architecture. In the western part of the excavated area a complex accumulation of fills was recorded almost all devoid of archaeological material. The southwestern part of the trench is characterized by a series of linear stone rows as the possible remains of a modern vineyard.
    • The site of ‘Molino San Vincenzo’ is situated in the Pesa valley, on the lower hill slopes on the left side of the river. Close to the ‘Del Vergigno’ Roman villa, this site fits into a very homogeneous landscape of _villae_. This season’s excavations continued on from last year’s work. Fifteen people took part, including 11 students from Vienna University. The excavations were concentrated in a 116 m2 trench that partially covered area 2 of the 2012 excavations, but was substantially enlarged towards the south and west. A wall built of different sized stones was uncovered that continued to the north where the foundation trench and wall itself were visible. The fill in the foundation trench was excavated down to the yellowish bedrock. Further to the south, the remains of an _opus_ _signinum_ floor on a make-up of cobblestones were exposed. The excavated materials dated to the imperial period, in particular the first two centuries A.D. Important evidence for the reconstruction of trading routes was provided by a stamp on a late Italic sigillata plate and fragments of amphora from various imperial provinces. A large pit full of waste materials was uncovered in the western part of the excavation area. Based on the presence of glazed pottery, this may be interpreted as a kiln for recycling dating to the Renaissance period.
    • The site ‘Molino San Vincenzo’ is part of a network of roman villas and situated in an agriculturally used landscape within the middle Arno- and the Pesa-valley. In 2015, the excavation campaign was conducted from August 3rd until August 22th and continued last year’s work with a staff of 19 people in total, including 11 students from the University of Vienna. To do so, trench 2 of 2014 was significantly enlarged to south and west to a dimension of 193,16 sqm. The discovery of the continuation of a foundation wall made from sandstone (which has been discovered in 2012 already) in east-west direction was of high importance. Additionally, this foundation wall was disturbed by another more recent concentration of stones of varying sizes. Further it was possible to identify a round shaped furnace, which is characterized by reddish earth and layers of charcoal in the praefurnium as well as in the lower part of the mid-sized combustion chamber. This chamber was filled with a large amount of opus doliare and numerous fragments of pottery dating back to the Roman age as well. The ancient pottery found during the campaign suggests a datation from the late republican age to the fifth century AD and gives an idea of the lively exchange of goods with the Mediterranean region. A cumulation of metallurgical furnaces characterized by round shaped reddish layers as well as slagfragments and a drainage consisting out of multiple rows of river pebbles, refilled with fragments of roman tiles and large pieces of cocciopesto, can both be dated by glazed pottery to the modern era and show the very complex history of the post-Roman site 'Molino San Vincenzo'.
    • Within a network of roman villae the site 'Molino San Vincenzo' is situated in an agriculturally used region in the mid-Arno- and Pesa-valley. The excavation of 2016’s season lasted from August 23rd to September 10th 2016: Two trenches of 25 sqm (trench 3) and 30 sqm (trench 4) were examined. While trench 3 had a square-shaped layout, trench 4 was rectangular shaped. In trench 3 a concentration of pebbles mixed with fragmented tiles and ceramic vessels was discovered as the only excavation unit (US200 / S3). The pottery can be dated to the roman imperial period, however, a finding of a plastic shotgun shell demonstrates a modern intervention. In trench 4 a compact layer of gravel (thickness approx. 40 cm) was discovered (US400 / S4). This layer was vacant of anthropogenic finds. Eastwards of US400 / S4 the eventual filling of a trench (US200 / S4, US800 / S4) was excavated, characterized by refilled geological sediments up to a depth of approx. 0.68 m. Through an enlargement of trench 4 to the east, a layer of dumped pebbles and some tile fragments of uncertain interpretation and dating was found (US700 / S4). Additionally, a circular arrangement of stones was excavated characterized by a layer of reddish earth, coal, and pieces of baked clay as well as pottery fragments (US1300 / S4). Inside this small structure a bottom of a pot was found, which is comparable with finds from Monterreggi, the villa of San Vincenzino, and the area around of Siena. Beneath of this layer the same gravels like in US400 / S4 were found. The whole excavation has been documented completely digitally using a total station (Leica TS06plus) as well as RTK-GNSS (Leica Viva GS14), a tablet (Apple iPad mini 4), a DSLR (Nikon D7500), an action camera (GoPro HERO4 Silver) for meta-recording of the excavation process itself and various other equipment. Through an extensive use of ‘image based modeling’ methods georeferenced 3D models of every single archaeological layer were calculated.
    • Within a network of roman villae the site 'Molino San Vincenzo' is situated in an agriculturally used region in the mid-Arno- and Pesa-valley. The excavation of the season 2017 lasted from August 6 till August 26 and resulted in the examination of an area called S4/2017. Based on the results derived during excavation work in trench 4 in 2016 and the data obtained by the geophysical prospection (magnetics) in 2013, the new trench was significantly enlarged from c. 30 sqm in 2016 to an extent of c. 121 sqm in 2017. All archaeological layers and interfaces where removed stratigraphically by hand. The stratigraphic units and relations were recorded fully digital in 3D applying a standardized workflow, using a total station (Leica Flexline TS06plus), AutoCAD 2018, TachyCAD (FARO Box 18.0), and Harris Matrix Composer (2.0 b). Additionally, the archaeological features were documented photographically enabling the production of ‘conventional’ archaeological documentation photos as well as geo-referenced digital surface models applying image-based-modeling (structure-from-motion and multiple-vie-stereo/Agisoft PhotoScan 1.3.x). All data were managed using a geographic information system (ArcGIS 10.4 and QGIS 2.18.x ‘Las Palmas’). As already noticed during past excavations, the archaeological record has been heavily damaged by deep plowing. Traces of the plows can be found on various locations inside trench 4 (IF 3/6/S4/2017). Aside from some deposits without any finds (e.g. US 1100/S4/2017), however, several meaningful archaeological structures were made: As already partially excavated in 2016, a massive linear structure (c. 11 x 1.7 m, thickness c. avg. 0.9 m) was found, combining a foundation trench and a foundation wall made of pebbles, incorporating a post hole (diameter c. 0.6 m, depth c. 1.2 m). The refilling of the foundation wall consisted out of material which was partially mixed with quite a lot of charcoal and artefacts (USS 1000/ 1200/ 1300/ 1400/ 1500/ 1700/ 1800/ 2000/ 2600/2700/2800, IF 5/7/S4/2017). The linear feature clearly corresponds to the equivalent and very prominent anomaly measured during the geophysical survey (magnetics) in 2013 and proofs the magnetic data in this case. The whole foundation as well as the refilling material were located below the plow zone and therefore relatively well preserved. Additionally, a drainage (US 2900/S4/2017) was uncovered, presumably dating to modern times as it cuts through the layers covering the foundation trench approximately perpendicularly. A shallow ditch (IF 4/S4/2017) runs in a distance of c. 9 m slightly parallel to US 2900/S4/2017 and may be also seen as the remnant of a former modern drainage. The whole foundation trench as well as the other features had been carved into a Pleistocene riverbed (e.g. US 3100/S4/2017), marking the geological sediments – this was additionally proofed by a sounding (IF 13/S4/2017) which was placed in the centre of the trench.

Bibliography

    • L. Alderighi – G. Schörner – L. Terreni, Montespertoli (FI). Loc. Molino San Vincenzo: Campagna di scavo 2011, Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana 7, 2011 [2013], 245-247; (68)
    • G. Schörner – L. Terreni, Montespertoli (FI). Loc. Molino San Vincenzo: Campagna di scavo 2012, Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana 8, 2012 [2014], 332-334.
    • L. Alderighi, G. Schörner, L. G. Terreni, 2013, Montespertoli (FI). Loc. Molino San Vincenzo: Campagna di scavo 2011, Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana 7, 2011, 245-247
    • G. Schörner, L. G. Terreni, 2014, Montespertoli (FI). Loc. Molino San Vincenzo: Campagna di scavo 2012, Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana 8, 2012, 332-334.
    • G. Schörner, S. Groh, D. Hagmann, V. Schreck, L. G. Terreni, 2014, Montespertoli (FI): Molino San Vincenzo – Campagna di scavo 2013. Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana 9, 2013, 310–314.
    • G. Schörner, D. Hagmann, V. Schreck, Die site Molino San Vincenzo, Archäologie Österreichs 26 (2), 2015, 56–59
    • G. Schörner, D. Hagmann, V. Schreck, L.G. Terreni, Montespertoli (FI). Loc. Molino San Vincenzo: Campagna di scavo 2015 (concessione di scavo), NotATos 11, 2015 [2016], 151–153.