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  • Proprietà “Il Gombito”
  • Ariano Ferrarese (Mesola, Fe)
  • Insula Hatriani
  • Italy
  • Emilia-Romagna
  • Provincia di Ferrara
  • Mesola

Credits

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Monuments

Periods

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Chronology

  • 100 BC - 500 AD

Season

    • An inscription of the _gens_ _Pontia_ on a Dressel 2-4 amphora from Ariano Ferrarese (Mesola, Ferrara). The investigations undertaken at Ariano Ferrarese uncovered a settlement that grew up in the 1st century B.C. close to the via Popillia and the bed of a river that was navigable in antiquity. The excavated area had been used as a midden and contained pottery of various types: black glaze, Schwarze-sigillata, Terra Sigillata Italica, amphorae, grey ware, coarse and fine plain wares. Many of the artefacts presented well-preserved and legible stamps and graffiti. The presence of wasters (a deformed coarse ware _lagynos_ handle, a vitrified grey ware cup, a sigillata plate with a brown fabric and patchy and blackened surface, a dented thin-walled jar) suggests the presence of one or more kilns within the settlement. The neck of a Dressel 2-4 amphora with an inscription inside a rectangular cartouche (3.5 x 0.7 cm) is of particular interest. It is perfectly preserved, however, at present no published parallels have been found. The groups of letters are separated by clearly visible triangles, both to the naked eye and on rubbings. It reads: GA•PON•VA with a clear connection between the letters G and A. The stamp is singular because of the difficulty in to interpreting the abbreviation and identifying the individual named. The minute triangles might simply be traces left by the die, without any meaning within the inscription, or may be deliberate. If the second hypothesis is taken as correct, the inscription would read GA(_ius_ or _Gavius_) PON(_tius_) VA(_lens_?). This reading raises a number of questions, as no amphora stamps attributable to the _gens_ _Pontia_ are known. The _Gavius_ _Pontius_ of the Ariano amphora might be a descendant of the Samnite condottiere of the same name who led the Romans through the Caudine Forks in the battle that took place in 321 B.C. (Livy, Hist. IX and Periochae, XI-XV). Members of this family did not hold any important offices during the Republican period: the only _cognomen_ that has come down to us is that of _L._Pontius_ _Aquila_, one of Caesar’s assassins, mentioned by Suetonius in The Lives of the Twelve Caesars L. VIII, LXXVIII. The names of members of this family who held consular office in the imperial period are well-known to historians: _Marcus_ _Pontius_ _Sabinus_, _Marcus_ _Pontius_ _Laelianus_ and _Gaius_ _Pontius_ _Pilatus_ prefect of the Roman province of Judea under the emperor Tiberius. It is possible that a production of amphora existed stamped with the name of a member of the _gens_ _Pontia_ previously unknown to the historical sources.

FOLD&R

    • Giulia Lodi. 2014. Ariano Ferrarese (Mesola, Ferrara): lo scavo, le anfore inscritte e gli opercola. Una prima analisi. FOLD&R Italy: 319.
    • Giulia Lodi. 2016. Testimonianze materiali dal territorio di Ariano Ferrarese (proprietà “Il Gombito”, Mesola - Ferrara). Alcuni casi di studio: anfore, lucerne, vasi potori a pareti sottili . FOLD&R Italy: 372.

Bibliography

    • G. Lodi, Ritrovamenti di anfore ad Ariano Ferrarese (comune di Mesola, Ferrara), tesi di laurea discussa presso l'Università degli Studi di Padova (A.A. 2008-2009), relatrice Prof.ssa Stefania Pesavento Mattioli. Inedita