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  • Torre di Satriano
  • Torre di Satriano
  • Satrianum
  • Italy
  • Basilicate
  • Provincia di Potenza
  • Satriano di Lucania

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Periods

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Chronology

  • 1100 AD - 1200 AD
  • 600 BC - 50 AD
  • 1300 AD - 1500 AD

Season

    • The investigation has been completed of the area of the sanctuary excavated by Emanuele Greco (Università Orientale di Napoli) in 1987-88. Trench I revealed two long ditches filled with dark earth and debris (second half of the 4th - first half 3rd century B.C.). The first trench contained numerous fragments of plain common ware and black glaze ware, thymiateria, loom weights (one with a graffito of Greek letters), terracotta figurines some of which relate to the Paestum type showing the goddess enthroned, wearing a polos and holding a phiale in her right hand. The second ditch produced female figurines and thymiateria, an iron spearhead, a large quantity of black glaze ware (skyphoi, cups and plates) and a large fragment of a Red-figure bell-krater. The skyphos and the krater are forms present in banqueting services and their presence here takes on a certain significance when placed in relationship to the nearby rectangular building. This has been identified as a banqueting hall for the men who frequented the sanctuary. Also of importance is the discovery, on the bottom of the ditch, of charcoal remains, traces of burning and bones which are probably the remains of animal sacrifices. The second trench was excavated to test the westward extension of the site. As regards the earlier phases of the sanctuary, a burial came to light, its walls lined with small stones, but without a cover, containing an individual perhaps buried in a fetal position. The grave goods was composed of a rough impasto jar, a small jar and a trozzella (a Messapian vase form) with bi-chrome geometric decoration. The burial can be dated to the second half of the 6th century B.C. It is situated within an area containing earlier structures which are attested by a substantial stretch of wall built with stones of medium and large dimension. (Maria Luisa Nava)
    • Continuation of work on the site involved the widening of trenches I and II that were opened last year. A settlement came to light comprising huts with an apsidal plan, stone footings and walls in clay mixed with straw. The terminus ante quem for its construction can be placed in the 6th century B.C. Inhumations, dating to the second half of the 6th century B.C., are present in the same area: one burial was excavated which contained a female in a fetal position. The tomb group was composed of local pottery with geometric decoration and Greek imports, as well as personal ornaments in bronze, silver, amber and glass paste. A second burial dating to the 6th century B.C. contained an infant, a third grave was very badly disturbed. In the eastern sector of the excavation trench I was widened to the south. Investigations continued of a pit, of irregular plan, filled with a series of deposits which contained black glaze cups, plates and jugs and small heads and figurines representing female divinities, amongst which was a standing Aphrodite. The new finds confirm the dating of the sacred area to between the second half of the 4th century B.C. and the end of the 3rd century B.C. In the northern part of the trench several stretches of wall and layers of collapse from the sanctuary were revealed; the southern side of the sanctuary has been uncovered together with the walls of a building which stood outside its limits. These walls delimit the square oikos. These investigations revealed that this structure is not, as previously thought, a pair of buildings (square oikos and rectangular banqueting hall) but is more complex, comprising several porticoed rooms arranged in a "U" around the square building, which in this way was contained within a space that was closed on three sides, with covered rooms and narrow porticoes on the exterior. (Maria Luisa Nava)
    • L'esplorazione ha riportato in luce il fulcro dell'impianto sacro, costituito da strutture ubicate in una zona che venne utilizzata e trasformata per realizzare tre terrazze atte ad ospitare i diversi tipi di apprestamenti. La rilettura delle evidenze riportate alla luce nell'area già scavata nel biennio 1987/88 e i nuovi elementi emersi consentono di ridefinire la planimetria dell'intero impianto sacro e dei suoi annessi, distinguendone altresì due fasi costruttive. Ad un primo intervento (IV secolo a.C.), vanno riferite le realizzazioni su tre diverse terrazze, che sfruttano il naturale pendio. Sulla terrazza superiore si sviluppano gli ambienti A e B e lo stretto portico C; su quella mediana si realizza l' _oikos_ quadrato (D); infine su quella inferiore sono uno o più ambienti, coperti e simmetrici a quelli della terrazza superiore, dei quali non sono ancora chiare le destinazioni d'uso (ambiente E-F). Nella parte sudorientale sono emerse strutture murarie forse relative ad un ingresso. Un secondo momento costruttivo (fine III-parte del II secolo a.C.) riguarda diversi tipi di interventi che in parte riprendono le costruzioni precedenti, in parte obliterano interi settori del complesso per la realizzazione di nuove strutture. In questa fase si realizza una pavimentazione a selciato nell'area antistante l'accesso all' _oikos_ D. Un probabile percorso cerimoniale sembra essersi conservato nell'area orientale esterna, dove è stato individuato una piano di calpestio, orientato nord-sud, largo poco meno di un metro, che conduce ad un probabile soglia, costituita da pietrame e laterizi allettati nella malta. Nella parte meridionale si realizza una grossa massicciata di pietre, che oblitera il precedente portico F. A questa seconda fase di vita del santuario vanno ascritte le obliterazioni delle due fosse con orientamento nord-sud, rinvenute nell'area posta immediatamente ad est del complesso sacro, e il cui uso sembra invece riferibile all'impianto di prima fase del santuario. (Maria Luisa Nava)
    • This project aimed to investigate the settlement. The area examined was composed of the southern slopes of the hill occupied by the defensive walls, already partially examined by Princeton University in 1966-67, under the direction of Ross Holloway. He brought to light part of the town's defensive wall, which he dated to 330-320 B.C., and traces of previous occupation dating to the mid 5th century B.C. The new investigation identified six phases of occupation. Phases I and II are attested by traces of layers that can only be dated generically to the 6th century B.C. or sometime before the 5th century B.C. Phase III relates to the building of structures on the slope in a period immediately preceding the construction of the defensive walls. These had been identified by Holloway and interpreted as domestic buildings, the floors of which perhaps rested upon a contemporary infant burial (also identified by Holloway). Phase IV saw the construction of the wall up against the slope. It was constructed using large and small limestone blocks, either dry-stone built or with a sandy loam mortar, faced with squared sandstone blocks which may have come from the Melandro valley. As regards the chronology of the fortification, a date of somewhere in the 4th century B.C. can be confirmed, even though it is not possible at present to verify the exactness of Holloway's 320 B.C. date. Phase V regards the medieval occupation of the summit. During the 13th century, a series of terraces and houses seems to have been built along the southern side of the hilltop. (Maria Luisa Nava)
    • The excavation uncovered structures belonging to a religious complex in use from the 4th century B.C. until the Julio-Claudian period. The Lucanian sanctuary comprised a built up area, constructed on three descending terraces and an area free of buildings with a stream and a channel used for ritual purposes. The square _oikos_ (A) was part of the original layout. Open to the east and covered by a double sloping roof, it was situated at the centre of a Lucanian type square enclosure. The first restructuring of the sanctuary occurred between the second half of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. This involved the partial definition of the southern enclosure and the construction of a new covered building (B) with a portico on a purpose-built terrace below that on which the oikos stood. The next alterations date to the middle years of the 3rd century B.C. and involved the lowest terrace. Structure B was abandoned and a new covered building (C) constructed on a higher level took its place. At the same time the small natural water course and the channel in the eastern part of the cult area were obliterated. The sanctuary’s final transformation, during the 1st century B.C., saw a series of interventions: building C was divided by a wall into a square room to the west (D) and a rectangular one to the east (E); the large square area was substituted by a smaller space, still centred on the sacellum A, which continued to open towards the east; to the north and east an open air enclosure was built providing new access to the cult area. Near the monumental threshold, in an area delimited by stones placed on edge, objects forming a possible “foundation” deposit or linked to the ritual for the inauguration of a new space were found: a Roman lamp; a miniature vase relating to the offering of first-fruits; a loom weight which may allude both to the _mundus muliebris_ to which the ritual relates and to its original function; a small late archaic terracotta head, interpreted as representing the continuity of earlier religious experiences within the cult. Within the sacred area was an empty circular space, perhaps destined for chthonic ritual practices, covered by a substantial layer of tiles below which were various objects including lamps and a small bronze statuette of Lar. (MiBAC)
    • Between June and October 2006 investigations were undertaken on the top of the hill (trenches III-VI) and the western side of the plateau (trench II) near the main point of access to the hill top used by the archaic, Lucanian and medieval settlements. These are the first excavations on the hill top although, in the 1960s, a survey and preliminary cleaning of the visible structures was undertaken by David Whitehouse with the aim of gaining an understanding of the medieval settlement’s topography. The data acquired so far helps delineate the layout of the medieval settlement of Satrianum, characterised by a church-cathedral and a series of buildings arranged around a courtyard occupied by a large cistern. This complex probably housed the monastic community. In particular, excavation of the church-cathedral led to the identification of the plan and alterations to the monument over the centuries. Along the side naves numerous burials were discovered: eight tombs, two in the north nave, six in the south. Tomb 2 is worthy of note, situated in the north nave it is characterised by the presence of four overlying depositions, the last of which had various objects of personal ornament dating to the early Angevine period. The material found in the substantial layers of collapsed walls and roofing consisted mainly of either glazed or enamelled plain buff wares (14th-15th century) and dates the abandonment of the building to within the 15th century. On the whole this dating agrees with the documentary evidence which attests the abandonment of the bishop’s see towards the end of the century. Also of importance is the presence of residual material among the finds consisting of several fragments of pottery which pre-dates the medieval period. This was found below the church floor levels, at the points in which several cuts in the floors made it possible to investigate, even though for short stretches, the levels below. In particular, finds of black glaze ware dating to the beginning of the 4th century B.C. provides new information about the occupation of the area before the creation of the medieval settlement. (MiBAC)
    • Exploration of the sloping terrace situated on the northern side of the tower hill (Greco property) began in 2008 following the find during a surface survey (undertaken between 2002-2007) of a concentration of material which included fragments of architectural terracottas. The stratigraphic excavation, preceded by geophysical surveys, brought to light an imposing building, constructed around 560 B.C. and destroyed in around 480 B.C., perhaps by an earthquake. The building had a rectangular central section, preceded on the western side by an elongated structure, a sort of pastas, in which there was a pillared monumental opening. Later, before the end of the 4th century B.C., rooms were added to the north and east, yet to be fully investigated. Built with pisè and brick walls on stone footings, the residential space had a certain symmetry with two small rooms on either side of a large central room (room 1a), with a hearth, destined for banquets. An extraordinary find was that of a double wooden door closing the corridor towards room 2. Made of pine-wood it was over 2 m high and had a large cast-bronze handle and decorative elements including a cast-bronze winged griffon. The southern room (room 2), was multifunctional and led into the ceremonial room. It housed precious materials and most of the banqueting equipment: numerous bronzes including basins of Etrusco-Campanian production, Attic pottery (including twelve cups and a large Black-figure krater), of colonial or local production. To the north was the “inner sanctum” of the house (room 1b) characterised by the presence of structures probably used for food storage, including a brick-lined semicircular pit up against the back wall. The roof of the main part of the building had Laconian tiles and semicircular cover tiles painted red and brown, cyme with drips and a coffered-geison decorated with a continuous figured frieze, as well as acroterial statues, including an almost completely reassembled sphinx. The iconography of the frieze, of Laconian inspiration, comprised two juxtaposed panels presenting two warriors facing each other in a duel, behind which are a pair of horses, one ridden by a squire. Datable to around the second quarter of the 6th century B.C. it can be attributed to Greek artisans from Taranto, as documented, among other things, by the numerous inscriptions in Laconian-Tarantine dialect, scratched into the cyme coffering. These inscriptions are ordinal numbers relating to the correct positioning of the roof elements. The short north side had a double-pitched roof with cyme recta decorated with a gorgon with radiate crown, below which ran the plaques of the same figured frieze which decorated the long side. The architectural decoration of the front was completed by acroterial statues, to date only documented by non-joining fragments and a disc acroterion. At the same time as the excavation of the _anaktoron_, investigations continued in the necropolis area situated west of the building. The latest campaign identified four new burials, bring the total to seven. Of these, four are contemporary with the occupation of the _anaktoron_, the remaining three post-date the destruction of the building, thus documenting a continuity of settlement on the site until the end of the 5th century B.C.
    • This was the sixth campaign at Torre Satriano on the north side of the hill. The excavations in trench X investigated the final phases of the building and confirmed the presence of 4 building phases. The complex – occupied between the mid 6th and the first quarter of the 5th centuries B.C. and was suddenly destroyed perhaps by an earthquake. Its first phase had a rectangular plan, with a large central room (room 1a), flanked by two smaller rooms. The northern room (service room 1b) probably had a mezzanine floor. The south room (room 2) – vestibule and place for the display of banqueting table-wares and positional goods – led both to the central room and to a courtyard that opened to the east. Along the west side a pillared structure (room 3) formed the monumental access to the complex. To the east, three piers formed a sort of propylaeum. In a later phase, two porticoes were added to the rectangular building. Between the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 5th century B.C. the complex was enlarged by the addition of new rooms to the north and east. Room 4, to the north, faced onto a small courtyard (room 5) closed to the north and east by very substantial walls. To the south, room 5 is adjacent to but non-communicating with, a large rectangular courtyard, room 6. In the final construction phase the internal layout was altered. The floors in all rooms were raised. An access was created to room 4 from the east, while the passage between rooms 4 and 5 was blocked. The height of the room 5 walls was increased and a new entrance from room 1 was created. Excavations also continued in trench XI, revealing the presence of an oval hut around which there were three postholes. No evidence for the walls survived. The finds from inside the hut date its occupation to between the end of the 7th and beginning of the 5th centuries B.C. Trench XIII was opened at about 85 cm south-west of trench XI in order to check the results of the geo-physical survey undertaken in this area. A building datable to the 5th century B.C. was uncovered, with a portico on the north side, about which nothing more can be said at present. An _enchytrismos_ burial of the same date came to light north of the building.
    • In the territory of the municipalities of Titus and Satriano di Lucania the landscape is marked by the rise of the Satriano Tower which rises between the two modern countries and stands to dominate a vast territory, located in the heart of the Apennines of Lucania. A Norman tower is the most noticeable element of the medieval Satrianum, impiantatosi eleventh century. the long and narrow terraces that displace between top and steep slopes of the relief, to be abandoned in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. The medieval fortified settlement of Satrianum is the subject, since 2006, of intense, detailed archaeological investigations conducted by the Post-graduate school of Archaeology Matera as part of a larger project sponsored by the Basilicata Region and the Municipality of Tito (PZ). The territory where it is located is between the current municipalities of Titus and Satriano di Lucania, about ten kilometers from Potenza (Fig. 1); particularly important for its strategic position along the territorial connection axes that bring Ionian communication, Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas and the wealth of resources, it has been busy so widespread since the eighth century BC, as evidenced by the significant results of the archaeological investigations so far conducted, thanks to which it was possible to redesign the appearance of the area population, distributed in an agrarian and forest landscape in antiquity much richer. The traces of the Roman era transformations (III-II sec. A. C.) instead return the appearance of an area much less populated least until the Middle Ages, when on the rise that dominates the surrounding area, south of the modern Tito, It will be built the village of Satrianum. The archaeological survey, carried out in the municipality of Tito at Torre Satriano, was held at the ancient fortified settlement of the Middle Ages. In particular, this year, which involved students from the University of Basilicata and specialists in medieval archeology of postgraduate school in archaeological heritage of Matera, highlighted some aspects of the settlement processes of the area, clarifying the main stages and transformations performed on some of the key structures: the bell tower, the bishop and the immediate area outside of it. The settlement sees his monumental with the arrival of the Normans in the mid-eleventh century. The pivotal role played by the settlement of the entire district, however, is strong enough to track down the walls signs of ongoing renovations. The square building, called "bell tower" in fact stands on a tank underground, taken along the natural slope of the cliff, and that was part of the original city walls built to defend the site. The western side shows here a continuous reconstruction of the fortification walls, the raising of the bell tower at the expense of the tank, reused as a foundation of the new structure socket. Inside the cathedral it has investigated the area near the west wall of the building, bringing to light a large underground rectangular space under the floors, made with pillars "banded" and sometimes "icing" typical of 'Norman period. It is, at the present state of research, completely obliterated by rubble about a telluric episode, in which emerged fragments of the ancient figurative decoration of the church. Following the earthquake, which occurred at the end of the thirteenth, the debris are not removed, but compacted to restore the church floor, replacing the clay slabs with stone blocks, dating back to the Angevin period. They also deepened the episcopate outer limits, to allow you to trace the existing roads to the complex service and possible correlations with each other on the setting of reference point, the Donjon, the main tower. Throughout the area near the walls of the Bishop's emerged attendance levels and beaten road that served the structure and, in particular, in the Northeast has been brought to light a stairway leading to a secondary entrance. A first analysis seems to have been functional to high recognition figures, for the possibility of reaching through the gap between the higher of the Bishop's reception rooms. Finally, of great interest it turned out the excavation of a small external environment to the episcopate walls, but pertaining to it, because it made near the perimeter North of the residential building. Through ducts in terracotta, holes in the walls and floors in mortar, the water flowed to clean the interior of this small room by sewage. It assumes a job as garbage dump, the practical life of the main representatives of the Bishop's, for the discovery inside of valuable objects in glass, ceramic and bronze.
    • The archaeological survey in the municipality of Tito at Torre Satriano, was held at the ancient medieval fortified settlement. Thanks to the interventions promoted by the Post graduate school of archaeology in Matera, they are defining already from previous campaigns of some key points of the settlement functions: the summital plateau, on which stands a square tower, headquarters of the secular power and an episcopal complex with adjoining the cathedral, representing the ecclesiastical power; the south side and west along the road of internal connection, close to the access areas and defense of the fortified site. The excavations are uncovering an intense stratigraphic succession, since the age lucana to the mid-fifteenth century, a sign of a long man-attendance and its strategic role, especially in the Norman-Swabian period. With the removal operations of the rubble several relevant findings were recovered ancient sculptural ornaments of the most prominent buildings, including the cathedral. In the village, however, the excavations are catching mobile data (pottery and metals) and real estate (analysis in the higher structures) necessary for functional and structural reconstruction of suspects environments. A study of reconstruction, therefore, functions in the diachrony of all suspects environments, enabling determination of philology places for a future museum display. For example, are being studied some environments on the summit plateau, as a latrina, a kitchen, the access stairs to allow you to restore the connection that existed between the inside and the outside of the episcopate, including areas linked to the administration of souls with those acts to the most daily functions. They are doing analysis to samples of soil and animal bones (especially in waste spill areas) to allow you to provide data on the eating habits of the ecclesiastical community that resided there. In the village, which is structured along the southern and western slopes of the hill, they are carrying out topographical studies aimed at the restoration of the interior space and the identification of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The excavations in this part of the settlement have unearthed two relevant structures to a great gateway to the summit plateau (CF101 and CF 72) and the other to a small church, built near the fortification walls. Both environments (still under excavation) show a final obliteration no later than the middle of the 15th century.

Bibliography

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