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  • Sant'Antonio
  • Sant’Antonio Ferrandina
  •  
  • Italy
  • Basilicate
  • Provincia di Matera
  • Ferrandina

Credits

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Monuments

Periods

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Chronology

  • 399 BC - 201 BC

Season

    • In September 2018, after some years excavations resumed in the territory of Ferrandina (Mt), a small town in south-eastern Lucania. The birth of this site has remote origins and the first occupation dates to the 9th-8th century B.C. when a people of the Enotrian race (the Choni) began to settle there. The excavations are a collaboration between the University of Basilicata, IBAM-CNR Potenza and the local administration of Ferrandina. SANT’ANTONIO A trench was opened at this site identified in 2006 during rescue excavations when water pipes were being laid. The structures that came to light belong to an installation for oil production (in particular the area where the olives were pressed with channels and settling tanks), whose only phase of use is dated to between the 4th and early 3rd century B.C. by the materials recovered from the stratigraphy. The research group intended to re-examine this excavation area in order to evaluate the state of the structure (12 years on), to identify the installation’s extent, and to plan new excavations for the future. Based on what came to light, the structures appear to continue all around the trench area. In fact, the beaten earth floor extends to the west and south, while to the north other channels and walls seem to appear that are in some way connected. Immediately uphill from the area (c. 5 m), along the east side, the natural hill-wash has exposed in section part of a small stone wall, similar in construction technique to those of the _cella_ _olearius_, and a layer of beaten earth similar to the one uncovered slightly downhill to the west. However, despite their vicinity, there is a substantial difference in ground level height between these new structures that were not documented in 2006, and the previously excavated structures, which makes it very difficult, at present, to establish any stratigraphic relationships. In any case, it was decided not to intervene at this point precisely because it is crossed by the above mentioned drainage channel, which in the case of rain would have compromised any excavated remains. These considerations suggest that very probably the oil production installation is only a small part of a much larger rural complex of Lucanian date (4th century B.C.) made up of residential sector and a service-production sector. Moreover, given that the structures relate almost exclusively to the part of the installation where the pressing took place, it is probable that there must have been another structure in the immediate vicinity where the olives were crushed.
    • The “FArch – Ferrandina Archeologica” project began in 2018 and is a collaboration between the University of Basilicata, the Archaeological Superintendency of Basilicata, Ferrandina (MT) town council, and local associations. The aim is to reconstruct, after a long period when the research was interrupted, the overall historical-archaeological picture of the territory of this important town in south-eastern Basilicata in which there is evidence of intense occupation periods, particularly between the Iron Age and the end of the Lucanian period (8th – 3rd century B.C.). This is a multidisciplinary project: bibliographical and archive research, study of materials from previous excavations, remote sensing surveys, excavations. The 2019 excavations took place on a site situated 2 km south of the modern town of Ferrandina, in the locality of Sant’Antonio Abate, along a slope overlooking the Vella torrent. Here, two structures were identified that belonged to an oil producing installation. Based on the associated finds, it was in use between the 4th and early 3rd century B.C. The main structures belonged to a dry-stone built _cella_ _olearia_, inside which the olive oil was stored. A number of small channels led from here, following the natural slope, into smaller stone separation vats in order to purify the oil and collect the residues, which were then used for making soap or fertilizer. Also present were two grooved press bases, now in Metaponto Museum, and a pressing mechanism with a wooden frame, of which only the impressions remained in the beaten earth floor. The press was probably made up of a horizontal beam with mobile counterweights, below which were positioned the ‘fiscoli’ (woven sacks/mats) for the olive pulp. The excavations concentrated on the areas to the east and south of the _cella_ _olearia_ discovered in 2007, where a large open space, constituted by a compact clay floor surface on a make-up of stones and terracotta fragments for drainage, was uncovered. This area was probably used for storing and handling of the products. There were negative traces, such as cuts and more or less regular impressions, probably relating to the housings to hold the bases of the beams for the presses and mobile counterweights. Exceptionally, some very well-preserved remains of _Olea_ _Europea_ stones were found in phase with the 4th century B.C. floor. Future analyses will provide more information about the type of cultivar and the origins of the Majatica, the olive typical of Ferrandina. In this sense, the Lucanian olive press in the locality of Sant’Antonio Abate is unique in Magna Graecia, where no pre-Roman structures of this type have been documented to date. Thus, the site is of great significance for the study of oil production in the western Mediterranean.

FOLD&R

    • Erminia Lapadula, Antonietta Di Tursi. 2019. Un frantoio di età lucana nella Valle del Basento Un intervento di archeologia preventiva in Basilicata . FOLD&R Italy: 445.

Bibliography

    • Lapadula, Di Tursi 2019: E. Lapadula, A. Di Tursi 2019, “Un frantoio di età lucana nella Valle del Basento. Un intervento di archeologia preventiva in Basilicata”, in FastiOnline, < www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2019-445.pdf >.