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  • Aiano-Torraccia di Chiusi
  • San Gimignano
  • Italy
  • Tuscany
  • Province of Siena
  • Colle di Val d'Elsa



  • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

    MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

    ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

    AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

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Summary (English)

  • The aims of the 5th excavation campaign at the villa of Aiano-Torraccia di Chiusi were the following: 1. Conclusion of the excavation of the area defines as the “ambulatio polylobata”; 2. Opening of a new south-eastern sector; 3. Investigation of the area relating to “room Q”; 4. Continuing study of the stratigraphy of the walls.
    With this year’s work the total surface area covered by the excavation reached 1.200 m2 compared to the villa’s extension which geophysical investigations calculated as being 10.000 m2.

    1. Study of the wide poly-lobate corridor surrounding the so-called “tri-apsidal hall” completed the acquisition of information regarding the stratigraphy of one of the largest and problematic – as regards function – of the villa’s rooms. During the two previous campaigns (2007-2008), lack of time caused the archaeological investigation to stop at the uncovering of the roof collapse (tiles and imbrices) sealing the later beaten earth floor level of the corridor, dating to the last occupation phase (between the 6th and 7th century A.D.). The removal of this collapse revealed the presence of a system of small channels which generally followed the line of the walls of the “tri-apsidal hall”. Once the fill had been excavated it was seen that they cut the beaten earth floor of the corridor.

    2. The opening of a vast south-eastern sector (circa 200 m2) aimed at gaining greater understanding of the spaces and structures in the southern part of the excavation. A long wall on a north-south alignment emerged, whose southern end was not reached. The construction technique – use of travertine blocks mixed with brick fragments – suggested that it belonged to one of the last occupation phases of the villa. This wall was abutted by three wide partition walls (east-west) defining, interpreted at the moment as “two exedra”. Furthermore, north of the wall, a structure built of high quality travertine blocks came to light which may have been a forge. A long water channel (travertine parapets and brick floor), on an east-west alignment, was identified where it cut the wide entrance to the vestibule of the “tri-apsidal hall”.

    3. “Room Q”, a small room north of the “tri-apsidal hall” provided interesting new data relating to the occupation and layout of the villa. In fact, it was ascertained that this room was situated on a higher level with respect to the rest of the structure, which suggests that the villa was built on a terrace system in a southerly direction towards the Fosci torrent. Moreover, inside the room the first burial was found, which a preliminary examination suggests was a female aged around 30-35 years. The grave goods were scarce. Below this tomb a floor of travertine slabs came to light, in turn overlying a pit containing pottery datable to the 7th century A.D.

    4. The study of the stratigraphy of the walls, correlated with a project for the 3D reconstruction of the “tri-apsidal hall”, confirmed the previously formulated hypotheses regarding the two macro construction phases relating to the 4th century B.C. hall with six apses, later transformed, perhaps following a traumatic event (a strong earthquake?) into the hall with three apses and opus caementicium floor, excavated during the 2007-2008 campaigns.

  • Marco Cavalieri - Universitè Catholique de Louvain, Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres, Département d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de l’Art 



  • Alessandra Giumlia Mair - Laboratorio Archeoanalisi Merano
  • Enrica Boldrini - Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Massimo Pianigiani - Cooperativa archeologica A.R.A., Siena
  • Nadia Montevecchi - DEDALO s.a.s. Firenze
  • Emma Cantisani - Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Giacomo Baldini - Museo archeologico “Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli” di Colle di Val d’Elsa
  • Sofia Ragazzini - Associazione Archeologica Sangimignanese
  • Carlo Alberto Garzonio - (DIRES) Università di Firenze
  • Marta Mariotti - Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale – Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Agnese Lodi

Research Body

  • Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Universitè Catholique de Louvain (UCL)

Funding Body

  • Comune di San Gimignano
  • Concessionaria FIAT Siena Auto S.p.A.
  • Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS)
  • Provincia di Siena


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