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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).

  • AIAC_logo logo

Summary (English)

  • The excavations at Aiano-Torraccia di Chiusi have also felt the effects of recent economic difficulties, thus the 2012 season was only three weeks long, and had limited financial and human resources. For this reason this campaign largely aimed to check various hypotheses formulated in 2011, relating to the nature and function of the area north-east of the so-called “tri-apsidal hall”.

    The excavation area (area V) was a little over 42 m2. Its size was limited by the available work force and the discovery during the mechanical removal of the plough soil, of a portion of a column drum (smooth surfaced) in Venato “marble” (about 70 cm long and 40 cm in diameter) in secondary deposition. It can only be suggested that is probably came from the villa’s late antique residential phases as the excavation of area V did not reveal the existence of any structures. In fact, the morphology of the layers and the extremely fragmentary and out-of-context materials recovered, (portions of glass paste opus sectile, bronze laminae, fragments of blown glass and a substantial accumulation of lumps of opus signinum paving), suggest that the entire area can be interpreted as a dump, used during the early medieval period. This would lend support to the hypothesis that the area in question corresponded with a large open area (perhaps a courtyard as suggested by the presence to the west of the pillars of a possible portico). During the site’s final occupation phases it served as a dump for building rubble and other materials coming from the dismantling and reuse that is amply documented in situ between the 6th and 7th century A.D.

    As a consequence of this activity, and again as a control, the plough soil covering the northern part of the great hall (Room U), situated north-west of the “tri-apsidal hall” was removed. The aim was to intercept the hall’s north wall. In fact, during the 2011 campaign Room U had not been completely excavated and at this point of the excavation measured over 20 m in length and 8 m wide. It was characterised by three pillars at the centre and a large opening on the east side giving access to an open space (the so-called area V) through four square pillars. This year’s investigation identified a massive collapse, within which was traced the continuation of the walls on a north-south alignment. Of these, the crest of the east wall was exposed. Furthermore, in the central area, the top of a pillar was uncovered, of the same module as seen for the three already uncovered in previous campaigns. Due to the lack of time, it was not possible to complete the excavation towards the north. Despite this, it can be suggested that the hall extended in that direction for several meters more. At present, the function of this space is unknown.

  • Marco Cavalieri - Universitè Catholique de Louvain, Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres, Département d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de l’Art 
  • Charles Bossu (Académia Belgica) 



  • Enrica Boldrini - Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • François-Dominique Deltenre
  • Gabriele Mainardi Valcarenghi - Centro di GeoTecnologie Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Giacomo Baldini - Museo archeologico “Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli” di Colle di Val d’Elsa
  • Nadia Montevecchi - DEDALO s.a.s. Firenze
  • Sara Lenzi
  • Sofia Ragazzini - Associazione Archeologica Sangimignanese
  • Chiara Corbino
  • Emma Cantisani - Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Agnese Lodi
  • Alessandro Novellini - Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Archeologici, Università degli Studi di Milano

Research Body

  • Universitè Catholique de Louvain (UCL)

Funding Body

  • Comune di San Gimignano


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