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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)

  • Thanks to a new agreement between Louvain Catholic University, San Gimignano town council, and the Palazzo Spinelli Group of Florence, this year research on the late antique villa of Aiano was able to resume fully. The two main objectives were further research in the southern part of the complex and a first intervention to consolidate and conserve the walls of the so-called “Sala Triabsidata”, a project in which the collaboration of the conservators from Palazzo Spinelli had been fundamental.
    This report will concentrate on the excavations in areas 5000 S-W and S-E and 8000 (see attached plan).

    The trenches opened during the 10th campaign generally confirmed what was already known about the final occupation phase in the southern part of the villa. Here, there was a large quarter that between the 6th and first half of the 7th century A.D. was heavily robbed and the materials, then reused (particularly metal and glass). A closer analysis then showed that wall 5006-10 had several construction phases, similar to those, in the early medieval period that saw rebuilds using late antique materials (reused bricks). Important evidence was also provided by a floor make up (area 5400 and 5800) showing that the western part of the villa was not simply an external space. Indeed, although open-air, the area was almost certainly set up for activities that perhaps relate to the villa’s reuse in the early medieval period.
    Clear traces of reuse also emerged in areas 8700 and 8800, although badly damaged by modern ploughing and mainly situated up against the excavation’s south section.

    An important feature of the site, which will be the object of future investigations, is the presence across almost all of the excavated areas of the villa, in particular the southern sector, of a massive layer of compact clay. This had been interpreted as the first non-anthropized layer underlying the occupation stratigraphy. However, in area 8700 traces of human occupation were found below the clay. This discovery therefore provides new evidence for the occupation phases and for the construction of the walls, given that some of them were built after a presumably natural event (landslide?), which covered the villa and the structures still standing in the 6th century A.D. with the clay.

    In fact, the hypothesis of a landslide from the hill north-east of the villa, seems supported by geological investigations that discovered a saddled that had formed when a portion of the south slope slid downhill. This traumatic event, which happened when the site had already lost its residential function, did not conclude the history of occupation at Aiano, as the layer of material from the landslide was built on, and not only with temporary (wood or other) structures but also masonry-built ones.

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



  • Agnese Lodi
  • Alessandro Neri- Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Angela Sardini- Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Archeologici – Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Charles Bossu- Academia Belgica - Roma
  • Chiara Leporati- Fondazione Dià Cultura
  • Giulia Martinengo
  • Gloriana Pace- Università degli Studi di Pisa
  • Jean-Christophe Caestecker
  • Lucia Orlandi- Università di Bologna
  • François-Dominique Deltenre- École française d’Athènes - Atene
  • Alberto Garzonio- Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Anthony Peeters - UCLouvain
  • Brieuc Guillaume
  • Jérôme Denet
  • Sarah Vyverman
  • Sara Lenzi- Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Alessandro Novellini

Research Body

  • Université catholique de Louvain

Funding Body

  • Université catholique de Louvain


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