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  • Fondo Casino
  • Cavallino
  • Italy
  • Apulia
  • Provincia di Lecce
  • Cavallino



  • 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)

  • As part of the Progetto di Ampliamento del Museo Diffuso di Cavallino, presented by the local authorities and financed by the Regione Puglia with the remaining P.O.R 2000-2007 funds, an intense campaign of archaeological investigations was undertaken on the Messapian settlement of Cavallino. This work was carried out under concession from Mibac by the University of Salento.
    From October 2009 to the end of July 2010 excavation and restorations were underken in various areas within the archaic defensive walls.

    In July 2010 a teaching excavation took place ( Cantiere Scuola di Archeologia dell’Università del Salento) with the participation of 96 students from various Italian and foreign universities (Salento, Rome, Bologna, Austria, Spain).

    In the area of Fondo Casino (Zones G and I), situated at the entrance to the open-air museum, the existing excavation area was extended.
    An area of about 2.000 m2 was excavated down to the abandonment levels of the archaic town. Three new large dwellings were identified (buildings L, M and N) which overlooked a system of roads permitting movement around the ancient quarter.

    The large Road V, on a north-south line, already investigated in previous years, was excavated down to the earliest paved levels. It was overlain by a complex system including a wide sidewalk on the western side and a central surface channel to allow rainwater to run off.

    The entrance of one of the new houses opened onto the road. The building was preceded by a large area, partially roofed, which must have been used as an animal enclosure and for carts and other agricultural equipment.
    The house had an elongated rectangular plan. The residential rooms had a portico to the front, the collapsed roof of which was uncovered.
    Secondary roads, overlooked by other buildings, branched off of the main one. Part of the limestone foundation blocks from the excavated walls were restored.

    In the area of Fondo Fico (Zone F) the area of the 1960s excavations, which lay in very bad condition, was cleaned and restored.
    In fact, the walls uncovered about 40 years ago were badly deteriorated. Many of the walls, which were on narrow baulks, were collapsing and thus compromising the reading of the overall situation.
    Following a careful study of the various construction phases (three occupation phases relating to the archaic settlement were identified) the collapsed walls together with the related occupation levels were restored.

    As part of the investigation some areas that had remained unexcavated were looked at which led to a re-reading of all of the occupation phases in the area from the Bronze Age until the town’s abandonment at the beginning of the 5th century B.C. A large bell-shaped cistern and two infant burials (one containing two skeletons) dating to the archaic period, and part of the craft-working area of the Iron Age village (the remains of two covered cooking stands with circular plan) were also excavated.

    In the area north of the museum part of the north-east gate’s structure was restored. In front of this stand the Torre di Zeus and the iron silhouettes of the Messapian warriors by Ferruccio Zilli.

    A substantial amount of maintenance work on the museum structures was also undertaken (restoration of the wooden walkways across the excavation areas, cleaning and repair of information panels, re-paving of pathways). The lighting system was also repaired and a new series of spotlights was put into place to illuminate the large excavation areas and the great 18th century wall on the east side of Fondo Casino.

  • Francesco D'Andria - Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali 
  • Corrado Notario - Università del Salento 



  • Laura Masiello - Soprintendenza Archeologica della Puglia

Research Body

  • Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali

Funding Body

  • A.C.R.I. (Associazione delle Casse di Risparmio Italiane)
  • Comune di Cavallino
  • Regione Puglia


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