The 2014 campaign foresaw the continuation of excavations inside the fenced in area and the opening of three sondages in the surrounding areas, aimed at gaining an understanding of the site’s overall topography.
The trench opened to the east of the fenced area, in correspondence with an anomaly recorded by the magnetometer, revealed a quadrangular structure. This was only preserved where it lay beneath the ancient ground level and appeared to be the remains of a latrine belonging to the mansio. In the late antique period, following a series of alterations/transformations, the structure was occupied by hearths used for melting down ancient lead piping.
A second trench was opened to the west of the fenced area, in correspondence with the presumed position of the south-west corner of the mansio colonnaded courtyard, in order to check for the existence of ancient structures at that point. The excavations uncovered remains of the courtyard’s stone paving and surrounding colonnade, badly damaged by modern interventions.
The third trench was also dug to the west of the fenced area, close to the provincial road (ex-Aurelia), in order to check the entity of the remains of a structure for housing agricultural machinery. This is clearly visible on an aerial photograph taken in 1944 and local oral sources say that it contained traces of mosaic (and therefore of ancient walls) within its structures.
The excavation confirmed that the modern structure was razed to floor level and therefore nothing of the ancient wall remained legible. The removal of the modern floor paved with local stone revealed a large mosaic. Overall, about 40 m2 of the surface was preserved, large patches of which missing.
The mosaic was probably laid in the 4th century A.D. The decorative scheme uncovered to date is formed by three adjoining carpets, two of which had a motif of interlacing squares and one a figurative decoration. The latter presents a scene that probably shows Aion sitting on a celestial globe, in the usual act of moving the wheel of time surrounded by the figures of the Four Seasons.
In a subsequent phase, the chronology of which is still being studied, the mosaic appears to have been substantially restored, with a new version of the Four Seasons and Aion, the addition of volutes decorated with birds and the substitution of the original emblema with simpler ones in the carpets with the interlaced motifs.
Inside the enclosed area, the excavation concentrated on the southern area in correspondence with the mansio entrance. Here, the corridor paved in opus signinum forming the entrance was uncovered. A limited extension towards the west identified the west wall of the entrance and the large reused threshold leading into it.
- Enrico Zanini - Università di Siena, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti
- Elisabetta Giorgi - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Enrico Zanini, Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche e dei Beni Culturali
- Elsa Pacciani- Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
- Samanta Mariotti, Università degli Studi di Siena Samanta Mariotti- Università degli Studi di Siena
- Elisabetta Giorgi, Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche e dei Beni Culturali
- Alessandro Carabia
- Pasquino Pallecchi- Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
- Francesco Ripanti
- Nina Marotta
- Università degli Studi di Siena
- Azienda Agricola Tenuta di Vignale s.r.l.
- Camping Pappasole s.p.a.
- Comune di Piombino - Quartiere di Riotorto
- Direzione Nazionale Unicoop Tirreno
- Villaggio La Madonnina