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Excavation

  • Masseria De Carolis
  • Masseria De Carolis
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    • 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)

    • In February 1988 the remains of a Roman building were identified in the municipality of Pollena Trocchia (on the north side of the Somma-Vesuvius, probably part of the territory of Naples in antiquity), in the locality of Masseria De Carolis. At the time the area was used for quarrying volcanic material, used for construction in the vicinity. Despite the fact that vast damage had been caused to the ancient walls by the quarrying machinery, it was possible to identify two vaulted structures, at the time interpreted as granaries belonging to a villa rustica of 2nd century A.D. date. Following this discovery the site was abandoned, partially fenced in and then buried by an illegal rubbish dump.

      From 2005 the “Apolline Project” has undertaken various research activities on the archaeological sites within the territory of Pollena Trocchia. During the 2005 and 2006 campaigns, the site in the locality of Masseria De Carolis was identified and cleaned of vegetation and the rubbish inside the fenced in area.

      The first excavation campaign began in 2007. A georadar survey was undertaken to the north and west of the vaulted structures. This showed the edge of the quarry created in 1988. Five trenches were excavated which documented the deposition sequence of the eruptive material. In fact, two thirds of the site had been buried by volcanoclastic material from the eruption of Vesuvius in 472 A.D. (known as the “di Pollena” eruption). A number of modest structures (including an oven) made from elements robbed from the walls that had not been buried post dated the eruptive material. These structures were then covered by the ash from another eruption, dated 505/512 A.D. Above this layer, in the eastern sector of the site, the collapse of a wall from a second construction level was found. This had been covered by a volcanic deposit that could not be precisely dated, but was probably medieval.

      A trench was dug inside one of the vaulted structures discovered in 1988. Below the volcanic material of 472 A.D. a semi “a cappuccina” burial of a boy about six years old was uncovered. The only object in the grave was a siliqua of Marcian (450-7 A.D.) emperor of the eastern empire. The burial overlay 5th century A.D. layers, which produced pottery, half of which coarse, mainly plain buff ware and cooking ware, and a lesser quantity of amphorae, colour coated ware and ARS. Worthy of note among the finds were fragments of glass and tegulae mammatae, which suggest that the vaulted structures were not used for agricultural purposes. There was no dating evidence for the walls, however they presented characteristics typical of the 2nd-3rd century A.D.

    • Girolamo F. De Simone - St. John’s College, University of Oxford  

    Director

    • Antonio De Simone - Università Suor Orsola Benincasa di Napoli
    • Roger T. Macfarlane - Brigham Young University
    • Umberto Pappalardo - Università degli Studi "Suor Orsola Benincasa" di Napoli

    Team

    • Caterina Serena Martucci
    • John H. McBride - Brigham Young University
    • Jaime Lyn Bartlett - Brigham Young University
    • Monica Lubrano - Università Suor Orsola Benincasa di Napoli
    • Rossella Cannella - Università Suor Orsola Benincasa di Napoli
    • Annamaria Perrotta - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
    • Claudio Scarpati - Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

    Research Body

    • Brigham Young University
    • Università "Suor Orsola Benincasa" di Napoli

    Funding Body

    • Comune di Pollena Trocchia

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