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Excavation

  • San Martino del Piano
  • Fossombrone
  • Forum Sempronii

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    Credits

    • 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 campaign looked at three areas: the Domus of Europa, the via del “forno” and the amphitheatre.

      Domus of Europa

      The excavation examined the western part of the domus, by the via “dei seviri” (in particular rooms P, Q, R, only partially excavated in previous years, and room K) and the zone denominated V, at the centre of the building.
      The discovery below the roof collapse in room R of several coarse ware pottery vessels and a 2nd century A.D. coin confirmed that the domus was abandoned in this period.

      Zone V. Almost an entire room, with intact stratigraphy and opus vittatum walls, was uncovered between two ditches. The removal of the agricultural soil revealed a compact layer of collapse. Three large patches of burning provided evidence of either a fire, contemporary with the collapse or of fires that were lit during a later, hypothetical, occupation. Immediately below this was a mosaic floor with a diagonal swallow-tailed pattern inside a panel. This had been heavily restored in a later period.
      Towards the east, below the mosaic and its makeup, a patch of opus signinum floor emerged, dating to an earlier phase of the room and thus of the domus itself.

      Via “del Forno”

      Excavations continued in the area between the crossroads with the decumanus minor and the circular oven, which was built in a later period inside the Domus “of the exotic animals”, with the aim of defining the oven’s use (food or brick/tile) and therefore the presence of some type of craft working in the area. – A drain collecting wastewater from the area of the domus “of the exotic animals” was uncovered along the west side of the area. The drain led into a collective sewer situated below the decumanus minor on its north side. – At the southern end of the area, fifty intact tiles were uncovered. They were resting against the drain, placed on edge one on top of another, in two rows as if waiting to be used.

      The excavations showed that the foundations of the oven wall were about 20 cm deep, and built of rough stones bonded for most of its height with earth. The oven roof was probably a mobile structure, as may be attested by the presence in the immediate vicinity, of two squared stones with a central hole, which probably supported posts of at least 10 cm in diameter.

      The domus “of the exotic animals” can be dated from at least the mid 1st century A.D., based on the geometric mosaic in room B, until the end of the 2nd – beginning of the 3rd century A.D. It is probable that it was in the latter period that the domus underwent substantial transformations including the installation of the oven, which determined the change in function of the southern part of the house from residence to workshop. The pottery finds date the craft working activity to between about the 3rd century and end of the 5th /beginning of the 6th century A.D.

      The amphitheatre

      The amphitheatre at Forum Sempronii was identified from aerial photographs taken in 2009.

      In 2011, a trench was opened in correspondence with the western access corridor, whose two parapets are clearly visible in the photographs, with the aim of checking the amphitheatre’s state of preservation and the depth of earth covering its structures. The removal of the agricultural soil revealed the remains of two parallel walls, on an east-west alignment, forming the parapets of the access corridor. The walls were uncovered for a length of 10.5 m, but unfortunately, neither the internal nor the external limits of the vomitorium were reached. The walls were built with an external facing of opus vittatum, using chips of white and pink Cesana stone, as were almost all the buildings in Forum Sempronii in the imperial period.

      A deep trench was opened inside the corridor, along the south wall. This revealed a layer of collapse from the amphitheatre walls, bones, perhaps human, a surface of compacted stone chippings and tile fragments, and a layer of yellowish beaten earth, which was probably the original floor level.

    • Mario Luni - Università degli Studi di Urbino, Istituto di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte Antica 
    • Oscar Mei - Università di Urbino, Dipartimento di Scienze del Testo e del Patrimonio Culturale 

    Director

    Team

    • Cecilia Longarini
    • Giancarlo Gori - Museo di Fossombrone
    • Marcello Montanari
    • Roberta Leone
    • Maria Raffaella Ciuccarelli - Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici delle Marche

    Research Body

    • Università degli Studi di Urbino

    Funding Body

    • Comune di Fossombrone

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