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  • Villa del Vergigno
  • Podere Virginio
  • Italy
  • Tuscany
  • Florence
  • Montespertoli



  • 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)

  • During the 2018 season, excavation and survey continued in both the Agricultural Zone and Residential Zone of the site. Ongoing work included digitizing plans of all excavated Areas to position them via GIS coordinates, studying the scale and nature of agricultural production at the site to determine its role in the regional and Mediterranean economy, and analyzing unprocessed materials found in the first excavations at the site (1989 to 1994).

    In the Agricultural Sector, large contiguous Areas were reopened to understand and establish a chronology of habitation outside the site’s hypothesized domestic area. In previous campaigns, a wall-course from a late-antique structure (Structure B) was found on the edge of a huge depression, whose diameter is currently about 20m. The large depression and Structure B are located ca. 50m east of the residential part of the villa. Structure B is rectangular (10.5×5 m) with a north/east-south/west alignment and was built with recycled material without mortar. Its west face is made of travertine blocks of different size and its southern portion is interrupted which may indicate a large opening. The east and south walls are both made of worked and unworked limestone river rocks and brick fragments. The presence of different methods of construction for Structure B suggest prolonged building occurring in several phases or a switch in the building’s intended use over time.
    It is currently evident that the walls of Structure B were built with reused materials, were thin in comparison to the “residential” sector of the villa, and they lacked foundations and mortar. These data suggest a single-story building, either with low walls or a partially-elevated ground level within the structure. The fill of the adjacent depression has a large presence of charcoal and a large amount of refuse that includes ceramic, animal bones, glass, fragments of iron, lead, and bronze. Most of the pit’s layers also have architectural debris that include fragments of various sizes of bricks, limestone rocks, and some pieces of travertine blocks. It appears that the layers near the bottom of the depression are datable prior to the third century CE and the fill of the depression occurred during the third and fourth centuries CE.

    In the Residential Zone, investigation continued immediately east and north of the bath complex, and in the bath’s interior near the praefurnium . Outside the bath complex and portico, stratigraphic layers corresponding to the site’s construction phase contained fragments of bricks and stones that were used level an area between the columns of the portico. In the southern section of the large internal courtyard adjacent to the bath’s praefurnium, the layers excavated indicate industrial activity that pre-dates the addition of the bath and its hypocaust. At present, the hypothesized phases of activity are a) an earlier, first, phase with an iron forge and metal working, and b) a second, later, phase when the area was repurposed for the bath’s furnace.

    .Layers relating to the bath complex are rich in charcoal and ash, and were formed during the use, cleaning, and maintenance of the furnace’s opening. The iron working activity is evidenced by the presence of a low-fire kiln set into a shallow pit. This pit is circular, has vertical walls, and measures about 60 cm in diameter. On the east side of the pit and set partially into the ground is a large stone, likely for the placement of the bellows’ nozzle. The bottom of the pit consists of a large, singular piece of iron slag, likely formed through repeated use of the iron kiln. Inside and outside of the pit there are small iron slag pieces. In the second phase of activity in this area, iron processing was abandoned and replaced by new manufacture activity, evidenced by a series of holes and pits formed around a square structure of bricks. In this courtyard production Area, there is increasing evidence of an intermediary, spoliation phase of activity that significantly transformed the function of the internal space. In this phase, some structures’ poles were removed and bricks of the square structure, mentioned above, were removed, though one large brick remains partially preserved in situ. During this spoliation episode, a large pit (either pre-existing or newly dug) located within the courtyard was filled with layers of earth, ceramics, and brick fragments – including the missing half of the brick partially preserved in situ. The layers of this pit suggest that there was an effort to renovate this zone of the site, dump the architectural waste material into the pit, and perfectly level the pit for subsequent use of the area. Hypothesized dates for these episodes are: late 2nd/early 1st C BCE (iron forge); mid to late 1st C BCE (spoliation); 1st C CE (praefurnium of the bath).

  • McKenzie Lewis - University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario; Canada), Department of Classical Studies; - University of Wyoming, Laramie (USA), Department of Global and Area Studies  


  • Fausto Berti – Direttore del Sistema Museale di Montelupo Fiorentino


  • Lorenzo Cecchini – Cooperativa Ichnos
  • Andrea Violetti - Cooperativa Ichnos
  • McKenzie Lewis - University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario; Canada), Department of Classical Studies; - University of Wyoming, Laramie (USA), Department of Global and Area Studies
  • Kurtis Butler – University of Wyoming
  • Cassidy Phelps – State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Rachel Olson – Concordia College
  • Anna Mastrofrancesco – Cooperativa Ichnos
  • Giulia Gallerini – Cooperativa Ichnos
  • William Ramundt – State University of New York at Buffalo

Research Body

  • Cooperativa Ichnos, Montelupo Fiorentino, Toscana
  • Sistema Museali di Montelupo Fiorentino, Toscana
  • University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario (Canada)
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming (USA)
  • Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchner, Ontario (Canada)

Funding Body

  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming (USA)
  • Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchner, Ontario (Canada)


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