In 2016 excavations continued in the agricultural sector of the villa and two new excavation areas were opened: area 11000 located adjacent to the residential area and bath complex; and area 12000 inside the bath complex where there is a hypothesized well or cistern that was covered during the villa’s second building phase. Additionally, the 2016 season continued the analysis and catalog of artifacts found during the 1989 to 1994 seasons. The study and conservation of these first finds was continued during a two-week session in December 2016 in preparation for a museum exhibition planned for 2018.
In area 11000, a portico of brick columns with stone bases datable to the late first century B.C.E. was excavated. Each column is made of triangular bricks with a sandstone base measuring 60×70×30 cm.
In the agricultural sector, excavation continued to reveal walls of a building (Structure B) constructed in late antiquity and located on the edge of a huge depression, the estimated diameter of which is about 20 m. Structure B has a rectangular shape (10.5 × 5 m) with an orientation consistent with the plan of the residential sector of the villa. The walls are without concrete or mortar and use recycled material from other parts of the site, such as travertine blocks and unworked limestone and brick. Structure B’s north section reveals only foundations of brick and tile, possibly indicating a threshold instead of a wall. It is hypothesized that Structure B was protracted, multi-stage, three-walled workspace built in the fourth century C.E. as an ad hoc expansion of the agricultural sector of the villa.
Inside of Structure B an oven/furnace/kiln, whose chimney cuts through and removes part of the wall, also dates to the latest life of the site at which time the above-mentioned enormous depression was filled with building materials (tile, limestone, and travertine), coal, ceramics, bone, glass, and various metal objects, the majority of which date to the fourth and fifth centuries C.E. Artifacts datable back to the first centuries C.E. were also found: the head of a terracotta female statuette, fragments of terra sigillata with stamps, including “LNONFL” (Lucius Nonius Florentinus, whose workshop was in Pisa during the first half of the second century C.E.) and a dolium rim with the partial stamp [. . . BROCRIN / . . . RTIALIZ].The results of the 2016 season support the original hypothesis that the construction of the villa dates to the period between 80 and 50 B.C.E. and was abandoned in the IV-V century C.E. Analysis of the materials recovered in the 1990s together with those presently excavated suggest that a late second or pre-80 B.C.E. foundation date for the villa cannot be completely dismissed. It is clear that the site was in full swing and commercially productive during the late fourth and fifth centuries C.E. and this chronology is supported by recent finds that include Empoli-type and African amphorae.
- McKenzie Lewis - Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota (USA)- University of Wyoming, Laramie (USA)
- Fausto Berti - Museo Archeologico e della Ceramica di Montelupo Fiorentino
- Francesco Cini – Cooperativa Ichnos
- Kurtis Butler – University of Wyoming
- Andrea Violetti - Cooperativa Ichnos
- Anna Mastrofrancesco – Cooperativa Ichnos
- Emma Anderson – Hobart and William Smith Colleges
- Giulia Gallerini – Cooperativa Ichnos
- Lorenzo Cecchini – Cooperativa Ichnos
- William Ramundt - Cooperativa Ichnos
- Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota (USA)
- Cooperativa Ichnos, Montelupo Fiorentino, Toscana
- Sistema Museali di Montelupo Fiorentino, Toscana
- University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming (USA)
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