Following the 2010 excavations in the urban area of Satricum, the University of Amsterdam continued its investigations in the zone of Poggio dei Cavallari. The excavations concentrated on the necropolis discovered and examined in 2004, when the first tomb was found along the archaic road crossing the ancient city from east to west. Over the last few years about forty burials in earth graves have been exposed, part of a necropolis created above the remains of the road and at least two buildings situated on its south side, all dating to the late archaic period.
The 2011 campaign aimed to complete the excavation of the tombs begun in 2010 and to continue research in the eastern part of the cemetery where it was expected to find more burials. Eleven new tombs were uncovered and it was seen that the necropolis extended towards the east below the vineyard.
As regards the funerary ritual, the 2011 excavations confirmed the image of the necropolis of Poggio dei Cavallari provided by previous research. The spatial organization of the tombs showed a concentration of burials in the western part of the necropolis, including the partial overlying of graves and multiple burials in a single grave. Many of the graves in this area were particularly deep, with the floor on a level with the sterile natural terrain, even in the case of single burials. In some cases, the deep graves contained more than one deposition; often an infant was laid above an adult and in one case an infant above two adults.
As noted in the 2010 campaign, there was a substantial quantity of pottery vessels associated with wine consumption. These included a large number of wine amphorae from all over the Mediterranean, locally produced amphora and imitations of imported examples. In 2011, five new amphorae were identified, including two Etruscan examples, one of western Greek production and two local types, bringing the total found to 16.
The association with wine was also seen in the other vessel forms such as kylikes and skyphoi. Already in 2010, their presence was considered notable with 11 examples. In 2011, this number almost doubled with the find of seven new kylikes and two skyphoi.
Clearly, the presence of these types of vessels constitutes an important element in the funerary ritual. In almost half (20 in all) of the 48 excavated tombs there was an element from a wine service.
The intention for 2012 is to organise the study and conservation of the finds from the excavations in all areas of the “Casale del Giglio” property (Poggio dei Cavallari II) with their publication in mind. It is also intended to put in a few test trenches in order to check the observations made so far.
- Marijke Gnade - AAC-Università di Amsterdam
- Silvia Mogliazza - Laboratorio di Antropologia, Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Lazio
- Jeltje Stobbe - Università di Amsterdam
- Martina Revello Lami - Università di Amsterdam, AAC
- Muriel Louwaard - Università di Amsterdam
- Loes Opgenhaffen - Università di Amsterdam, AAC
- AAC-Università di Amsterdam
- Azienda agricola ‘Casale del Giglio’
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