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  • San Martino del Piano
  • Fossombrone
  • Forum Sempronii

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    Periods

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    Chronology

    • 200 BC - 600 AD

    Season

      • In July and August 2006 during the excavation campaign in the Archaeological Park of _Forum Sempronii_ (S. Martino del Piano di Fossombrone), the work concentrated, as in the preceding two years, on the rediscovery of the Domus of Europa and its three building phases. The building was uncovered by chance in 1878-1880 during the excavation of a trench related to the construction of the “Metaurense Railway”, which crossed the Roman settlement from east to west. In 1926 and 1929 the Regia Soprintendenza had lifted the two polychrome mosaics seen earlier and had them transported to Ancona Museum. The larger of the two depicted a figured emblem showing Europa riding the bull, while the second was characterised by symmetrical geometric motifs. The recent excavations identified the two rooms from which the mosaics were lifted as well as several others within the context of the Domus of Europa, situated along the city’s cardo maximus. At present the project is underway to return the two mosaics to their original positions, as part of the Archaeological Park. The mosaics have been restored and will be displayed under an appropriate covering, according to a programme of safeguarding and valorisation agreed by Urbino University and the Archaeological Superintendency of the Marche, following the restructuring of the Archaeological Museum. Moreover, an exhibition on the “Domus” is being prepared at Fossombrone with the above mentioned mosaics, a tract of frescoed wall showing exotic animals inside panels (recently recovered and restored) and various articles of furnishing from the house. Excavations continued at the eastern baths, along the Decumanus minor south of the Flaminia, which crossed the city between the two main gates. Along this paved road, characterised in part by the presence of eight statue bases that were originally in bronze, monumental structures were excavated. In the collapse a series of late antique tombs were found which attest the continuity of occupation even after the settlement was destroyed. (Mario Luni)
      • The 2007 campaign worked on two areas: the first was the so-called “Domus of Europa” and the second was an area next to the central baths, immediately north of the _decumanus minor_, in sector IV. _Domus of Europa_ The entire area of the Domus of “ Europa and the bull” , excavated in 2004-2006, was cleaned. Excavations were undertaken in Sector B3, towards the _cardo_ “dei Seviri”, in rooms A and G. Room A (3.57 x 6.06 m) was entered via a stone threshold, 1.60 m long, situated in the north-western corner. In this room patches of mosaic floor with white tesserae abutted a layer of wall plaster which continued below the floor, showing that it belonged to an earlier phase. A trench dug in the south-eastern corner identified an earlier mosaic floor, better-made than the one above, which was in phase with the wall plaster. Unfortunately, the central part of this floor seemed to be missing. Excavations continued in Room G (6.65 x 6 m) revealing the presence, in the centre, of a beaten- earth floor, and of four virtually intact amphorae positioned one beside the other. The amphorae were removed and taken to the laboratory where the contents will be removed and tested for the presence of any food residue. A narrow drain ran along the southern wall of the room and connected with the small drain running below the floor of room B on an east-west alignment. Room G can thus be identified as a service room. A large group of undergraduates from Urbino University’s course in conservation participated in the 2007 campaign. Under the guidance of the Superintendency’s head conservator Arduino Spegne they worked on the conservation of the mosaic floors, walls and wall plaster in various rooms of the Domus of Europa. _Decumanus minor_ In sector IV excavation of the late antique tombs north of the road continued. Eight inhumation burials had been discovered in 2005 and four in 2006. To these a further nine were added this season, also characterised by a simple bed of tiles and absence of grave goods. The burials date to a phase subsequent to the abandonment of the town. A number of the burials used the underlying walls, probably from the shops situated along the _decumanus_ and abutting the southern wall of the bath building occupying the centre of the insula. The walls, built in _opus vittatum_ with an internal core “a sacco” were on a north-south alignment and presented two wings at the south end. A number of contiguous rooms facing onto the _decumanus minor_ were uncovered. These were denominated D, G and E and can be interpreted as shops abutting the perimeter wall of the bath building and facing onto the portico along the _decumanus_. Room G presented a long entrance threshold constituted by three slabs of Furlo limestone in which the holes for housing the door hinges were preserved. Excavation continued together with the conservation of the structures in order to render them safe and to acquire further information of use for the study of the building’s various phases. The project, in agreement with the Archaeological Superintendency of the Marche, also foresees interventions for the protection and enhancement of the Archaeological Park with the aim of opening two of the _domus_ with mosaic floors and wall plaster to visitors.
      • This campaign concentrated on two areas: the first was the so-called “Domus of Europa” and the second was in sector IV, to the east of the central baths and immediately north of the _decumanus minor_. _Domus of Europa_ The entire area of the Domus of the “Europa and the bull”, excavated in 2004-2007, was cleaned. Excavations were undertaken in Sectors B2 and B3, towards the cardo “dei Seviri”, in room I and room O. Sectors B2-B3. In the southern part of this rich house the excavations uncovered three more rooms immediately west of room A. These three small, adjacent rooms were denominated, starting from the east, room P, room Q and room R. The walls were _opus vittatum_ with a white plaster facing. Room P, partially excavated in 2007, had an entrance on the north side and was characterised by a simple beaten earth floor. It was probably a service room. In Room Q the removal of a layer of earth mixed with occasional tile and brick fragments revealed the remains of a badly damaged _opus signinum_ floor. Only a small patch of this floor was found _in situ_. Along the eastern side of the room were the remains of four amphorae (only one was moderately well-preserved), arranged one beside the other. On the southern side a layer of ash was uncovered, whilst in the north an imbrex was noted, inserted into the wall to act as a drainage channel, linked to the drain situated immediately to the north on an east-west alignment and which ran under the threshold of room A. The drain had a brick covering. The amphorae, whose fill was removed in the laboratory, were also full of clean ash with no charcoal fragments. The presence of these amphorae and the drainage channel suggest that this room related to the _fullonica_ of the _domus_. Room R was only partially excavated as the western part had been disturbed by a modern excavation for vine planting. A thick layer of collapsed material constituted by tiles, lime, bricks, amphora and coarse pottery fragments was uncovered. Below was a beaten earth floor which in some places had been reddened by burning. Along the northern wall were the remains of two large containers for dry foodstuffs resting directly on the floor and attesting the abandonment of this room. The room’s western perimeter was not identified, but was probably damaged by the modern digging mentioned above. In Room I excavation of the floor, partially destroyed to the east by the trench for a row of vines, continued. Following the removal of material that had collapsed from the walls, including fragments of white wall plaster, the floor was exposed. This was characterised by a _ruderatio_ of lime and cobbles over which was a layer of cement mortar in which the _tesserae_ were embedded. The mosaic had been completely removed in antiquity, no _tesserae_ remained _in situ_, but their presence was attested by the impressions left in the make up. _Sector IV_ Here work continued on the excavation of the late antique necropolis overlying the remains of Roman houses. A further 11 burials came to light, some a cappuccina, with a bed and covering of tiles, others in simple earth graves. Two particularities were noted: the presence of a number of burials delimited by simple low dry-stone walls and the presence of a reduction. In the latter the chronology of a series of three burials, one on top of the other, was clear: the first had been reduced by the moving of the tibias to make room for the second, whilst the third lay on top of the previous one. Many of the tombs were created using the walls from earlier structures. Some were on a north-south alignment, others east-west. No grave goods were present. At the centre of the _decumanus minor_, in correspondence with a monumental entrance situated on its northern side, a semicircular structure in _opus vittatum_ came to light. This exedra, facing east and therefore towards the monumental entrance, was blocked by a badly-built stone wall, also in _opus vittatum_. A trench was dug in the north-eastern corner of the esedra which revealed the presence of two lime floor surfaces. Towards the back, the presence of a small drain and the _opus signinum_ water-proofing of the structure, suggest the presence of a _nymphaeum_ or fountain.
      • The 2009 campaign was mainly concentrated on the _Domus_ of Europa with some work being undertaken on the _Domus_ of the exotic animals. _Domus of Europa_ Excavations were undertaken in several rooms situated to the north of the _triclinium_ with the mosaic of Europa and the Bull. Room O, directly north of the _triclinium_ and already identified in 2008, was seen to be divided into a further four rooms, denominated O1, O2, O3 and O4. Initially room O2 was the only bath structure, with _suspensurae_ and floors and walls faced with _opus signinum_. Immediately to the south another room was created which had bases probably for hot water tanks (room O1). Room O4 housed the _praefurnium_, whilst O3 was probably where the wood was stored and the ash dumped which was then used in the _fullonica_, identified in 2008 in room Q, close to the _domus_ entrance. The stratigraphy dated the end of the room’s function as a bath structure to between the end of the 2nd –beginning of the 3rd century A.D. Subsequently rooms O3 and O4 were unified and paved with lime surfaces on a make up of stone chippings. At the same time the opening between O2 and O1 was blocked, and the heated rooms were filled with dumped material. Room O1 was then paved with a mosaic of coarse white tesserae. Room U is situated immediately north of room O. Here numerous fragments of painted plaster were found which had all fallen in a uniform manner, with the painted side face down. The wall plaster, about 1.50 m high and 2 m long, was divided into three large panels: two side panels painted red with a wreath and entwined ribbons, and a central panel. The latter depicted two figures, a male nude in heroic pose, with sandals and a cape and a cloaked woman, her feet resting on a rocky outcrop. This is certainly a mythological scene and seems to represent Perseus and Andromeda, but this will only be confirmed following restoration work. Below the painted plaster was a layer of collapsed material about 20 cm thick, containing a few pottery fragments datable to the 2nd century A.D., which covered a geometric floor mosaic with white, black and red tesserae and a central star formed by lozenges as the central motif. The mosaic had been damaged in several places in antiquity. Room S, immediately north of room N had been partially investigated in 2008. During the 2009 season the room, which had been uncovered in past centuries, was completely excavated. This revealed a mosaic floor, damaged in the centre where the central motif had been lost. The mosaic was characterised stars of black _tesserae_, converging towards the centre, on a white background. On the west side there were at least two repairs made with middle sized tesserae put into place on their long sides. The north and south walls, in _opus vittatum_, were exposed, however the west and east walls, probably in _opus craticium_ did not survive apart from a few patches of plaster. At the entrance to the _domus_, situated on the cardo known as “Via dei Severi”, on its eastern side, the perimeter of room R was defined following the removal of the layer of collapse US 150. A preliminary date for this material can be given as the 2nd century A.D. (a _sestertius_ showing the consecration of _Lucius Verus_, dated to after 169 A.D. was found in the collapse). This US also produced an ivory artefact in the shape of a butterfly, probably a lady’s personal ornament for hair or clothing. _Domus of the exotic animals_ Only a minimal part of the domus is visible, situated on _Via del Forno_, west of the basalt-paved road, due to the presence of a modern road whose construction destroyed the archaeological remains. Only the rooms adjacent to the _cardo_ are preserved. The area was exposed during the 1999-2000 campaigns. This year the excavation recommenced in order to better define the stratigraphy and to prepare the remains for conservation and the subsequent opening to the public. The _domus_ was accessed through a small entrance on the west side of the _Via del Forno_. There was no corridor but the entrance led straight into the courtyard with a central _impluvium_, paved in limestone slabs (Room B). From the _atrium_ a room was entered to the north paved in _opus signinum_ with a border of black _tesserae_ and a central motif of a mosaic rosette of white, black and pink _tesserae_ (Room A). To the south of Room B room (C) was characterised by the presence of wall plaster painted with panels inside which were exotic animals. This room has given the name to the _domus_ and the restored wall paintings are housed in the “A. Avernarecci” Archaeological Museum at Fossombrone. Room D came to light immediately south of Room C and was completely occupied by a circular structure of reused brick, stone and tile, interpretable as an oven. This structure occupied the room in a relatively late period. In fact, the preliminary excavation data attests that the _domus_ was probably abandoned during the 3rd century A.D. and subsequently reoccupied and used for different purposes within the same century. Room A was divided in two by the construction of an _opus spicatum_ wall made of reused bricks and stone. The wall obliterated the mosaic rosette at the centre of the floor. A masonry-built well, characterised by projecting stones, was opened in the _impluvium_ and took water from the cistern below. Room C was paved with a layer of amphora fragments (datable to the 2nd century A.D.) forming the make up for an _opus signinum_ floor surface. This arrangement was clearly to provide drainage and waterproofing and suggests that this room, next to which the oven was built, had a productive function. This year’s interventions were limited to cleaning the area and planning excavations for the 2010 campaign. Work on the project agreed with the Superintendency for the opening of the two _domus_ to the public, including the restoration and covering of the structures, continued. Each year, from 1974 onwards, interventions aimed at the study, protection and enhancement of the Archaeological Park are undertaken by Urbino University.
      • This campaign also concentrated on the _Domus_ of Europa and the _Domus_ of the exotic animals. _Domus of Europa_ The investigation of the rooms identified in previous years, situated north of the _triclinium_ (F) continued, and excavation began at the entrance to the house situated on the west side of the “Via dei Severi”. In Room O room O4 was completely excavated, revealing the _praefurnium_ constituted by a small simple room in _opus vittatum_ with two steps leading down to the entrance to bath structure O2. Excavation of room U continued, where in 2009 the high-quality painted wall plaster depicting the myth of Perseus and Andromeda, originally decorating the room’s north wall, was found. A further section of the wall plaster from the east wall was uncovered which had also collapsed uniformly onto the floor. The presence of the painted plaster attests the room’s importance within the _domus_. The exposed plaster measured about 2 m in length and 1.50 m in height. It was almost completely decorated with red, with some vegetal motifs surrounding a female figure, about 50 cm high, which decorated the centre of the wall. The figure was nude with a transparent drape at the waist, and seemed to be dancing. Below the painted plaster some elements from the roof were found, in particular two almost intact imbrices. The excavation of the room, inside which fragments of fallen wall plaster are visible, will be completed in 2011. In this context the presence on site of a conservator led to the timely retrieval and conservation of perishable finds such as painted plaster and bone and metal artefacts. At the entrance to the _domus_ a trench was dug in Room K, characterised by an elongated rectangular plan and interpretable as passageway leading to the inner and most important rooms of the house, such as the cubicula and _triclinium_. A substantial layer of collapsed terracotta roof tiles came to light inside Room K. The excavation will be completed in 2011. _Domus of the exotic animals_ Excavation of the _domus_ situated on the _Via del Forno_ continued alongside conservation of the walls and floor mosaics. Work was also undertaken on the information panels for visitors to the site. The excavations concentrated on the southern part of the _domus_, occupied from the 3rd century A.D. onwards by a productive structure. Two large fragments of a lava millstone were found in this area in previous years, and about one hundred carefully stacked tiles were also uncovered. Several of the trenches inside the room revealed the presence of an _opus signinum_ facing on the inner wall surfaces and the existence of a small drainage channel immediately outside the room, along the west side of the _opus vittatum_ wall. This excavation will also be completed in 2011. All the work undertaken on the two _domus_ is aimed towards their opening to the public. In fact, the roofing was completed of the two rooms in which the two mosaics lifted in the 1920s will be placed. The work is part of a project agreed with the Archaeological Superintendency of the Marche within the context of the activities to safeguard and enhance the Archaeological Park of _Forum Sempronii_ which the University of Urbino has been carrying out since 1974.
      • 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.
      • _Domus di Europa_. The excavation concentrated on the western part of the _domus_, alongside the via “dei _seviri_”. The wall closing the western rooms off the _domus_ towards the south was completely exposed, and excavation of the room, identified as a _fullonica_ during previous campaigns, completed. Layers of compact ash and yellowish clay were present, containing interesting materials dating to the early imperial period, such as two lamps of the FIRMALAMPE type, one stamped _CRESCES_, and the other _FORTIS_, a fragment of an Arretine cup decorated with acanthus spirals, a bronze key, and a bronze buckle. _Sector IV_. Along the _decumanus_ _minor_, and immediately north of it, the remains of a portico fronting the street and the shops inside it were found in previous campaigns. The shops abutted the main structure in this _insula_, the Great Baths. During its excavation, 44 late antique burials were uncovered, set into the ruins of the Roman structures. Most of the skeletal remains were removed in 2012 and examined by Prof. Pietro Gobbi at the University of Urbino. All the burials were in poorly made “a cappucina” tombs, mostly facing south perpendicular to the road. The layout of the burials seemed chaotic, but there was evidence to suggest they were divided into family groups. Among the burials were four “double” tombs, probably “matrimonial”, and a number of reductions. The “double” tombs saw the contemporary deposition of a man and woman, whose remains were placed in a position recalling the nuptial bed: the man always on the right and the woman slightly above the man with her head facing him. The people buried here were on average 180 cm tall (men) and 170 cm tall (women) and ate a vegetarian diet rich in fibre. There were no traces of trauma caused by violent death, while the percentage of children and adolescents compared to adults was high. The burials contained no grave goods, but a number of very worn 4th century A.D. bronze coins were found in the fill of some. Burial 44 provided important dating evidence, an infant buried inside a Gaza amphora, datable to between 490 and 650 A.D. Therefore, it can be suggested that the necropolis dates to the 6th century A.D., a very turbulent period for the Italian peninsula and the middle Adriatic territory in particular, due to the Greco-Gothic War of 535-553 A.D. Further confirmation came from the fact that the burials were set into the layer of collapsed buildings, that is, the city was already in ruins and more or less abandoned.
      • This season's excavations concentrated on the apsidal building on the side of the forum area (probable Augusteum). A mid 17th century manuscript housed in the Passionei Library at Fossombrone mentions that in 1660 a large building with a central nave and two aisles, an apse to the west at the end of the nave, was discovered in an area beside the Flaminia and uphill from the church of San Martino del Piano. Large quantities of marble slabs (_opus_ _sectile_) were removed from the building in eight carts (most of which then sold). The facing slabs for a statue base were found in the apse. They bear an inscription attributed by Bormann to Octavius Augustus (CIL XI 6113) and dated to the 5th-6th century A.D. A series of elements now make it possible to confirm that the gilded bronze statue of Victory in the Kassel Museum was removed from this building. Furthermore, the contextualization between the statue and the Emperor Augustus, mentioned in the inscription on the statue's original base can also be confirmed. The described plan of an apsidal building corresponds in alignment (south-east/north-west), dimensions (12 feet is the width of the central part given in the manuscript) and location (at 12 feet from the consular road) with a monumental structure identified in a recent aerial photograph, in the zone connected with the town's forum. A monumental building, c. 12 x 18 m, situated next to the via Flaminia, was excavated as part of this joint research project between the Archaeological Superintendency for the Marche and Urbino University. It was characterised by a plan with a reduced relationship between width and length, of 0.62, and was paved in a chequer-board pattern of white and grey marble slabs measuring two feet by three (c. 60 x 90 cm). It was noted that this paving is similar, for example, to the paving in the Forum of Augustus. The walls were also faced with large slabs of reddish marble at the footing and other colours and types that formed geometric figures, as the various pieces - of different size and shape - show. The monumental structure had two columns, 59 cm in diameter at the base, on the façade and two engaged columns _in_ _antis_, with five steps preserved in correspondence with the central door, the same width as the intercolumniation. A small apse was preserved at the centre of the opposite side of the building. It was here that the bronze statue of Victory now in the Kassel Museum was found. It originally stood on a base with an inscription in honour of Augustus. During the 2013 excavations, a fragment of an inscription mentioning the _seviri_ _Augustales_ was recovered, which together with similar finds in the Roman town, can be attributed to the imperial cult there.
      • The 2014 excavations at Forum Sempronii concentrated on Temple A beside the forum and the shops/workshops abutting the large baths immediately north of the _decumanus_ _minor_. Shops/workshops. In this area the constituent elements of several rooms directly connected to the shops/workshops themselves suggest they can be identified as the owner's residence. In particular, to the rear of shop/workshop G three passages lead into three separate spaces: at the centre a corridor (I) which leads to the house, flanked by two probable store-rooms (K and AC), linked to the corridor itself. To the north, the corridor leads to a large open air space, paved in slabs of local limestone. At the centre is a circular hole 52 cm in diameter that gave access to a well. A statue of a man, cloaked in a _himation_ and holding a small _volumen_ in the left hand, was found by the north wall of room AE. Made of good quality white marble, the head, feet, and right arm are missing. Two symmetrical rooms were present on the east and west side of corridor I, accessed exclusively from courtyard AE. They were paved with very well-preserved mosaics: in the west room the mosaic had a central emblem with a pair of dogs, in the east room with geometric motifs. FORUM AREA: TEMPLE A. The interpretation of aerial photographs and magnetometer survey results led to the identification and excavation of a probable temple building situated north of the forum area. The building’s entire perimeter, measuring 9.45 x 17.15 m, was uncovered. It was an imposing building, divided into two rooms (a _pronaos_ and large, long _cella_), however only preserved for the most part at foundation level. The pronaos was 6 m wide and 2.85 m long; the _cella_ was 6 m wide and 8.90 m long. The construction technique using _opus_ _vittatum_, used in almost all the walls excavated at Forum Sempronii, is datable to the early Imperial period (1st-2nd centuries A.D.). Due to the precarious state of preservation of the walls it is not possible, at this stage, to provide a precise plan of the sacred structure. Within the temple, several walls came to light that were cut by its foundations and continued outside the temple to the west. It was thus possible to add further detail to the plan (incomplete) of an earlier structure, on a slightly different alignment to the temple, by a few degrees to the south. The particular plan (curved and meandering walls) could at first suggest that this was a bath building or however a structure linked to the use of water, but no traces of channels or pipes that would confirm this idea were found. However, the discovery inside the circular structure of a small limestone foot with an oriental type sandal makes it plausible to suggest, with due caution, that this earlier building was also used for cult purposes.
      • Temple A. The excavation of this building, situated immediately north of the forum, began in 2014 and its entire perimeter has been identified, c. 9.45 x 17.15 m. It is divided into a _pronaos_ and large _cella_, most of which only preserved at foundation level. Two trenches were opened in correspondence with the rear wall of the _cella_, in order to gain a better understanding of the earlier late Republican structure cut by the temple of imperial date. Important dating evidence was uncovered: a bronze fibula covered in silver (now being studied) underneath the beaten earth floor surface created between the two structures and, below the foundations of the late Republican low wall, a very-worn bronze coin, difficult to identify but probably a cast Republican aes grave pre-dating 80 B.C. Augusteum. Identified and almost completely excavated in 2013, the building stood on the eastern edge of the forum. This season, work was renewed on this structure: the 2013 trench positioned in the apse at the centre of the rear wall was extended in order to gain a better understanding of the foundations of the entire building, comprising two separate nucleuses resting one on the other, both abutting the terrain. A layer of compact soil was identified about halfway up the second foundation nucleus, containing numerous pottery fragments datable to the late republican period: Dressel 1 amphorae, black glaze ware, and thin-walled ware. A large number of impasto fragments, in particular from jars and cook pots, were also recovered. The pottery study will determine whether this was Roman coarse ware or pottery produced by pre-existing Italic populations. Domus di Europa. The north-western part of the _domus_ was excavated, revealing the stone foundations of dividing walls, probably relating to a courtyard. The walls were built of mud bricks measuring 28 x 28 cm, some large fragments of which were recovered. A part of the _impluvium_ was also identified, linked to a channel covered by stone slabs. A well with a dry-stone built lining was uncovered in the service area of the _domus_. During a later phase, the height of the wellhead was raised. The excavations recovered a few fragments of moulded cornices and a large number of bones, probably from an ox.. Shops. The excavations in the _insula_ housing the Large Baths concentrated on room H, situated behind shops E and f. This space, with an elongated rectangular plan, orientated north-east/south-west, was enclosed on all four sides by _opus_ _vittatum_ walls and was probably open-air. It can be suggested that it formed a large courtyard linked with the commercial activities of the shops, from which there was direct access. The finds did not provide any precise dating evidence for the occupation phase, generically datable to the full-late imperial period. Further information will come from the continuation of the excavations.
      • Excavations took place at the site of _Forum_ _Sempronii_ in two main areas: The forum. A 10 x 5 m trench was opened a short distance from the via Flaminia and about 20 m from the _Augusteum_, with the aim of locating the corner of the forum piazza as seen on aerial photographs. At a depth of 2.00/2.10 m below ground level a number of interesting structures emerged: several well-connected Furlo limestone slabs, 20 cm thick (the only complete one measured 100 x 70 cm), which probably constituted the Forum’s floor surface. The foundations of three large bases (c.1 x 1 m) were found just to the east, probably supports for the portico that bordered the piazza on at least two sides. In fact, during urbanisation work in 1985 the foundations of four more pillars similar to those found in the 2016 trench came to light to the south, beneath the asphalt of the modern via Flaminia. Below these bases there was an earlier floor formed by rectangular limestone slabs with a first step down towards the forum area, later obliterated by the portico. The forum floor rested on a very thick layer (over 1 m) of make-up constituted by lime and cobblestones, which must have provided stability for the paving in a zone that was probably liable to swamping. Indeed, the area outside the paving rests on a dumped layer of fine sand. Further studies are continuing with the assistance of geo-morphologists. Area of the “Porta Gallica”. A 10 x 7 m trench was opened on the eastern limit of the city, close to the city walls, identified thanks to aerial photographs and during building work in the 1960s. The aim was to uncover the remains of the eastern gate, denominated “Gallica” in a 1st century A.D. burial inscription, housed in the Archaeological Museum of Fossombrone. In fact, the gate structures were not intercepted, perhaps because the walls are not perfectly linear and in correspondence with the via Flaminia the traces visible in the aerial photographs were of no help. However, a gravel section of the consular road was uncovered, probably inside the town, constituted by well-compacted stone chippings, stones and gravel, and a ramp with a rising to c. 1.5 m alongside the road. Therefore, this was a road “in levada”, typical of areas subject to swamping, which provided stability and facilitated water drainage. The road’s construction can be dated to the late 1st century B.C., in the full Augustan period. Therefore, it can probably be associated with the reorganisation of the entire consular road undertaken by Augustus and which foresaw the restoration of all the bridges except two, as the emperor himself wrote in the _Res_ _Gestae_. To the south of the road, an _opus_ _vittatum_ structure was found to the south of the gravel road. It was characterised by two east-facing corner buttresses, whose function remains to be defined.

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