• Santuario del Manganello
  • Cerveteri
  • Caere
  • Italy
  • Lazio
  • Rome
  • Cerveteri


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  • No period data has been added yet


  • 899 BC - 101 BC


    • Excavations promoted by CNR-ISMA took place on the northern edge of the urban plateau of Cerveteri, in the Etruscan sanctuary on the Manganello rock. The same institute had already investigated the area in 2007 in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency of South Etruria. This research uncovered the architectural structures excavated by Mangarelli in the first half of the 20th century and made a new survey of the site using modern technologies. The 2014 campaign began with a geophysical survey of the site’s immediate surroundings. In addition to the previously known structures (the so-called temple and wells), the investigation uncovered the phases of the building site set up in antiquity for the construction of the sacred building and related structures. The excavations took place across all of the vast area occupied by the sanctuary, starting from the known structures in a south-west direction. Another section of the ancient quarry used for extracting building materials was uncovered together with a series of walls built in tufa blocks on a north-west/south-east alignment. Close to the well that came to light in 2007 a dump of mixed materials was uncovered that included numerous bones of sacrificial animals and fragments of pottery used in the rituals. A large amount of pottery dating to the Iron Age, Orientalizing, and Archaic periods was found across the excavation indicating the existence of occupation phases that substantially pre-date the monumentalisation of the sanctuary in the 5th-4th century B.C.
    • The excavations were carried out by CNR and students from Naples ‘Orientale’ University. Work continued in the north-west quadrant of the area, completing that begun in 2014. The excavations exposed the margin of the sanctuary on this side of the site: this was represented by a complex architectural feature, formed by a monumental channel on a NW-SE alignment. Today it appears in an altered state, particularly the parapet and underlying cuniculus with arched vault that exits in the rock face above the ravine of the Manganello torrent. At the surface, the channel presented a “U” shaped section. Several iron bullet casings from a modern automatic weapon were recovered from inside the channel, which a preliminary classification dates to the Second World War. Abutting this structure were the sub-foundations in tufa of a quadrangular structure, each side c. 1.20 m, whose corners were aligned with the cardinal points. The structure was apparently explored in its entirety at the surface. It can be interpreted as a sacrificial altar. There was no stratigraphy around it; in fact, the tufa bedrock was covered by only a few centimetres of humus. The bedrock showed signs of systematic quarrying. A small trench was opened to the south west of the altar in order to investigate the depth of soil covering the western side of the tufa plateau on which the sanctuary stands. A sheer drop in the bedrock was revealed, the result of a cut on a NW-SE alignment, thus in perfect alignment with the channel-cuniculus structure.
    • The excavations were carried out by members of the CNR mission and several students from Naples ‘Orientale’ University. No mechanical means were used during the excavation as there was a very thin layer of soil deposited over the outcropping surface of the tufa bedrock. The object of the investigations was the area close to the votive deposits, continuing the 2015 trench, along the western side of the site. It was seen that the sudden rise in level documented last year continued to the south, creating a clear difference in height inside the sacred area between the monumentalised zone (housing the _aedes_, altars, wells and other service structures), situated on an upper level, and that apparently only characterised by the presence of the _favissae_ and votive dumps, situated at a lower level. All across the exposed surface of the tufa bedrock there were ancient traces of quarrying and thin linear incisions associated with post-antique agricultural activity. Such activity, together with illegal excavations, probably contributed to disturbing the stratigraphy, so much so that the finds from various periods were all jumbled together. It was also seen that the entire side of the hill facing the town, like that facing the Manganello torrent, presents deep cracking and substantial splitting away of the rock, which has fallen into the valley bottom, caused by tree roots growing along the edge of the cliff. Therefore, the north and south edges of the sacred area had certainly been cut in recent times by geomorphological instability and root growth, which have partially altered the physiognomy of these places. Together with the usual votive objects and Hellenistic pottery, the finds included numerous fragments of impasto pottery from the Orientalizing period, attributable to a phase of the site’s occupation that may perhaps pre-date the sanctuary’s foundation. During the survey of the valley floor large quantities of pottery from various periods was collected, in addition to some iron slag and a small bronze coin of Republican date, showing a helmeted head on the obverse and a ship’s prow and the word “ROMA” on the reverse.
    • This campaign saw the participation of researchers and collaborators from CNR-ISMA. activity mainly concentrated on survey and documentation. No excavation took place but the graphic documentation of the excavations was updated, in particular, two new sections were drawn. The storeroom housing the finds from previous years was reorganized and the excavation records checked. All the material found to date was transferred from the CNR storeroom to the Superintendecy’s new prefabricated storage facility (named after the excavation assistant Alessandro Dello Russo) built in 2016 at the Banditaccia necropolis. The materials were placed in new plastic crates. During the reorganization, the osteological remains, metal finds, and metalworking residues were removed for study. A selection was also made of materials to be drawn and photographed for study and the final publication.
    • This season, the fieldwork was aimed towards the definitive publication of the excavation, therefore no new excavation took place, rather the work concentrated on checking and integrating the documentation created during the previous years. In particular, the congruence of the associations between the stratigraphic contexts identified and registered in the list of US and contexts documented during the excavations was checked. At the same time, the materials in storage were reorganised and subdivided into classes for study purposes.


    • V. Bellelli, Il santuario sulla rupe del Manganello a Cerveteri: il contesto topografico e le evidenze archeologiche alla luce delle recenti indagini del CNR - ISMA, in Etruria in progress. La ricerca archeologica in Etruria meridionale, a cura di L. Mercuri e R. Zaccagnini, Roma 2014, pp. 67 - 72.
    • V. Bellelli, 2016, Cerveteri: un’équipe del CNR-ISMA riporta alla luce il santuario etrusco sul Fosso del Manganello, in ISMAgazine n. 3, pp. 17-18.
    • V. Bellelli, D. Mallardi, I. Tantillo,2018, Cerveteri: area sacra del Manganello. L’organizzazione degli spazi, l’architettura, gli arredi di culto, in Scavi d’Etruria, Atti del convegno internazionale (Orvieto 2017), Roma 2018 (Annali della Fondazione per il Museo Claudio Faina, XXV): 199-227.