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Analysis and Study of Archaeological Materials (2012)

Introduction

The archaeological material – 876 finds – comes from the field survey and it was sampled (only diagnostic sherds, in terms of shapes and/or fabric, were collected).

All archaeological finds – except metals and glass – were washed and cleaned. Specific attention was paid to the analysis and study of pottery, especially in terms of macroscopic analysis of the fabrics and identification of shapes. All diagnostic potsherds (e.g. rims, bases, handles) were drawn and inked to be digitally acquired through scanning. We then searched for possible comparisons in published works in order to derive relevant chronologies.

 

Results

The archaeological assemblage collected during the 2012 campaign has allowed us to confirm and further expand our own corpus of ceramic finds.

As for materials collected during the field-survey, they have allowed a closer dating of sites and offsites. The presence of all classes of fineware pottery (Republican black-gloss, Early Imperial terra sigillata and – especially – Mid to Late Imperial African Red Slip) was rather limited. Similarly, very few amphorae shards have been identified. An Italian terra sigillata stamp was found on SITO 24 and refers to the workshop of VMBRICIVS (active at Arretium between 10 BC and AD 50).

More than ever, significant has been the presence of local/regional coarseware pottery. By comparing our own evidence with published materials, it is clear that Republican-only types are relatively scarce, unlike types with a stronger morphologic tradition (e.g. documented II c. BC to II c. AD). Markedly more diversified and widespread are the Imperial types. Thin-walled pottery has been found again, surprisingly so given its fragile nature, not really suitable to the mechanic stress experienced by the ploughsoil assemblage.

 

Conclusions

The analysis and study of the archaeological material has confirmed the fact that imperial fineware productions were not as widespread as their Republican counterparts. This pattern had been already identified over the last two years and is forcefully confirmed. This fact can be connected/explained with the widespread diffusion of local/regional coarseware which could have easily met the demands of the local population. Therefore the proper understanding local coarseware patterns is not only important, but rather essential, especially in relation to the much more limited supply of imported finewares.

In conclusion, the joint analysis of all material classes has allowed field-survey to postulate settlement continuity in rural areas, from the IV c. BC until Late Antiquity.

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