skip to content
 

Introduction

Systematic field-survey was carried out in the territories of Contrada Termine and Santa Lucia, both part of the Comune di Pignataro Interamna. This was done by parallel lines and by putting the surveyors (3-5) at a distance of 5 m from each other (intensive survey). Basic unit of the survey was the individual field defined as a consistent and bounded land plot with even visibility conditions (Unità Topografica – UT / lit. ‘Topographic Unit’). The ploughsoil assemblage distribution model here adopted hinged on site and offsite notions. Site was defined as a higher concentration of archaeological material with respect to the general situation within the Unità Topografica and therefore possible indicator of a past human settlement. Offsite was defined as a more diffused and less homogenous spread of archaeological material within the Unità Topografica, but nonetheless an indicator of some past human activity (e.g. manuring).

Conditions in the landscape (e.g. ploughing) were much varied and often inadequate in terms of surface visibility. Because of this and in order to achieve the best possible results, the systematic survey was carried out in limited and discontinuous areas. All sites were georeferenced by way of a GPS receiver, whilst altitudes were derived from the Carta Tecnica Regionale del Lazio Ril.1991 (i.e. the Regional Technical Map from Lazio 1991 edition, 1:10000).

All the following chronologies must be intended as earliest/latest attested dates.

 

Survey 2010

Fig.1: Distribution of Sites (SITO), Sporadic Remains (RS) and Topographic Units (UT) within the survey area (on Carta Tecnica Regionale del Lazio Ril. 1991 – Elementi 403130 e 403140)

 

Results

About 31 ha were surveyed at Contrada Termine and Santa Croce (Figure 1), for a total of 15 Topographic Units [UT 1-15], all characterised by excellent visibility conditions (generally recent ploughings):

  • UT 1: background-noise offsite (generic Roman);
  • UT 2: offsite of SITO 1 (350 BC – AD 300);
  • UT 3: offsite of SITO 2 (300 BC – AD 1000);
  • UT 4: background-noise offsite (AD 200-300);
  • UT 5: background-noise offsite (350 BC – AD 1500);
  • UT 6: offsite of SITO 3 (350 BC – AD 600);
  • UT 7: offsite of SITO 4 (350 BC – AD 500);
  • UT 8: background-noise offsite (200 BC – AD 300);
  • UT 9: offsite of SITO 4 (AD 200-1500);
  • UT 10: background-noise offsite (AD 100-1500);
  • UT 11: background-noise offsite (generic Roman and Medieval);
  • UT 12: background-noise offsite (AD 100-200);
  • UT 13: offsite of SITO 5 (50-1 BC);
  • UT 14: background-noise offsite (350-50 BC);
  • UT 15: background-noise offsite / offsite of SITO 6 (350 BC – AD 1500).

Additionally 6 sites [SITO 1-6] have been identified (Figure 1):

  • SITO 1 (UT 2): small farm (generic Roman);
  • SITO 2 (UT 3): small/medium farm (350 BC – AD 800);
  • SITO 3 (UT 6): small farm (350 BC – AD 500);
  • SITO 4 (UT 7): medium farm (350 BC – AD 500);
  • SITO 5 (UT 13): small farm (?) (generic Roman, but contrast with UT 13);
  • SITO 6 (UT 15): medium/large farm (350 BC – AD 800).

This area had already been investigated by the Canadian team coordinated by E.M. Wightman and it seems appropriate to compare/contrast the two datasets – with the proviso that the Canadian team georeferenced spots with a 100-meters accuracy. It is therefore possible to suggest the following relations:

  • UT 4 (background-noise offsite) = W353;
  • UT 12 (background-noise offsite) = W309 e W312;
  • UT 14 (background-noise offsite) = W313-314;
  • SITO 4 = W316;
  • SITO 6 = W317.

Concerning SITO 4 our research integrates what was already known with the recovery of black gloss pottery (Republican) and terra sigillata italica (Early Imperial), therefore providing new elements for a more accurate chronology. Nonetheless it is worth noticing that 13 Topographic Units (UT 1-3, 6-11, 13 e 15) and 4 sites (SITO 1-3, 5) have been identified and recorded for the very first time.

 

Conclusions

In general we have observed a high level of archaeological visibility throughout the survey area. This is due to favourable geomorphological conditions (a limited sedimentary process) and to the existence of extensive buried archaeology in connection with an intensive mechanised agricultural exploitation. The ploughsoil assemblage proved remarkable in terms of both quantity (ca. 58 finds/ha) and quality (several diagnostic sherds, ca. 8 per ha). Such conditions prompted the appropriate adoption of onsite sampling as our main collection strategy.

In terms of settlement patterns, our own evidence is still too limited and discontinuous to support any general re-interpretation or fresh argument. Nonetheless, one may notice the marked settlement continuity throughout the whole Roman period – and even beyond it.

Latest news

Regius Professorship of Greek

16 January 2023

The Faculty is delighted to announce that Professor Tim Whitmarsh FBA has been elected Regius Professor of Greek from 1 April 2023. He is currently the A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture in the University. Looking ahead to his new role, Professor Whitmarsh commented: ’I am thrilled and honoured to be taking up this...

Mary Beard receives THE Outstanding Achievement Award

18 November 2022

Professor Mary Beard received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2022 Times Higher Education Awards . The citation hailed how she had “broken through the ivory tower’s walls and brought her unique enthusiasm for her subject – and crucially, what it can teach us about contemporary life and politics – to the world”...

University Assistant Professorship in Classics

15 November 2022

The Faculty of Classics is seeking to appoint an Assistant Professor in Classics (Ancient Greek History and/or Archaeology) from 1 September 2023. The role is open to those, at any stage in their career, with a primary research interest in Archaic/Classical/Hellenistic Greek History and/or Archaeology. We welcome...

Brian Leech Memorial Fund

10 November 2022

The Faculty of Classics is delighted to announce the establishment of the Brian Leech Memorial Fund. The Fund comes about thanks to a generous donation by Emma Gleave, and is made in memory of her late father, Brian Leech. Brian Leech had a long and successful career as both barrister and judge. He also greatly enjoyed classical studies – with a life-long passion for ancient Greek and Latin languages.