The investigations undertaken in the mining castle of Cugnano examined various zones situated in the summit area of the castle and in the “borgo”.
The 2003 campaign involved the palace (area 2000) and the buildings in the northern part of the “borgo” (area 1000). The 2004 campaign looked at the second palace (area 3000) and the tower (area 2500) on the summit of the castle and other buildings in the northern part of the “borgo” (area 1300). The 2005 campaign concluded investigations in areas 1000 and 1300 and examined two other areas.
The first (area 1500), situated in the northern zone, was opened as a trial trench in the search for contexts linked with metal working. The second (area 5000), situated in the southern “borgo” clarified the settlement’s evolution in this part of the castle. The excavation in 2006 looked at two new areas in the south-eastern part of the “borgo”. The results produced over these years have provided a picture of the castle’s urban development and the function of each area investigated. The pottery finds showed that between the end of the 7th and the 9th centuries the summit area was occupied by a settlement of wooden structures (investigation of area 3000 in 2004). This first settlement phase was already changing in the 10th century, when masonry-built huts appeared (areas 1000 and 1300, excavation campaigns 2003-2004-2005) and on the summit the wooden structures were rebuilt.
The definitive organization of the seigneurial territory, attested by the construction of the defensive walls occurred between the end of the 10th and the 11th century, when the settlement seems to have had the same dimensions as it does today. The 12th century represented an important phase for the monumentalisation of the site, whilst in the 13th century there seems to have been a period of crisis with the presence of new lords managing the mining resources. The last phases of the castle’s occupation, in all the areas investigated so far, can certainly be placed within the second half of the 14th century and linked to the widespread phenomenon of the depopulation of the mining castles in this area.
- Riccardo Francovich - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte
- Bianca Maria Aranguren Torrini - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana
- Juan Antonio Quiros Castillo - Universidad Pàis Vasco
- Universidad del País Vasco (dir. J. Núñez)
- Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte
- Comunità Montana “Colline Metallifere” – Unione dei Comuni di Massa Marittima, Monterotondo Marittimo, Pontieri, Roccastrada e Sassetta
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