The fifth excavation campaign on the Rocca degli Alberti concentrated on continuing the exploration of the three areas begun in 2005: inside the palace (area 1000), outside the palace to the east (area 2000) and in area 3000 which extends to the south of areas 1000 and 2000, partially investigated in 2007.
The three areas initially presented a stratigraphy characterised by deposits of differing dates and this influenced the excavation strategy. In fact, inside the palace layers were already visible which preceded the construction of the palace itself. They presumably related to the abandonment of the external area pertinent to a curtain wall, of which a section was preserved both inside an outside of area 1000, datable to between the 11th-10th century.
Area 200, outside the palace also presented layers preceding the foundations of the curtain wall coeval with the great palace and relating to occupation of the settlement enclosed by the walls identified in both areas.
In area 3000 the deposit was constituted by a thick rubble layer, resulting from the accumulation of rubble from the buildings around the rocca which used this abandoned area as a dump following the 1960 earthquake. This stratigraphy had been partially investigated in 2007 when, close to the palace, a trench was opened using a mechanical digger. Following observation of the section the decision was taken to open the entire area situated to the south of areas 1000 and 2000, using the digger to remove the 20th century rubble and thus proceed with the stratigraphic excavation of the deposit preserved below the modern dump.
At the end of the 2009 campaign exploration of areas 1000 and 2000 was completed, the bed-rock being reached across the entire surface. Important craft-working activities dating to the earliest occupation phase were investigated, for example a mortar mixer. As regards area 3000, the modern dump was completely removed and excavation of the medieval deposits began. To date traces of a large structure for the conservation of cereals have been found. This was probably linked to the oven for toasting cereals which was excavated in area 2000 in previous campaigns.
Due to the importance of the finds it was decided, in agreement with the local authorities, to continue the excavation for another season in order to complete the excavation of a site which has been revealed to be one of the most important medieval settlements of the entire district.
- Jacopo Bruttini - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Giovanna Bianchi - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia dell’arte
- Francesca Grassi - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Giuseppe Fichera - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Università degli Studi di Siena
- Comune di Monterotondo Marittimo
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