The second excavation campaign on the castle of Catignano (Gambassi Terme, FI) took place in the summer of 2009. The northern curtain walls and a part of those to the east, west and south were identified. The results showed that part of the wall together with the square tower uncovered in the previous year, were the earliest structures, probably part of the keep. During the 16th century silos and rooms A, B, C, G, H, I, some with cellars, were constructed in this vast quadrangular area, partially cutting into the earlier occupation levels.
Area 1000 was widened in the direction of tower B, so that it covered all of the summit plateau between the two brick towers, and also extending the east and west limits of the area. Seven new rooms were partially excavated. Excavation of the rooms identified in 2008 continued, concentrating on the three silos in rooms A and C and uncovering the cellar abutting room B.
Area 3000 was extended to the north-west and south-east of the curtain wall, thus documenting the latter’s limits. The entire north-western stretch of the wall, from the north-west corner to the square tower was uncovered. A walled structure revealed in plan was interpreted as the northern entrance. Abutting the north-west side of the curtain wall was a rectangular room with a floor of mezzane tiles, similar to the floors in rooms A and C situated inside the perimeter of the wall. On the south-east side a small part of the curtain wall was found, documenting the south-eastern limit of the defensive walls.
Numerous fragments of oil jars a beccaccio, found in secondary deposition, used as fill or in the foundations of the walls for the new rooms, may be indirect evidence of the territory’s agricultural vocation, in particular olive cultivation around the mid 14th century.
The finds dated the main phases of the site to between the 12th and 17th century.
Seven phases were distinguished:
PHASE I (pre 14th century): construction of the curtain walls, square tower and keep on the summit.
PHASE II (14th-mid 15th century): partial reuse of the keep walls for the construction of new rooms.
PHASE III (second half of the 15th century): destruction and abandonment of rooms A, B and C, M and N; damage to the curtain walls.
PHASE IV (end of the 15th-beginning of the 16th century): reorganisation of the summit area: rebuilding of the walls; new rooms built on the collapses of the preceding structures, some with cellar, and three silos.
PHASE V (16th century): period of use of rooms A, B, C, H and the silos.
PHASE VI (17th-18th century): abandonment of the structures within the walls; destruction of the curtain walls; construction of rooms E, D and O abutting to the exterior the remains of the curtain walls. Construction of the brick towers.
PHASE VII (18th-20th century): sporadic occupation of the hill.
- Sabrina Bartali - Associazione Archeologica Valdelsa Fiorentina
- Marja Mendera - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Benjamin Tixier - Università degli Studi di Siena
- Marco Valenti - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti
- Università degli Studi di Siena
- Comune di Gambassi Terme
- Earthwatch Institute, Massachussets
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