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  • Marzuolo
  • Marzuolo



    • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

      MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

      ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

      AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

    • AIAC_logo logo

    Summary (English)

    • This was the second excavation campaign carried out as part of the Marzuolo Archaeological Project (MAP). The aim is to define the dynamics of rural innovation, largely absent in research on ancient economies, at regional and community level and to make comparisons with the orthodox vision of conservative roman peasants.

      The aim of the second campaign was to find primary evidence of pottery production. Area 17000, in the north-west zone of the site was chosen based on the find of a pile of sigillata vases here in 2012, and on the geophysical survey that showed an anomaly in this area. No kilns were identified, but the excavations confirmed the craft working function of this area. The opus reticulatum building discovered in 2012 was built for production purposes. There was a metalworking forge, complete with tools, a vat possibly for wine or oil production, and an in situ basin inside it when it was destroyed by fire in the 1st century A.D.
      In the south-east zone, east of area where two kilns were discovered in 2012, Area 18000 was chosen in order to gain a better understanding of the experimentation phase datable to the second half of the 1st century A.D. Unfortunately, the structures were only preserved at foundation level, and only a few occupation layers with few finds were uncovered. There was no evidence of production. Despite this, the excavation of area 18000 showed the extension of the structures in the eastern area of the site to be larger than first thought. A small quantity of domestic materials was found, revealing the presence of a different and permanent community at Marzuolo that was not just engaged in production activities.

      This season also saw the beginning of an archeometric study of the sigillata from Marzuolo and the sampling of possible clay sources in collaboration with the Fitch Laboratory (British School at Athens).
      These finds raise new research questions, all centred on innovation in a rural context. What was the importance of the relationship between artisans of various crafts in the development of new techniques? Who had been able to risk investing in the creation of an actual community of artisans? Investment in the Roman world is traditionally linked to urban communities. Despite its position in a rural environment, there is evidence indicative of substantial and continual investments in the multi-productive community at Podere Marzuolo, particularly the artificial levelling, the construction of the opus reticulatum industrial building, and the layout of the entire site.

    • Gijs Tol-University of Melbourne (Australia) 
    • Rhodora Vennarucci- University of Arkansas (US) 
    • Astrid Van Oyen- Cornell University (US) 


    • Astrid Van Oyen- Cornell University (US)


    • Anna Maria Mercuri- Università di Modena
    • Dr. Eleonora Rattighieri- Università di Modena
    • Rhodora Vennarucci- University of Arkansas (US)
    • Gijs Tol-University of Melbourne (Australia)
    • Dr. Ines Tescione-Università degli Studi Roma Tre
    • Dr. Evangelia Kiriatzi- Fith Laboratory – British School at Athens
    • Rossella Rinaldi- Università di Modena

    Research Body

    • Cornell University

    Funding Body

    • Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies Small Grant
    • PCCW Affinito-Stewart Grant


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