• Timpone della Motta
  • Francavilla Marittima


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    • 1300 BC - 600 AD


      • This site, one of the most important pre-colonial settlements, comprises a village on the plateau of Timpone della Motta, where Strabo placed the ancient Lagaria, founded by the mythical Epeios maker of the Trojan horse, a rich necropolis in the locality of Macchiavate where in the 1960s P. Zancani excavated Enotrian vases and precious bronze personal ornaments (arms, fibulae, belts, diadems, and metal, amber and glass paste necklaces) and an Athenaion on the acropolis (where an inscription with the name of Athena was found). The sanctuary on the acropolis is constituted by cult and service buildings. The structure denominated V, which replaced the archaic temple X hypothesised by W.M. Stoop in the area of the Byzantine chapel, showed various phases. The first phase is represented by a middle Bronze Age dwelling, cut by later constructions, with an apse facing west. This was followed by a house made of wood and other perishable materials datable to the early Iron Age (the House of the Weavers), with a hearth in the western part, a loom in the central room and to the east a room with an apse. Bronze objects by the hearth, of the same type as those present in the tomb groups of the female burials at Macchiabate, attest that this part of the house also had a cult function, whilst the exterior preserved a domestic role. Finds on the acropolis of Laconian type bronze pendants in the form of young geese on decorated bases (8th century B.C.) attest the first Greek influence in the area. The size of the loom weights from the central room suggests that the loom was very large and therefore used for weaving cloth to be dedicated to the divinity. The vessels found in the house date to the late middle Geometric period (775-725 B.C.). The apsed structure of the house, comparable to several contemporary buildings in Greece, must have been representative of the prestige of the dominant families and constituted a place for cult practices, although it is not possible to know whether it was destined from the start to a divinity or whether it belonged to the local aristocracy who carried out work there linked to the production of cloth to be used for religious purposes. Over this building a new temple was built re-using the post holes from the earlier hut. The imported pottery (cups, jugs and kantharoi of Achaean type) and local wares were linked to the drinking ritual, whilst the openwork kantharoi, the lekythoi with narrow or trilobate spouts, aryballoi and alabastra for oils and perfumed unguents, show the veneration of a goddess linked to weaving and craft activities. At the beginning of the 6th century B.C. the southern part of the acropolis was covered by a layer of gravel that had been removed from the slopes during construction of the defensive wall surrounding the sanctuary, dated by a few early Corinthian alabastra to 625-590 B.C. A new temple was built on top of this deposit (phase e of Building V) whose structure was then demolished to make way for the Byzantine chapel (10th century A.D.). The presence in the sanctuary of hydriskai and services of drinking vessels links water to the cult of a goddess who was the patroness of weavers and who was assimilated to the Greek Athena; the relationship seems to be provided by the figure of the hero Epaios, comparable to Hephaiston for his craft-working skills and for his transport of water for the Greek commanders during the Trojan war. (MiBAC)
      • The excavation of the settlement of Timpone della Motta undertaken by the University of Calabria explored the so-called “pianoro II”, where previous Dutch excavations led by Marianne Kleibrink had identified residential structures. The following is a preliminary report as the finds have yet to be studied. The excavation was preceded by an analysis of the plateau using a drone and geophysical survey. A field survey was also carried out, which documented the finds and structures across all areas of the plateau and showed that, at least in the archaic period, the settlement was densely occupied. Most of the finds recovered dated to this period, but other survey finds also dated to the Iron Age and the 4th century B.C. Three trenches, 5 x 5 m, 8.5 x 5 m and 8.5 x 4.0 m, were opened and later extended to cover a total of 168 m2. Natural was only reached in trench 1; the other trenches remain to be completed. Trench 1: the remains of a house built of cobblestones were identified, including traces of housings in the bedrock. Over the course of time, the structure had suffered heavy erosion and robbing and was then obliterated by layers containing abundant pottery. The building was situated along one end of a rock outcrop, which was levelled by a cut and perhaps used as a surface on an east-west alignment. Trench 2: a wall on an east-west alignment was identified, at present visible for 6.35 m, built of squared blocks of conglomerate and large cobblestones (0.40 m wide). The size of the blocks and construction technique differing from that of the houses already known on the plateau, suggest the wall must have been part of a rather large building. At present, the perimeter of the building has not been defined as the excavation remains to be extended and completed. Trench 3: opened on the south side of Trench 2. A dense area of large cobblestones and lumps of conglomerate mixed with earth was identified. It was a maximum of c. 7 m long (east-west) and c. 1.50 m wide and was probably a retaining wall whose alignment was the same as the blocks in Trench 2. However, more excavation is necessary in order to define its function and chronology.
      • This was the second season of excavations at the settlement of the Timpone of the Motta di Francavilla Marittima (CS). The investigations concentrated on the so-called plateau II, one of the main settlement areas. At the same time, the first survey of plateau I was undertaken, which it is planned to excavated next year. The excavations were preceded by georadar and magnetometer surveys, which registered substantial anomalies. Excavation continued in trenches 2 and 3, and new trenches were opened (4: 9 x 8.5 m, 9: 3.4 x 2 m) in order to extend this excavation area. New trenches 5 (5 x 5 m), 8 (5 x 3.10 m) and 7 (14 x 12 m) were also opened on the lower terrace of the plateau. The excavations in trenches 2, 3, 4, and 9 revealed a stratigraphic sequence with three structures that were built in different periods. The earliest structure was constituted by a row of cobbles and _pithoi_ body sherds, found thus far for a length of c. 2 m. These remains were obliterated by a layer on which a substantial wall was built, conserved for a length of c. 6.5 m, constructed with large cobbles and squared blocks of conglomerate. The latter was identified last year. This wall was obliterated by a layer of earth on top of which a large containing wall was built of lumps of conglomerate and large cobbles, intercepted in 2017, and excavated for c. 15 m this year. The preliminary dating has identified a more monumental phase in the 6th century B.C., earlier periods of occupation (early Iron Age and 7th century B.C.), and later phases (5th-4th century B.C.), which show continuity of occupation on the plateau. In trenches 5 and 8 the remains of a hut were found on the edge of the plateau. The finds included fragments of baked clay and materials datable to the early Iron Age. In trench 7, the so-called “Casa della cucina” was rediscovered. It was partially excavated in the 1960s, but all trace of it was lost and it was impossible to get a precise location from the published plans. Rediscovered thanks to the use of georadar, the structure immediately appeared to be well-preserved. In the northern part, the foundation footing of cobbles was preserved intact (c. 70 cm high). This season, the entire perimeter of the hut was exposed (c. 15 x 5 m) and the excavation began of the rooms (not investigated in the 60s); its excavation will be completed in 2019.
      • This was the third campaign of excavations on the settlement of Timpone della Motta di Francavilla (CS). For the first time exploration took place on plateau I and at the same time, for the third year, continued on plateau II. Firstly, on plateau I, aerial-photogrammetric surveys using a drone were made and a geophysical survey was carried out in one area, which revealed a series of anomalies relating to buried structures. A surface survey was then undertaken over the entire area. The collection of the material involved the positioning and geo-referencing of each individual find, an experimental procedure that made it possible to make a detailed reconstruction of the concentrations of different classes of materials. A 5 x 5 m trench was opened (trench 2) with the aim of checking the potential of the stratigraphic deposit. Positioned in the central-southern sector of the plateau, it was excavated to a depth of c. 1 m. The layers of fill identified thus far are the result of natural deposition. This attests the difference between this deposit and that found on plateau II, where the structures began to emerge at about 40 cm in depth. The excavation will be deepened during the next campaign. Trenches 10, 11 and 12 were opened on plateau II, and work continued in trench 7. Trenches 10 (max. 5.7 x 3.8 cm) and 12, later unified, were adjacent to trench 2, positioned respectively to the north and east. A wall appeared in both trenches, made up of _dolia_ fragments and cobblestones. This wall had been partially intercepted in 2018 and overall extended for about 6.2 m and its width varied between 60 and 80 cm. Towards the east, the structure terminated with an apse, which continued to the north for about 1.8 m, also continuing beyond the trench edge. Towards the west, less of the wall was preserved due to erosion. However, some impressions in the bedrock suggest the structure also continued in this direction. The wall was probably built after the late 8th-early 7th century B.C., as it was built on top of a series of fills dated to this period by the presence of matt-painted and proto-Corinthian pottery. The fills in turn covered a surface of compact beaten earth, parts of conglomerate and _dolium_ walls, probably relating to the previous occupation, which will be investigated in the future. Trench 11 (max. 6 x 6 m), adjacent to trench 8, was opened in order to investigate the size and shape of a hut, partially identified in 2018. The excavations revealed a series of postholes, probably relating to two huts of different date. The bedrock had been levelled for the earliest structure and presented pits and six postholes, which at present do not define a precise plan. The second, later hut, presented nine postholes forming a sub-oval perimeter. Work will continue in this sector next season. In trench 7 (max. 14 x 12 m), the excavation continued of the “Casa della Cucina”. The excavations defined the structure’s plan and excavated three rooms. A patchily-preserved floor surface of compact beaten earth was exposed. In room III, below the floor, there was a wall of medium-large cobblestones, arranged on an east-west alignment and c. 5.5 m long. The stratigraphy shows this wall belongs to an earlier structure. The excavation of the three rooms also revealed a large number of postholes cut onto the bedrock.


      • Paolo Brocato, Luciano Altomare - Università della Calabria. 2018. Nuovi scavi nell’abitato del Timpone della Motta di Francavilla Marittima (CS): risultati preliminari della campagna 2017. FOLD&R Italy: 407.
      • Benedetto Carroccio - Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici , Giuseppe Ferraro - Geofisica Misure , Chiara Capparelli - Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici , Paolo Brocato, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università della Calabria , Luciano Altomare - Università della Calabria, Margherita Perri - Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici , Antonio Agostino Zappani - Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile . 2019. Scavi nell’abitato del Timpone della Motta di Francavilla Marittima (CS): risultati preliminari della campagna 2018. FOLD&R Italy: 452.
      • Paolo Brocato - Luciano Altomare - Chiara Capparelli - Filomena Costanzo - Aurelio Marino - Margherita Perri . 2022. Scavi nell’abitato del Timpone della Motta di Francavilla Marittima (CS): risultati preliminari della campagna 2021 . FOLD&R Italy: 537.
      • Paolo Brocato, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università della Calabria . 2022. Un tempio arcaico per Athena sul Timpone della Motta a Francavilla Marittima (CS, Italia): alcune osservazioni sui vecchi scavi di M.W. Stoop nella zona sud ovest dell’acropoli . FOLD&R Italy: 544.


      • F. Van der Wielen, Van Ommeren, L.de Lachenal (a cura di), La dea di Sibari e il santuario ritrovato. Studi sui rinvenimenti dal Timpone Motta di Francavilla Marittima. I.1. Ceramiche d'importazione, di produzione coloniale e indigena, Bollettino d'Arte, Roma.
      • P. Brocato, 2015, Lagaria tra mito e storia, in P. Brocato (a cura di), Note di archeologia calabrese, Cosenza, 23-57.
      • P. Brocato, L. Altomare, 2018,Nuovi scavi nell’abitato del Timpone della Motta di Francavilla Marittima (CS): risultati preliminari della campagna 2017, in FOLD&R Italy 407:1-22.
      • P. Brocato, L. Altomare, 2018, Ricerche nell’abitato del Timpone della Motta a Francavilla Marittima (CS), in C. Malacrino, M. Paoletti, D. Costanzo (a cura di), Tanino de Santis. Una vita per la Magna Grecia, Reggio Calabria: 139-147.
      • P. Brocato, L. Altomare, 2018, Nuove ricerche nell’abitato del Timpone della Motta, in Atti della XVI Giornata Archeologica Francavillese (Francavilla Marittima, 11 novembre 2017), Rende: 29-34.
      • P. Brocato, L. Altomare, C. Capparelli, M. Perri, Scavi nell’abitato del Timpone della Motta di Francavilla Marittima (CS): risultati preliminari della campagna 2018, in FOLD&R Italy 452, 2019, in corso di stampa.
      • P. Brocato, L. Altomare (a cura di), Abitato del Timpone della Motta (Francavilla Marittima, CS). Il pianoro II. Le ricerche di superficie e il saggio 1, Arcavacata di Rende 2019, in corso di stampa.