Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Final day (June 17, 2022)

Last day of work at Castellaraccio for the 2022 campaign. Very early in the morning, Federico and Marta came to take the last pictures with the drone and some final points to have the perfect light. During normal working hours, our small team dedicated their time to completing any possible missing documentation (context sheets, photographs, journal), bringing back the tools, and covering the excavated areas to protect them until our next campaign.

This has been an exciting campaign. Our small, specialized group was 100% focused on Area 2000 to excavate as much as possible of that room and obtain a complete picture of the stratigraphy of one of the castle’s buildings. The objective was only partially achieved. We still have some contexts to excavate before reaching the bedrock, but at least we have all the room exposed with the contexts all in phase. We underestimated the extent of the collapse and roots that we still needed to remove to reach the northern edge of the area, which delayed some work.
Nonetheless, the results are fascinating. We confirmed the extension of context 37 to the whole room and exposed a second fireplace/burned beam in the north-western corner of the room. We revealed the rest of context 55 in the northern part of the room. We explored the series of grey yellowish circular or semi-circular cuts. We hoped they could represent sealed granaries, but we yet have found no proof. We also started excavating the series of cuts identified in the old west-east wall 84 to better understand the stratigraphy there. Still, there was no time to fully explore this option.

The campaign was also rich in finds with the recovery of two rings, two knife blades, an arrowhead, and many new potteries for our Benedetta to study. We also recovered an incredible amount of environmental finds (seeds), which will be analysed by our specialist (an archaeobotanist).

This combination of finds poses further questions, especially for the oldest phases. The presence of charred seeds and a possible working surface (the big stone 97) make us think of a storage room of some sort. However, the presence of jewellery (even if in copper-alloy) and of the arrowhead may point in another direction or suggest a more complex picture which will be hopefully clear when the room is fully excavated.

As always, it is hard to leave the site and the people, we would all love to stay just for another week, continuing our work and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere and hospitality of Monteverdi and Paganico. Still, all things need to end at some point. The site will be there waiting for us next year and Monteverdi will be ready to welcome any students that will eventually decide to come back.

See you the next season!

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