Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 11, 2021

The last day of the second week saw the team continuing to remove the collapse in the second room of the keep. This would be the last day that we work on this context, as we understood that it takes more time than what we have to finish the task. Nonetheless, we started to expose and clean a second context of collapse, made up of broken roof-tiles as we had in the other room of the building.

In the house, instead, we have removed context 37 that contained the clay seal and a couple of coins minted in Florence. Just underneath, a much interesting situation is now appearing, with walls of a previous building being covered by 37. Stay tuned for some news on Monday!

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 10, 2021

Today the excavations stopped because Chiara, one of our students, had to discussed her dissertation. Huge congratulations to her!!

The rest of the team spent the morning in the lab, but in the afternoon we visited the abandoned medieval village of Monte Acuto, near Pari. This was one of the sites belonging to the Ardengheschi family owners also of Castellaraccio. The site is open to public and some structures are well visible in the woods that cover the original settlement.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 9, 2021

We spent the morning focusing on the second room of the keep. The rain, in fact, prevented us to continue our investigation in the house as context 37 was extremely wet and we could have damaged the stratigraphy.

Unfortunately, again in the afternoon we experienced a violent storm and we had to interrupt our activities.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 7, 2021

We spent the entire morning concentrating on the removal of the collapse in the second room of the keep and to clean the emerging walls.

In the afternoon, we had to stop our activities due to a massive thunderstorm. We hope to resume the excavations tomorrow.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 6, 2021

Today, we continued to remove the collapse in the second room of the keep. We have decided to concentrate on one half of the space, as the context is quite thick and we won’t be able to fully excavate it. At least, we will be able to check the building technique of the fortification and of the dividing wall between the two rooms.

The excavations in the house in the middle of the settlement proceeded with the documentation of context 37 with drone pictures, plans and drawings. We aim at removing it and check whether any early medieval context survives underneath.

The final cleaning of context 37 revealed a clay object, most likely a seal, bearing the arms of the city of Florence. Its chronology should be in the 14th century, when the castle is already abandoned according to written sources. This is opening new scenarios on the life and abandonment of the settlement at the same time when the nearby borgo franco di Paganico was rebuilt by Siena after Castruccio Castracani’s siege in 1328.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 5, 2021

Today marks the end of the first week of the 2021 excavation season at the deserted medieval village of Castellaraccio di Monteverdi.

As a first summary, we have removed a good portion of the thick and wide collapse context in the second room of the keep. Unfortunately, this context is quite extended, and it will take some time before we can finish its removal. Nonetheless, we were able to date the circular hole that was visible in the center of the room. Most likely, this was done in the 1970s as we found remains of glass bottles and of a bullet at its very bottom. The hole cut the entire stratigraphy, showing an occasional section where the collapse continues for at least 1 meter, covering a context of roof-tiles that is just above a thick, yellow clay context.

The excavations of the building in the central part of the hilltop exposed an interesting context with stone chips and dark soil. On top of this, a hearth still contained a couple of testi (cooking dishes), one coin and a clay seal.

On the exterior of the fortifications, we have uncovered parts of the elevations so to facilitate its understanding and analysis, especially with the portions uncovered inside the keep.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 4, 2021

The removal of the collapse in the second room of the keep continues, while the team was divided to start the investigation of the building on the hilltop (Area 2000). Here, we removed the remaining part of the collapse, exposing context 37, composed of small stone chips and dark soil, rich in fragments of pottery and nails.

At the same time, we continue the cleaning of the external fortifications, exposing the wall and creating a passage into the forest.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 3, 2021

While we continue to remove the collapse in the second room of the keep, we also decided to start the cleaning of the exterior portion of the fortification walls on the northern section. This will allow us to better understand the building technique and to compare it with what emerges inside the keep.

From tomorrow, we will also start again digging inside the so-called House 1, by removing the remaining collapse and see how the stratigraphy continues.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 2, 2021

We spent the entire day removing the collapse in the second room of the keep. This context is composed of large to medium stones resulting from the abandonment of the castle around the end of the 13th century. The context is empty of any material culture. At the center of the room, a large, circular hole is present maybe related to some recent activities at the castle.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 1, 2021

On Monday May 31, 2021, we started our third archaeological season at the deserted medieval village of Castellaraccio di Monteverdi.

This year, we will be focusing on the excavation of the second room of the keep, by removing the large collapse of its walls after the dismissal at the end of the 13th century.

Moreover, we will try to continue the exploration of the building located along with the fortifications on the north-western side of the settlement, where we intercepted parts of a possible residential structure in 2019.

Due to international travel bans and restrictions of the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, we have no American students. The team is made up of Prof. Alessandro Sebastiani (SUNY – Buffalo), Prof. Michelle Hobart (The Cooper Union), Alessandro Carabia (University of Birmingham), Dr. Edoardo Vanni (University of Siena), Luca Giannuzzi Savelli, Benedetta Baleani, Cleo Barbafiera, Marta De Pari, Chiara Mendolia, Maria Teresa Sgromo, Federico Saccoccio, Debora Tanganelli, and Dr. Flavia Vanni.

Together with the excavations, this year we also start the restoration of some of the vessels coming from the nearby necropolis at Podere Cannicci with Laura Franci directing the operations.