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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today was the very last day of our 2020 excavation season at Podere Cannicci.
We were able to recognize a last context (36), document it and remove it. A new wall encloses the larger room, which was divided in two spaces with clay walls.
The excavation revealed also the presence of a new dolium still in situ and aligned with those discovered last year along the southern wall of the room; a number of functional objects were also collected, detailing the different activities carried out in the complex.
We finished the day by cleaning all the excavation area and taking aerial photos with both a thermo-camera and a drone. Now, let’s wait for 2021!!!
The second last day of the season at Podere Cannicci was full of surprises!
The removal of US 44 brought to the discovery of a new wall in the south-western part of the trench. Close to this wall, the remains of a dolium were collected; these bear marks on their surface, indicating the quantity of the liquid inside.
The wooden beam/architrave found completely carbonised close to the wall was fully documented. It appears to have some sort of relationship with the pillar at the center of the room that was exposed during the 2019 season.
We finally decided to have a pit test in the newly found drain, between walls 35 and 36. The sondage demonstrated that the archaeological sequence continues underneath.
In the eastern part of the excavation, US 29 was completely removed while wall 4 was fully exposed. A new wall appeared, aligned to those of the large drain discovered in 2019.
A wooden, charred architrave or very large beam was discovered by removing the collapse, while new contexts were exposed as well in the southern area. A bronze door knob was recovered in the collapse.
Finally, some activities took also place at the medieval site of Castellaraccio, documenting new evidence that will help understanding the overall medieval settlement and its connection with the fallen bridge.
Today, we started to label the newly discovered rooms at Podere Cannicci, as our 2020 season is coming to an end.
In the meantime, US 29 was documented and removed, exposing the possible prefurnium of the kiln/oven US 28 and the NW-SE wall US4.
In the southern area, instead, US 2 was completely removed as well as the collapse. Just below it, the remains of melted clay walls appeared, cut by agricultural plowings of uncertain chronology.
Other contexts were exposed, but not yet fully identified and documented.
In the southern side of the trench, our archaeologists finished to remove US 26 and exposed the semi-rectangular cut US 28; this presents vertical sections of limited height while the filling had some remains of mortar. Then the area was cleaned and fully documented, with a 3D plan of the possible kiln.
In the northern side, instead, the activities aimed at clarifying the limits of the rooms, by delimitating the internal floors, that are made up of yellow clay and small pebbles. Moreover, US 27 was started to be removed; this is a hard, yellow clay deposit that partially abuts the drain and presents lumps and concentrations of charcoal.