One of the main interesting sites for the Project is represented by the remains of a late Etruscan and Republican sanctuary at Podere Cannicci. Around it, a vicus was founded in order to provide support to the adjacent religious complex. The site occupies a large portion of the territory of Monteverdi and it has been initially excavated by the Soprintendenza between 1989 and 1990.
The 1989-1990 excavations have shown the existence of a series of large, rectangular rooms, with stone-based walls and clay elevations. These have been preliminarily interpreted as remains of storehouses, as 10 dolia have been recovered along two of the walls. However, this structure was part of a larger settlement with a rectangular courtyard (14x11m) with a rectangular basin plastered in cocciopesto. From this, a network of drains ran towards a cistern while at least other 5 rooms were detected but not fully excavated.
The preliminary analysis of the material culture dates the site in two different phases: the first phase is set during the late 4th – 3rd c. BC, while the second phase runs from the 2nd c. BC to c. 80BC. However, surveys around the site clearly show the existence of different (and later) phases of occupation at least until the 2nd c. AD as coins minted under Trajan and Hadrian were recovered.
The archaeological research
The aim of the Project is to fully expose and understand the site at Podere Cannicci. Moreover, two aspects are fundamental. First, archaeology has to understand the interconnected relationship between the sanctuary and its vicus, trying to figure out whether mutual phases can be recognized. Secondly, we aim to understand the transformation of the surrounding landscape from the Roman period into the medieval, and to see changes and variabilities in the mobility of goods and people. The presence of the river Ombrone represents the trait d’union with the data already available with the sea coast in terms of trades and commerce between the coast and the mainland.