The Sanctuary Area of Diana Umbronensis at Scoglietto

The Sanctuary area dedicated to the cult of Diana Umbronensis was excavated between 2009 and 2011.

The site is located on the hilltop at Lo Scoglietto, at the very north end of the Uccellina Mountains. In the Roman times, the sanctuary was situated on a promontory, as theTyrrhenian seacoast line touched the slopes of the hill.

The sacred place was firstly built during the 2nd century BCE, when a small temple was erected and enclosed by a temenos wall. Due to a possible collapse of part of the hill, the area was reconstructed at the time f the reign of Augustus. The main temple occupied the southern extend of the promontory and a new temenos wall enclosed a square. At this stage, a cistern was built to provide the necessary water supply, together with three small, rectangular rooms as part of a developing sanctuary.

During the reign of Domitian, the sanctuary was widened with the construction of other rooms, two of them paved in opus signinum. A third room presented a mosaic floor, with black and white tesserae that, unfortunately survived only partially. Other implementations happened throughout the reign of Commodus, when the sanctuary reached its peak.

With the 3rd century CE, only a few elements of the site were still in use; these include the main temple, that at this time was refurbished and decorated with spolia coming from some of the dismissed rooms of the sanctuary, the main square in front of it (paved in opus spicatum) and the cistern. By the second half of the 4th century CE, the area was abandoned and in ruin. It is in this moment that a small necropolis was installed on the hill.

At the end of the 4th century CE, the remaining walls of the temple were systematically dismantled and the site fell completely out of use. Nonetheless, a certain amount of 5th century CE African lamps testimonies prolonged cult activities.

In the first half of the 6th century CE, the ruins of the area were used to accomodate a sunken-floor hut and a series of humble structures. This occupation is dated by the recovery of some pottery and a Byzantine nummus.

The site was fully published in 2015.

References

Monograph

Sebastiani A., Chirico E., Colombini M. and Cygielman M. (eds) 2015. Diana Umbronensis a Scoglietto. Santuario, Territorio e Cultura Materiale (200 a.C. –550 d.C.). Oxford: Archaeopress (Archaeopress Roman Archaeology series, 3; ISBN: 978-1-78491-052-5).

Papers

Sebastiani A. 2016. New data for a preliminary understanding of the Roman settlement network in south coastal Tuscany. The Case of Alberese (Grosseto, IT). Res Antiquae, 13: 243-272.

De Benetti M. and Sebastiani A. 2014. I rinvenimenti monetali nel territorio di Alberese. Annali dell’Istituto Italiano di Numismatica, 59: 291-306.

Sebastiani A. 2014. Alberese nel periodo romano. Territorio e popolamento dalla Romanizzazione alla Tarda Antichità, Marittima 3: 5-12.

Sebastiani A., Chirico E. and Colombini M. 2013. Dinamiche insediative di età romana nel territorio della foce dell’Ombrone: l’area dei templi di Scoglietto (Alberese – GR). Relazione alla campagna di scavo 2010, in Journal of Fasti Online, www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2013-276.pdf.

Cygielman M., Chirico E., Colombini M. and Sebastiani A. 2012. Alberese (GR). Loc. Scoglietto, Area dei templi romani: indagini 2010, Notiziario della Soprintendenza ai Beni Archeologici della Toscana 7: 346-350.

Caldarelli D., Ceccaroni F., Sebastiani A. and Nannini P. 2012. Rilievo tridimensionale speditivo con tecnica fotogrammetrica ZSCAN EVO del sito archeologico di Scoglietto (Alberese – GR), Notiziario della Soprintendenza ai Beni Archeologici della Toscana 7: 350-355.

Sebastiani A. 2011. Il paesaggio romano della Maremma grossetana: aree sacre ed infrastrutture portuali alla foce del fiume Ombrone, Forma Urbis XVI, 4: 19-25.

Ebolese A., Sebastiani A. and Colombini M. 2011. Progetto Archeologico Alberese: sperimentazione della tecnica LiDAR-FW sul promontorio dei templi romani dello Scoglietto, Archeomatica 5: 12-17.

Sebastiani A. (ed) 2011. Il Progetto Archeologico Alberese, Arqueologia Medieval. El espais de secà, Pagès Editors, Lleida: 177-213.

Chirico E. and Sebastiani A. 2010. L’occupazione tardo antica del promontorio dello Scoglietto ad Alberese (Grosseto -IT), Archeologia Medievale 37: 333-346.

Chirico E. and Sebastiani A. 2010.   L’insediamento tardoantico sul promontorio dello Scoglietto (Alberese, Grosseto – IT), in Journal of Fasti Online,  www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2010-196.pdf

Cygielman M., Chirico E., Colombini M. and Sebastiani A. (eds) 2009. Dinamiche insediative nel territorio della foce dell’Ombrone: nuovi dati dagli scavi presso l’Area Templare dello Scoglietto, Notiziario della Soprintendenza Archeologica della Toscana 5: 35-92.

Book Chapters

Sebastiani A. Forthcoming (2019), The Riverine Landscape of the Ombrone Valley in the Roman Period: Preliminary Data from Southern Tuscany. In Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology (Cologne/Bonn – May 22-26, 2018).

Sebastiani A. 2017. From Villa to Village. Late Roman to Early Medieval Settlement networks in the ager Rusellanus. In J. Moreland, J. Mitchell and B. Leal (eds), Encounters, Excavations and Argosies. Essays for Richard Hodges Oxford, Archaeopress: 281-290.

Brando M. and Sebastiani A. 2016. Enlightening Diana Umbronensis. The Late Antique lamp assemblage from the Sanctuary at Scoglietto (Alberese – IT) In Proceedings of Roman and Late Antique Lamps: Production and Distribution, contacts of the Mediterranean (2nd February 2015), Zagreb: 107-127.

Cygielman M., Chirico E., Colombini M. and Sebastiani A. 2013. River port trade, luxury glass working and temple dedications along the via Aurelia vetus: New Excavations in Roman Tuscany. In L. Bombardieri, A. D’Agostino, G. Guardacci, V. Orsi, S. Valentini (eds) SOMA 2012 Identity and Connectivity: Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology: 877-886.

Caldarelli D., Ceccaroni F., Sebastiani A. and Nannini P. 2012. Rilievo speditivo 3D con tecnica fotogrammetrica ZSCAN EVO dell’area templare di Scoglietto (Alberese – GR). In Atti della 16° Conferenza Nazionale ASITA – Fiera di Vicenza 6-9 novembre 2012: 331-337.