Archaeology / Cultural Heritage / History

[Archaeology] [twocolumns]

Anthropology / Human Evolution / Linguistics

[Anthropology] [twocolumns]

Palaeontology / Palaeoclimate / Earth Sciences

[Palaeontology] [twocolumns]

Evolution / Genetics / Biology

[Evolution][twocolumns]

New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo


The locality of San Pietro di Tollo in the Abruzzo region of Italy has long been known for its archaeological interest, which had led to its inclusion in the municipality's General Regulatory Scheme. Following the renovation of a farmhouse, archaeological investigations carried out prior to the work led to the discovery of a sections of a mosaic floor with black and white tesserae and plaster painted in bright colours belonging to a Roman villa with an exceptionally long lifespan, stretching from the end of the Republican age to at least the 6th-7th centuries AD. The church of S. Pietro in Tollo, dependent on the bishop of Chieti and documented in the papal tithes of the 14th century, must have been built on top of it. 


New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Aerial view of the excavation site [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology,
Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]



Later extensive excavations brought to light two very well-preserved cisterns located within the productive area of the villa, with a large warehouse with buried dolia and a settling tank, as well as sections of masonry preserved only at foundation level. Following these discoveries, the Feudo Antico winery, which owns the area, remodelled the original project, creating a far-sighted architectural design aimed at combining the protection of the ancient remains with their enhancement, in an environment that bears witness to the continuity of the agricultural use of the site.


New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Panoramic view of the site from the north looking south [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology,
Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Panoramic view of the site from the south looking north [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology,
Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

The assumption that the villa extended north-eastwards is now confirmed by the latest discoveries. The mosaic and plaster fragments provide new dimensional data on the extension of the villa towards the sea and demonstrate, in qualitative terms, that the rooms further downstream are part of the stately quarters of the site.


New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Remains of a settling tank [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Remains of storage area with inclined floor [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology,
Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

"For over two thousand years, this has been a place where wine and oil have been produced," emphasises Vittorio Di Carlo, President of Cantine Feudo Antico; "as early as Roman times, a farm was set up to produce these precious nectars. Today, we - modest agricultural entrepreneurs, custodians of the land - are bringing back to light the artefacts made by our extraordinary ancestors and continuing their labours to produce the nectar of Bacchus and the green gold produced from the fruit of the Athena tree." 




"Under the high supervision of the Superintendence, we have invested, discovered and restored part of the Roman villa rustica, making it accessible to the public and creating a farm complex that is as unpretentious and respectful as possible. To do this we were inspired by the Bauhaus school founded by Walter Gropius in the last century and, thanks to the flair and wisdom of the designers who embraced the idea with passionate commitment and the workers who applied all their expertise, today we can enjoy this structure delicately nestled among the vineyards of DOCG TULLUM with the Adriatic Sea, the Maiella and the Gran Sasso massifs on the horizon".


New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Cistern exterior [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Cistern interior [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

The new information acquired underlines and confirms the very high historical, cultural and anthropological value of the area where the Roman villa of San Pietro once stood, in a landscape context characterised by its wine-growing and agricultural tradition.


New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Section of mosaic floor [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Painted wall plaster fragment [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]



The mayor of Tollo, Angelo Radica, recalls that "Tollo is one of the greenest and most active municipalities in Abruzzo, a symbol of Tullum Docg and has been committed to sustainability issues for years. It has committed 84% of its municipal territory (70% to vineyards) through the Regulatory Plan for the Cities of Wine and has introduced rural policies to promote organic viticulture. It recently launched the procedure for recognition of the Abruzzo pergola as a World Heritage Site and is one of the first municipalities in Italy to have promoted the formation of the energy community in the area. Lastly, this March it received a nomination in the National Landscape Award promoted by the Ministry of Culture".


New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Italic red slip ware [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
African red slip ware [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

It is therefore an area that deserves to be protected and preserved, including through the definition of a more stringent regulatory framework that can ensure that the villa, within its context, is preserved and enhanced. 


New archaeological finds near the Roman villa in Contrada, San Pietro di Tollo
Bronze Antonianus [Credit: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara]

"The new archaeological excavations and the information acquired change the reference framework and push us towards the adoption of direct protection measures," says Superintendent Rosaria Mencarelli. "The technical officials are currently verifying the scientific data collected in order to confirm the possibility of initiating a specific procedure for a wide-ranging archaeological protection order. The history and cultural identity of a community and a territory must be preserved, all the more so when the community itself wants it, demonstrating among other things that sustainable development and the protection of cultural heritage can coexist."


Source: Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara [trsl. TANN; April 22, 2021]



Support The Archaeology News Network with a small donation!




TANN

Post A Comment
  • Blogger Comment using Blogger
  • Facebook Comment using Facebook
  • Disqus Comment using Disqus

No comments :


Exhibitions / Travel

[Exhibitions] [bsummary]

Natural Heritage / Environment / Wildlife

[Natural Heritage] [list]

Astronomy / Astrobiology / Space Exploration

[Universe] [list]