Saturday, November 29, 2008

Discoveries at Modena both Licit and Il-

Excavations at Modena in Emilia-Romagna have brought to light a Roman ceramic kiln area and waster heaps dating to the first centuries CE. The discovery occurred in the course of construction of a basement for a new building on the Viale Reiter (see on Google Maps), outside the ancient city walls.

A Roman level was found at a depth of 5.50 m below a thick alluvial deposit. Large pits were found filled with kiln wasters, tile kiln elements, and general Roman trash including marble, plaster, stucco, mosaic tesserae, ceramics, coins and metal objects. A large pit, probably a clay quarry, produced misfired cooking ware, bricks, and amphorae, as well as kiln spacers and architectural elements. The pit containted ceramics of different productions, including Dressel type 2-4 amphorae, floor tiles, varnished jugs and bottles, thin-walled ware, North Italian terra sigillata cups, as well as over 100 Firmalampen (Factory Lamps) with the producers' stamps Fortis, Stabili, Communis, Phoetaspi, and Eucarpi.

Also found were a terracotta statuette of Hercules and the Erymanthian Boar, and 14 lead sling bullets, attributable to the Bellum Mutinensis of 43 BCE (I can't make out any inscriptions from the photograph).

[Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Emilia-Romagna, with many good photos; ItalyMag]

On the other side of the law, two collectors from Castelfranco Emilia (Modena) have been arrested and accused of illegal possession of antiquities, including a very fine javelin point and spear head, a 6th century BCE votive terracotta from Magna Graecia, Gothic and Lombard buckles, and Republican Roman coins.

[Il Nuovo Giornale di Modena, via David Gill at Looting Matters]

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