Wednesday, September 29, 2010

6th c. BCE bronze statue seized near Nola

Carabinieri have seized an 80 cm-tall bronze statue from a healthcare provider in Cimitile, near Nola. The statue is described as being of a Greek warrior, similar to the "Etruscan Mars"-type, and dating to the 6th c. BCE. It's a shame there isn't a larger photo -- it looks a bit 'funny' to my eyes, although scholars from the Naples and Pompeii Soprintendenza have apparently confirmed its authenticity.

Sources: Il Nolano, Irpinia News

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A bit of this and that

Here's a hodgepodge of things that happened during the long summer months or a bit more recently, with no claim to completeness....

The conference "Etruscan Literacy in its Social Context" is going on currently, September 22-23, in London; follow link for program and abstracts.

Tudisca et al. 2010, "Firing technique characterization of black-slipped pottery in Praeneste by low field 2D NMR relaxometry" is available as an Article-in-Press from the Journal of Archaeological Science (subscription required).

Via Mark Pearce on the Italian-archaeology list comes the news that Vol. XX of Padusa, a must for the site of Frattesina, is freely available as a series of pdfs. A well-illustrated 80-page pdf that accompanies the exhibit in Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Fratta Polesine, "Il villaggio di Frattesina e le sue necropoli XII - XI secolo a.C.", is also available.

July 1 saw the reopening of the galleries of frescoes from the Villa della Farnesina, at the Palazzo Massimo.

A series of talks entitled "Storie interno a Monte Pallano" took place at Tornareccio in Abruzzo on July 31. The event kicked off an exhibit of the same name at the Centro Museale of Tornareccio, which will run until January 20, 2011. The highlight of the exhibit is the 7th c. BCE "Torso di Pallano." More information freely available in a pdf.

There was a month long exhibit entitled "Sulle tracce di Annibale. Gli scavi di Gereonium a Casacalenda" at the Museo Sannitico in Campobasso; of interest is a fragment of a limestone stele with a so-called symbol of Tanit on it, dating to the 3rd-2nd cs. BCE (see image above).

Brief mention of an Etruscan house discovered during construction in Arezzo.

An exhibit of Middle Bronze Age artifacts from the site of Faraglioni is going on display at the Museo Comunale in Ustica, while the first "Museo del Paesaggio" (Landscape Museum) in Italy has opened at Salemi in SW Sicily. Also near Sicily, some underwater finds off Gela, ranging from fragments of Attic pottery to a WWII American helmet. On the other side of the island, three Greco-Roman shipwrecks in the Aeolians.

And a letter from Sandro Bondi to Jovanotti....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Exhibit: 'Lungo le rotte dei Micenei' (Isernia)

       The Museo Archeologico Santa Maria delle Monache in Isernia, Molise, is hosting an exhibit entitled 'Lungo le Rotte dei Micenei. L’insediamento dell’età del Bronzo di Monteroduni', which runs from April 22, 2010 until January 15, 2011. The exhibit focuses on material from the settlement at Monteroduni (IS), loc. Paradiso, where 12th c. BCE levels produced ceramics of Aegean inspiration. The MiBAC site has good illustrations.

A spiral-decorated sherd [picture above; scale is 2 cm] was published by Marco Bettelli (2006. "Un frammento di ceramica micenea da Monteroduni," in Atti del XXVI Convegno sulla Preistoria e Protostoria della Daunia (San Severo, Dicembre 2005), pp. 189-194); it is more likely to be a product of an Italo-Mycenaean workshop than an import from the Greek mainland. From the same levels come fragments of impasto dolia recalling Aegean prototypes. So, yes, there is some sort of information making its way from the Greek peninsula to the Italian, but maybe at one or two removes; it seems to me a bit of a stretch to speak of "routes of the Mycenaeans"– but I'm all for whatever (within reason) brings people into museums...

An account of the 2002-2007 Monteroduni excavations can be found in the latest issue of Archeomolise (2010. no. 4) pp. 20-31.

See also:
Cazzella A., De Dominicis A., Recchia G. & Ruggini C. 2005. "Il sito dell’età del Bronzo recente di Monteroduni – Paradiso (IS)." Rivista di Scienze Preistoriche, LV. pp. 384-438.

Recchia G., De Dominicis A. & Ruggini C. .2006. "Monteroduni – loc. Paradiso (IS): nuovi dati sull’occupazione del sito." Atti del 26° Convegno Nazionale sulla Preistoria Protostoria e Storia della Daunia, San Severo, 2005. pp. 171-188.

Cazzella A., De Dominicis A., Recchia G. & Ruggini C. 2007. "Elementi di ispirazione egea dai livelli della tarda età del Bronzo del sito di Monteroduni – loc. Paradiso (IS)." Conoscenze. Rivista Semestrale della Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici del Molise, 2005 (1/2). pp. 35-44.

Cazzella A., De Dominicis A. & Ruggini C. 2008. "Recenti scavi nell’insediamento dell’età del Bronzo di Monteroduni (località Paradiso)." Atti del 28° Convegno Nazionale sulla Preistoria Protostoria e Storia della Daunia, San Severo, 2007. pp. 239-250.

Miscellany for May 13, 2010

Rogue Italianist, now reporting from Athens...

I note a new journal called Archeomatica, whose purview is 'technologies for cultural heritage' [website]...

...and a new museum at Paludi di Celano, Abruzzo [Archeoblog].

An intact sarcophagus was discovered during digging for a new water line in Via Liside, Taranto. The male burial dates to the late 5th or early 4th c. BCE, and included an aryballos, a strigil, and a bronze finger ring [].

Ancient buildings, including a bath, in Crotone [ANSA].

A 2nd-1st c. BCE amphora in the sea off Bari (no big surprise there) [Archeoblog].

Meanwhile, in Umbria...
...the Soprintendenza resumed excavations at Monte Moro (Montefranco), site of a sanctuary used from the Pre-Roman period into Late Antiquity [Archeopg].
...a Roman bronze bed from Gubbio's Fontevole necropolis is on display in the Antiquarium there, until December 31, 2010 [Archeopg].
...the National Museum in Perugia is mounting an exhibit entitled 'Il prestigio del oro', featuring a gold crown of the late 4th/early 3rd c. BCE from a tomb at Sperandio, north of Perugia. The crown is on loan from Florence until July 31, 2010 [Archeopg].

Interesting notice of a 'traditional knowledge' center opening near Florence [ANSA].

Fourteen ancient helmets are on display in Ragusa, nine of them on loan from Berlin's Pergamonmuseum, until June 28 [ANSA].

Fieldwork at Marsiliana d'Albegna [].

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Torre di Satriano back in the news

The mid-6th century BCE building at Torre di Satriano in Lucania is back in the news; we last heard about it in January, when the news-worthy angle was calling it a 'palace'. This time around it's the news that the 'temple or palace' has got a pre-fab roof system. The Telegraph and other English-language sources have the idea that the whole building, stones and all, was so built, but I believe that the inscriptions are limited to the terracotta elements of the roof system (for which see the informative Unibas site, images numbers 15-20 and 32-60). The inscriptions on are in Laconian-Tarentine characters of the 6th c., matching the date proposed on the basis of the decoration.

The whole system is similar to one known from Serra di Vaglio, loc. Braida, which may come from the same moulds. The mid-6th century structure at Torre di Satriano was transformed in the late 6th/early 5th century and re-roofed with anthemia and lion-head waterspouts of Tarentine moulds. In plan, the structure seems to a have a megaron-like element, to which is appended a colonnaded porch on the side that shifts the entrance to the short axis (see, e.g. fig. 34).

[ANSA; Telegraph; Times Online; Vancouver Sun]

Previous coverage at Tria Corda:
6th c. BCE Palace at Torre di Satriano

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fieldwork opportunity: Crustumerium 2010

A.J. Nijboer writes to the Italian-Archaeology mailing list:

Since 2006 the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA) excavates in the summer at Crustumerium, on the outskirts of present Rome, in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma (SSBAR; Dr. F. di Gennaro).

This summer we will be at Crustumerium from June 29 till July 24. We intend to excavate amongst others a cluster of tombs, a chamber tomb and some other burials. So far, we have a small team of Dutch, Italian and English students. Daily supervisors will be Albert Nijboer and Sarah Willemsen.

There are 4 to 5 vacancies for archaeology students with some experience in archaeological fieldwork in Italy. Costs for students are travelling expenses and a contribution towards the living expenses (ca. 50 euro per week). We invite those interested to participate from June 29 till July 24, to send an application to:
A.J.Nijboer [at]
S.L.Willemsen [at]

The application implies a letter stating your interest in the excavations at Crustumerium and a CV. Once accepted you receive further information on arrangements and excavation.

Information on Crustumerium and our research can be found on:
The third link to the Finnish Institute at Rome has quite a number of preliminary reports on the work carried out at Crustumerium so far...

Monday, April 05, 2010

ArcheoMolise nos. 3 and 4 (January-March, April -July 2010)

The latest number of ArcheoMolise (ISSN: 2036-3028) is available to download here. Contents of the April-June 2010 issue follow:

Ettore Rufo, Antonella Minelli, Giuseppe Lembo, Bruno Paglione, and Carlo Peretto, "La Preistoria dell'Alto Molise. Una panoramica."

Alberto Cazzella, Valentina Copat, Michela Danesi, Alessandro De Dominicis, Giulia Recchia, and Cristiana Ruggini, "Siti dell'Età del Bronzo nel Molise interno. Località Paradiso a Monteroduni (IS) e Rocca di Oratino (CB)."

Adriano La Regina, "Pietrabbondante: La domus publica del santuario."

Maria Teresa Lembo, "I feudi di Clusanum e Viperam. Insediamenti fortificati medievali scomparsi nel territorio di Gambatesa."

Emilia De Simoni, "Il Mája di Acquaviva Collecroce. Personificazioni del Maggio in Molise."

Lidia Di Giandomenico, "Il popolamento antico della costa molisana. Breve contributo sulle testimonianze archeologiche dei centri costieri."

Plus notices of exhibitions and short book reviews.

I haven't yet mentioned the previous issue of ArcheoMolise, no. 3 (January-March 2010), also available at the C.E.R.P. Isernia site; contents below:

Paolo Galli & Luigi Scaroina, "Il fascino discreto dell'archeosismologia. Casi studio dal Molise." pp. 6-19.

Ulderico Iorillo, "L'icona della Madonna della Luce nella cattedrale di Isernia." pp. 20-29.

Francesco de Vincenzi, "Ditta Florindo Martino. Manifattura della lana a Sepino." pp. 30-41.

Rosalia Gallotti, "Archeologia e GIS: lo stato dell'arte." pp. 42-49.

Mauro Gioielli, "Antiche zampogne. Dall'utriculus latino alla sordellina barocca." pp. 50-59.

Michele Pasquale, "Una chiese medievale sulla sommità della 'Morgia'. Il complesso architettonico della chiesa di San Giacomo Apostolo il Maggiore e la cripta di Santa Margherita d'Antiochia a Pietracatella." pp. 60-69.

The contents of the first three issues of ArcheoMolise are available here.

From the Journals, April 2010

Maria Longhena reviews John Robb, The Early Mediterranean Village. Agency, Material Culture, and Social Change in Neolithic Italy (Cambridge 2007) in the European Journal of Archaeology (April 2010, Volume 13, No. 1, pp. 123-124).

World Archaeology, Volume 42 Issue 1 (2010):

M. MacKinnon, "Cattle 'breed' variation and improvement in Roman Italy: connecting the zooarchaeological and ancient textual evidence," pp. 55 – 73.

J. Krasilnikoff, "Irrigation as innovation in ancient Greek agriculture," pp. 108 - 121 (with reference to Herakleia and Metaponto).

Recent stuff from the Journal of Archaeological Science...

De Donno et al., "Analysis of Neolithic human remains discovered in southern Italy," Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 3, March 2010, pp. 482-487.

R. Arletti et al., "The first archaeometric data on polychrome Iron Age glass from sites located in northern Italy,"Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 4, April 2010, pp.703-712.

G. Barone et al., "A volcanic inclusions based approach for provenance studies of archaeological ceramics: application to pottery from southern Italy," Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 4, April 2010, pp. 713-72.

S. Perusin & P. Mazza, "Semitella, an Italian Bell-Beaker (Final Copper Age) animal burial ground," Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 4, April 2010, pp. 737-757.

Verhoeven & Schmitt, "An attempt to push back frontiers – digital near-ultraviolet aerial archaeology,"Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 4, April 2010, pp. 833-845 (with some reference to Potentia, Le Marche).

A.D. Isaac et al., "Genetic analysis of wheat landraces enables the location of the first agricultural sites in Italy to be identified," Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 5, May 2010, pp. 950-956.

G. Giachi et al., "The prehistoric pile-dwelling settlement of Stagno (Leghorn, Italy): wood and food resource exploitation," Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 6, June 2010, pp. 1260-1268.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tria Corda: Death & Burial Edition

A few articles on the 800-pound lead coffin found at Gabii last summer...
[UMich; National Geographic]

New pet cemetery this month:
S. Perusin & P. Mazza, "Semitella, an Italian Bell-Beaker (Final Copper Age) animal burial ground," Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 37, Issue 4, April 2010, pp. 737-757.

Reviews from BMCR:

Greg Warden reviews Marshall Joseph Becker, Jean Macintosh Turfa, Bridget Algee-Hewitt, Human Remains from Etruscan and Italic Tomb Groups in the University of Pennsylvania Museum (2009)

Ingrid Edlund-Berry reviews Marie-Laurence Haack (ed.), Écritures, cultures, sociétés dans les nécropoles d'Italie ancienne: table ronde des 14-15 décembre 2007, mouvements et trajectoires dans les nécropoles d'Italie d'époque pré-républicaine et républicaine (2009).

Monday, March 22, 2010

D.M. Giovanni Pugliese Carratelli

I neglected to mention previously the passing, at age 98--truly a man of the saeculum-- of Giovanni Pugliese Carratelli, one of the giants of the study of Italian antiquity.

[Il Mattino, Il Corriere del Mezzogiorno, Orvieto Si]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

News for February and March

So much for all that free time... here's a brief rundown of some things that have accumulated lately.

First of all, I've been extremely remiss in neglecting to mention my friend Ross Cowan's blog. Ross is the author of, among others, The Roman Conquests: Italy, and he's been blogging about related topics. Ross has also got an article in the latest issue of the magazine Ancient Warfare, which issue (table of contents) is dedicated to "A multitude of peoples: Before Rome ruled Italy" (you know you've always wanted a two-page spread painting of the Battle of Bovianum!). I also learn that Cambridge will be republishing Salmon's Samnium and the Samnites come April -- mirabile dictu!

Big news this month is the discovery at Gabii of an Archaic tripartite building identified as a regia [La Repubblica - photos; MiBAC].

Twenty Etruscan fossa tombs were discovered at Marina Velka near Tarquinia, two of which were hit by tombaroli, along with Roman habitation [Viterbo Oggi; Viterbo Notizie].

Artifacts from three museums in Castiglion Fiorentino (Arezzo) are on display at Castel Sant' Angelo until April 11.

The Pontecagnano museum has supposedly reopened.

There's a call for papers for an Accordia conference on Etruscan Literacy in its Social Context (22-23 September 2010), deadline April 30.

The X Incontro di Studi su Preistoria e Protostoria in Etruria (10-12 September 2010) has as its theme "L’Etruria dal Paleolitico al Primo Ferro. Lo stato delle ricerche". (more)

The latest Journal of Field Archaeology (Vol. 34, issue 4) includes "Remote Sensing and Archaeological Prospection in Apulia , Italy", by S.A. Ross, A. Sobotkova and G.-J. Burgers (pp. 423-438).

Greece and Rome (Vol. 57, issue 1: April 1, 2010):
E. Bragg, "Roman Seaborne Raids During the Mid - Republic : Sideshow or Headline Feature ?" (pp. 47-64)

The Classical Review (New Series), Volume 60, Issue 01, April 2010:
• Witcher on Isayev, Inside Ancient Lucania (2007)
• Mattingly on Revell, Roman Imperialism and Local Identities (2009)
• Roth on Wallace-Hadrill, Rome's Cultural Revolution (2008)
• Perfigli on Clark, Divine Qualities. Cult and Community in Republican Rome (2007)
• Bücher on Jehne & Pfeilschifter (eds.), Herrschaft ohne Integration? Rom und Italien in Republikanischer Zeit (2006)
• Hogg on Briquel, Mythe et révolution. La Fabrication d'un récit: la naissance de la république à Rome (2007)

Bryn Mawr Classical Review:
• I. Edlund-Berry on Daniele Federico Maras, Il dono votivo: Gli dei e il sacro nelle iscrizioni etrusche di culto.
eadem on Laura Maniscalco (ed.), Il santuario dei Palici: un centro di culto nella Valle del Margi. Collana d'Area. Quaderno n. 11.
• C. Bailey on Harriet Flower, Roman Republics
• C. Smith on Sinclair Bell & Helen Nagy (eds.), New Perspectives on Etruria and Early Rome: In Honor of Richard Daniel De Puma
• N. Carayon on Castagnino Berlinghieri, Elena Flavia, Carmelo Monaco, Il sistema portuale di Catania antica: studi interdisciplinari di geo-archeologia marittima.
• G. van Heems on Enrico Benelli (ed.), Thesaurus Linguae Etruscae. I. Indice lessicale. Seconda edizione...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

6th c. BCE Palace at Torre di Satriano

Reports in the press on this past season's fieldwork at Torre di Satriano in Basilicata announce the discovery of a "palace" there [ANSA; Il Quotidiano della Basilicata; La Gazzetta del Mezziogiorno]--though it's been known at least since 2008. The megaron structure (picture above) dates to the mid 6th c. BCE; four contemporary tombs were discovered nearby. The environs of Satriano have been investigated off and on over the past 60-odd years, from some 30 tombs in 1943, to Ross Holloway's team in 1966 and 1967, and the 1986-88 excavations by the Soprintendenza. The current work is a joint effort between the University of Basilicata under Massimo Osanna and Queen's University under Fabio Colivicchi. There's a thorough page on Satriano at the Unibas site, with good photos (if sometimes a bit small). The structure sported a continuous terracotta frieze of horsemen, a tiled roof, and a terracotta sphinx on the roof beam. A second phase of the structure dates to the late 6th or early 5th c.

Some of the nicer material from the excavation was on display at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale della Basilicata "Dinu Adamesteanu" in Potenza for the special exhibit Principi ed Eroi della Basilicata Antica: immagini e segni del potere tra VII e V secolo a.C., which I happened to catch back in July of 2009; here's a section of the frieze with the sphinx...

And below, an Ionic cup and two fragments of Athenian Black Figure: