In this paper we focus on the problems derived from field excavations carried out in the “M” area of the Forum and we attempt to observe the transition period, between Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages. This analysis should be considered preliminary and it moves through three main points: 1) the stratigraphy of the area of the “Tempio Rotondo” in the Late Antique phase; 2) ceramic production from the same area; 3) the ‘status quaestionis’ about the topography of early medieval Grumentum and the processes that seem to affect the urban structures between V and IX century. The so-called “H-Structure” in the “M” area, at the North-Eastern corner of the Forum area is better known as “Tempio Rotondo”, and it has been under field excavation since 2006. The importance of structure is underlined both by its circular shape (diameter of about 9 m) and by its topographical placement. It is a temple on an Italic podium type with steps and an altar, both aligned with the long side of the porticus. The stratigraphic sequence interested can be macroscopically and diacronically subdivided into: 1) collapse and abandon phase; 2) traces of amateur excavation by local archaeologists; 3) layers of artificial and/or natural growth (see Berna, Saracino infra); 4) filled-hole and accomodation, following spoliation acitivities; 5) spoliation activities. Within the podium episodes of collapse and abandon could prudently be ascribed to the V and VI centuries A.D., while much of the area outside is occupied by several growth layers, sometimes overlapping collapse layers. The pottery found within this stratigraphic succession dates these phases between VI and VIII century. The analysis of the material found in the “M” area of Grumentum Forum, within layers of later stages of frequenting the area near the round temple, shows an occupation dating to the early medieval period. Beneath the layers of collapse common ceramics were found, which were produced in the VII and VIII centuries, probably in local workshops. These are mainly jugs and jars for baking bread. The evidence we have studied in this area seems to show that in this city area or in its immediate proximity, some houses and maybe a funerary area were located, probably from the IV century, as previous archaeological reports already indicate. Some pottery belongs to this period, and can easily be ascribed to North African and Mediterranean productions as they are clearly well attested ceramic groups of Southern Italy productions. The main features of these South Italian pottery had already been examined by Helga Di Giuseppe also by an archaeometrical perspective (with Claudio Capelli), giving important results for the understanding of the local material culture. Our study was compared with those analyses and took into account specimens from the Forum, which allowed to extend the framework of activities also to the VIII and IX centuries, and especially to domestic ware productions. They deserve further research in the next years. These materials were found in contexts that are not associated with specific activities of the dwelling area, and therefore the continuation of excavations will probably allow to understand their contextual meaning. It is indeed necessary to develop the framework of archaeological phases of the early medieval Grumentum, especially in relation to the problems of the “failure” of the city (which culminated in its abandonment). We must start by saying that from Late Antiquity, Grumentum perhaps saw a demographical decrease, in favour of new centers created in the area. They were mainly placed on the hill-top (Saponara, Marsico Nuovo, Marsico Vetere, Moliterno, etc.). Grumentum underwent, probably after the V century phase, a radical reorganization of its urban structure. A public road that connected Grumentum with Potenza, Venosa and Taranto is atttested in the IV century as well as the presence of a bishopric between the V and VI centuries is documented by written sources. This element would help emphasize the centrality of the town in territorial frameworks still in the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages and may justify – even though only partially – the large area ascribed to the city by the Anonymous Ravennatis in the VI century. During the Late Antiquity some early and small changes in urban structure can be noticed, even though the form of the Forum seems to be kept unchanged. The two Roman baths were abandoned only after the VI century, both roads and urban paths remained unchanged at least until the early V century. The V century should be focussed on thanks to the new data, as the beginning of a transformation of the urban plan, rather than as the end of occupation: studies of the finds seem to indicate that the Forum area may have been occupied until the VIII and IX centuries. Problems that arise from the period after the V century are classifiable into two main headings: 1) the development of new places of power and social reference appears to have been totally absorbed by religious buildings in the early Middle Ages: San Marco, in continuity with a worship and funerary area of the Roman period, the important church of San Laverio, and finally Santa Maria Assunta (an area whose birth and development, perhaps as an episcopal seat, are still problematic); 2) further reflection and studies should be done on period after V century, in particular the stratigraphy and formation processes of the deposit.

Grumentum nell’altomedioevo: stratigrafia, produzione ceramica e topografia a confronto / E. Cirelli; F. Saggioro; M. Saracino; F. Soriano. - STAMPA. - (2013), pp. 133-148.

Grumentum nell’altomedioevo: stratigrafia, produzione ceramica e topografia a confronto

CIRELLI, ENRICO;
2013

Abstract

In this paper we focus on the problems derived from field excavations carried out in the “M” area of the Forum and we attempt to observe the transition period, between Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages. This analysis should be considered preliminary and it moves through three main points: 1) the stratigraphy of the area of the “Tempio Rotondo” in the Late Antique phase; 2) ceramic production from the same area; 3) the ‘status quaestionis’ about the topography of early medieval Grumentum and the processes that seem to affect the urban structures between V and IX century. The so-called “H-Structure” in the “M” area, at the North-Eastern corner of the Forum area is better known as “Tempio Rotondo”, and it has been under field excavation since 2006. The importance of structure is underlined both by its circular shape (diameter of about 9 m) and by its topographical placement. It is a temple on an Italic podium type with steps and an altar, both aligned with the long side of the porticus. The stratigraphic sequence interested can be macroscopically and diacronically subdivided into: 1) collapse and abandon phase; 2) traces of amateur excavation by local archaeologists; 3) layers of artificial and/or natural growth (see Berna, Saracino infra); 4) filled-hole and accomodation, following spoliation acitivities; 5) spoliation activities. Within the podium episodes of collapse and abandon could prudently be ascribed to the V and VI centuries A.D., while much of the area outside is occupied by several growth layers, sometimes overlapping collapse layers. The pottery found within this stratigraphic succession dates these phases between VI and VIII century. The analysis of the material found in the “M” area of Grumentum Forum, within layers of later stages of frequenting the area near the round temple, shows an occupation dating to the early medieval period. Beneath the layers of collapse common ceramics were found, which were produced in the VII and VIII centuries, probably in local workshops. These are mainly jugs and jars for baking bread. The evidence we have studied in this area seems to show that in this city area or in its immediate proximity, some houses and maybe a funerary area were located, probably from the IV century, as previous archaeological reports already indicate. Some pottery belongs to this period, and can easily be ascribed to North African and Mediterranean productions as they are clearly well attested ceramic groups of Southern Italy productions. The main features of these South Italian pottery had already been examined by Helga Di Giuseppe also by an archaeometrical perspective (with Claudio Capelli), giving important results for the understanding of the local material culture. Our study was compared with those analyses and took into account specimens from the Forum, which allowed to extend the framework of activities also to the VIII and IX centuries, and especially to domestic ware productions. They deserve further research in the next years. These materials were found in contexts that are not associated with specific activities of the dwelling area, and therefore the continuation of excavations will probably allow to understand their contextual meaning. It is indeed necessary to develop the framework of archaeological phases of the early medieval Grumentum, especially in relation to the problems of the “failure” of the city (which culminated in its abandonment). We must start by saying that from Late Antiquity, Grumentum perhaps saw a demographical decrease, in favour of new centers created in the area. They were mainly placed on the hill-top (Saponara, Marsico Nuovo, Marsico Vetere, Moliterno, etc.). Grumentum underwent, probably after the V century phase, a radical reorganization of its urban structure. A public road that connected Grumentum with Potenza, Venosa and Taranto is atttested in the IV century as well as the presence of a bishopric between the V and VI centuries is documented by written sources. This element would help emphasize the centrality of the town in territorial frameworks still in the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages and may justify – even though only partially – the large area ascribed to the city by the Anonymous Ravennatis in the VI century. During the Late Antiquity some early and small changes in urban structure can be noticed, even though the form of the Forum seems to be kept unchanged. The two Roman baths were abandoned only after the VI century, both roads and urban paths remained unchanged at least until the early V century. The V century should be focussed on thanks to the new data, as the beginning of a transformation of the urban plan, rather than as the end of occupation: studies of the finds seem to indicate that the Forum area may have been occupied until the VIII and IX centuries. Problems that arise from the period after the V century are classifiable into two main headings: 1) the development of new places of power and social reference appears to have been totally absorbed by religious buildings in the early Middle Ages: San Marco, in continuity with a worship and funerary area of the Roman period, the important church of San Laverio, and finally Santa Maria Assunta (an area whose birth and development, perhaps as an episcopal seat, are still problematic); 2) further reflection and studies should be done on period after V century, in particular the stratigraphy and formation processes of the deposit.
2013
Grumento e il suo territorio nell’antichità
133
148
Grumentum nell’altomedioevo: stratigrafia, produzione ceramica e topografia a confronto / E. Cirelli; F. Saggioro; M. Saracino; F. Soriano. - STAMPA. - (2013), pp. 133-148.
E. Cirelli; F. Saggioro; M. Saracino; F. Soriano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/432989
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