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The History

Discover the origin of the ‘Aquae Patavinae’ and the history of the Euganean thermal area...

 

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Scheda sito


Archaeological site at Via Neroniana and Roman villa
Montegrotto Terme, 3rd millennium B.C. – 14th century A.D., 1st – 2nd century A.D.

The ruins of a luxurious villa, built at the beginning of the 1st century A.D. and afterwards employed and reworked at least until the 3rd – 4th century A.D., are currently visible in a state-owned area beside the Terme Neroniane Hotel. The most significant part of the residential area is today sheltered by a permanent roofing that recalls the original volumes.
The same site also gave back traces of pre-proto-historical presence (3rd – 1st millennium B.C.), not visible on the ground any longer, and marks of medieval settlements (5th – 14th century A.D.), partially still preserved. In-depth studies of geomorphology and paleobotany have made possible a reconstruction of the ancient landscape preceding the human presence in this area.


Storia degli Studi

The first archaeological remains of the Roman villa emerged in 1988, during ploughing work in the area. Later on, the Soprintendenza Archeologica del Veneto commissioned geophysical surveys by means of georadar (1989) as well as excavation surveys (1989-1992), which proved the exceptionality of the discovery. The site is bound from 1995 (D.M. 26.06.1995), and since 2001 it is in concession to the Università degli Studi di Padova for annual campaigns of excavation; this activity is used as apprenticeship for students both of the degree course and of the post graduate course in Archaeology.


Descrizione

Preistoria e Protostoria

The most ancient evidence of the human impact on the natural landscape of the area surrounding Via Neroniana dates back to the period between 2.900 and 2.500 B.C. (Copper Age): the abundant presence of coal, datable thanks to C14 (absorbed into a stratum of earth which settled on the ground then open to the air), suggests that here, such as elsewhere in plain areas, the land was cleared through the controlled use of fire, in order to create glades or open spaces aimed at farming and breeding.
Between 2.400 and 2.200 B.C. (Late Copper Age), the landscape got back to a spontaneous vegetation; the area was probably attended only for occasional hunting battues, given that the only attestations of human presence found here are some arrowheads; at the time of their discovery, these finds were blended with the soil that had been turned over during the various historical phases of the site. In the same period, a similar situation presumably characterized the area between Monte Castello and Colle San Pietro Montagnon.
The first permanent human settlement dates back to the period between 14th and 12th century A.D. (Late Bronze Age); this fact is demonstrated both by faint traces of building structures (such as some holes for piles) and several fragments of ceramic vessels. If the structures were spared, the fragments were reused during the following building phases.
Throughout the 1st millennium B.C. (Iron Age), the area basically remained inhabited: this period of abandonment set up the ideal conditions – at the beginning of the following millennium – for the achievement of an ambitious project of residential building.

Età romana

The imposing structures of this luxurious villa built at the beginning of the 1st century A.D. stretch for more than one hectare and a half.
The geotechnical features of the building land, a lowland with a strong tendency to become swampy, made it obligatory for builders to preliminarily level out and drain the area through a massive taking back of impermeable soil and the digging of at least one perimeter channel.
From an architectural point of view, the villa was made up of two residential areas overlooking two – perhaps three – open-air spaces. The north residential area, the most structured and better preserved (today sheltered by a permanent roofing that recalls the original volumes), had a central 130 m² boardroom (1), accessible northwards and southwards; the room was divided into three naves by two rows of columns, and was paved with a precious black and white fine stone slab (“opus sectile”) floor.
The other rooms were all placed around the boardroom following a precise symmetry. Some of these rooms still retain their mosaic floor: surfaces of black tesserae bordered with white bands (rooms 2, 3, 8) and vice versa (rooms 6, 10, 12, 22). The mosaic of room 4 presented a white “hen track” pattern on a black background; the white border band leaves on one side a sort of niche, perhaps the location for a bed, connoting in this way the room as a rest room (“cubiculum”). An amazing floor, unfortunately got lost (except for small fragments), presumably decorated room 5: another “opus sectile”, in this case polychrome and made of marble slabs, characterized by a square and diamond pattern. Paintings and wall stuccoes of this luxurious villa are today only small fragments, mainly blended with the soil turned over in the later phases; however, these traces attest the refinement of the decorative choice and the mastery of the artists who worked here.
The series of symmetrical rooms overlooked two corridors (17a, 18). The south corridor (17a) was one of the four wings of a portico (17a, 17b, 17c, 17d) that bordered a wide garden. A second broader garden, with little paths and water effects, developed southwards, beyond a long columned corridor with niches (H). The second residential area, overlooking corridor H, included at least a dining room (E: “triclinium”), another wide boardroom (G), and some service rooms (C, I, M). The fence of the biggest garden formed southwards a broad exedra, culminating in a room (b) perfectly symmetrical to boardroom 1: room b was accessible from the garden, and the entrance was signalled by columns. Scholars hypothesize that this room was aimed at the accomplishment of some kind of private worship – as it typically happened in the well-equipped gardens of the Roman villas. As a matter of fact, some amphorae and a lying jug had been buried into a pit located in proximity to the room, just outside the fence of the villa (perhaps it was a sort of foundation ceremony).
The Roman villa was the result of a joint engineering and architectural project, which employed excellently skilled workers, aware of the building resources offered by the territory and proficient at exploiting them adequately: the aim was to erect, in the Euganean thermal area, a villa just as fine as the great contemporary residences in Latium and Campania, with regard both to architectural structure and decorative framework. This fact let us guess the presence and the will of a high-ranking customer, whose identity still remains unknown.
The villa underwent reworking in the 2nd century A.D., and again between the 3rd and the 4th century A.D.; afterwards, the building was probably abandoned.

Età medioevale e moderna

Between the 8th and the 9th century A.D. (Early Middle Ages), a little hut village was erected upon a part of the north residential area of the Roman villa; the houses were built both exploiting some of the crumbling walls of the ancient building and employing perishable materials such as earth and wood. Some mosaic floors were dismantled up to the red-orange clay under-preparation level, reused as trampling ground and laying surface for hearths. A little necropolis developed beside the huts, presumably designed for the inhabitants of the village: they were poor people, buried without grave goods. A similar circumstance also occurred in the case of the villa at Via San Mauro.
Approximately around 1000 A.D., the whole area was systematically drained in order to house a new settlement, more organized and densely populated. The remains of the preceding structures and of the poor huts were torn down; the area was then levelled out with filling material and was cleaned up by digging a network of artificial channels. The settlement was made up of a main building (I), with basement made of bricks and walls made of perishable materials, and poorer huts; the site was probably served with a road.
In a second phase, lasted more or less until the 14th century A.D., the main building was enlarged (III) and raised of at least one floor; a mighty fireplace and a silo for the preservation of foodstuffs were activated indoors, while production activities, presumably connected to textiles, took place outdoors.

 

Cronologia

Occasional presence: Copper Age (2.900 – 2.500 B.C.)
Roman villa: beginning of the 1st century A.D. – 3rd-4th century A.D.
Hut village with necropolis: 8th – 9th century A.D.
Medieval settlement: 9th -14th century A.D.

 

Contesto geografico ed urbanistico

The ancient buildings rose on a lowland located south-east of the low hill historically known as Colle Bortolone or Montegrotto. Approximately 150 m far from the site, visitors will find the bath complex discovered underneath the Terme Neroniane Hotel, nearly contemporary with the villa.

 

Bibliografia

Delle antiche terme di Montegrotto. Sintesi archeologica di un territorio , a cura di S. Bonomi, Montegrotto Terme (PD) 1997, pp. 31-33 e 41 n° 14.
Montegrotto Terme: relazione preliminare sul progetto di ricerche archeologiche nell’area ex Piacentini in via Neroniana , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XVIII, a cura di P. Zanovello, P. Basso, 2002, pp. 31-35.
Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Gli scavi 1989-1992 , in Antenor, Scavi 1, a cura di P. Zanovello, P. Basso, Padova 2004.
Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2003 , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XX, a cura di P. Zanovello, P. Basso, 2004, pp. 15-24.
Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2004 e prospettive di intervento futuro , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XXI, a cura di P. Zanovello, P. Basso, 2005, pp. 37-47.
Montegrotto Terme. Il Progetto “Aquae Patavinae” , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XXII, a cura di P. Zanovello, P. Basso, 2006, pp. 33-42.
Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2006 , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XXIII, a cura di P. Zanovello, P. Basso, 2007, pp. 19-28.
Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2007 , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XXIV, a cura di P. Zanovello, P. Basso, 2008, pp. 17-25.
Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2008 , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XXIV, a cura di P. Zanovello, M. Bressan, 2009, pp. 129-139.
Montegrotto Terme, via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2010, a cura di M. Bressan , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XXVII, 2011, pp. 26-34.
Montegrotto Terme, via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2011, a cura di M. Bressan , in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XVIII, 2012, pp. 38-43.
Bonini P., La villa romana di via Neroniana. I laterizi bollati fra epigrafia ed archeologia: produzione e fornitura ad un grande cantiere, in Aquae patavinae. Il termalismo antico nel comprensorio euganeo e in Italia. Atti del I Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2011, pp. 117-128.
Bressan M. et alii, La villa romana di via Neroniana a Montegrotto Terme. Ipotesi ricostruttiva degli interni, in Aquae salutiferae. Il termalismo tra antico e contemporaneo, Atti del convegno internazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2013, pp. 361-392.
Bressan M., Bonini P., Il popolamento delle Aquae patavinae in età romana. Studi per la carta archeologica del comprensorio termale euganeo, in Aquae patavinae. Montegrotto Terme e il termalismo in Italia. Aggiornamenti e nuove prospettive di valorizzazione, Atti del II Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2012, pp. 89-120.
Bressan M., Brener E., Deotto G., Destro C., Marcato M., Prove tecniche di valorizzazione: ipotesi ricostruttiva della villa romana di via Neroniana a Montegrotto Terme, in Aquae patavinae. Montegrotto Terme e il termalismo in Italia. Aggiornamenti e nuove prospettive di valorizzazione, Atti del II Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2012, pp. 269-295.
Bressan M., Destro C., Onnis C., Montegrotto Terme (PD). La villa romana di via Neroniana. Metodologie tradizionali e innovative per un’ipotesi ricostruttiva del pavimento del vano 13, in Atti del XVIII Colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (AISCOM) (Cremona, 14-17 marzo 2012), a cura di C. Angelelli, Tivoli 2013, pp. 177-188.
Bressan M., Mazzocchin S., Onnis C., Zanovello P., Montegrotto Terme (PD). I mosaici a grandi tessere laterizie dalla villa di via Neroniana, in Atti del XVII Colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (AISCOM), Teramo 10-12 marzo 2011, a cura di F. Guidobaldi, G. Tozzi, Tivoli 2012, pp. 421-431.
Bressan M., La villa romana di via Neroniana. Il progetto ingegneristico e architettonico, in Aquae patavinae. Il termalismo antico nel comprensorio euganeo e in Italia. Atti del I Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2011, pp. 89-108.
Brogiolo G.P., Forlin P., L’area archeologica di via Neroniana. Nota preliminare sulle fasi medievali, in Aquae patavinae. Il termalismo antico nel comprensorio euganeo e in Italia. Atti del I Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2011, pp. 157-166.
Destro C., La villa di via Neroniana. Elementi di decorazione architettonica e di arredo scultoreo, in Aquae patavinae. Il termalismo antico nel comprensorio euganeo e in Italia. Atti del I Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2011, pp. 145-153.
Ghedini F., Zanovello P., Bressan M., Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2009, in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XXV, 2010, pp. 29-36.
Greggio S., Leti Messina M., Salonia P., Rilievi e ricostruzioni tridimensionali per l’indagine archeologica: i pavimenti musivi della villa di via Neroniana a Montegrotto Terme, in Aquae salutiferae. Il termalismo tra antico e contemporaneo, Atti del convegno internazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2013, pp. 415-430.
Maritan M., Dati archeobotanici dai contesti medievali dell’area archeologica di via Neroniana a Montegrotto Terme, in Aquae patavinae. Montegrotto Terme e il termalismo in Italia. Aggiornamenti e nuove prospettive di valorizzazione, Atti del II Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2012, pp. 205-215.
Mazzocchin S., La villa romana di via Neroniana. Note sui materiali e i contesti, in Aquae patavinae. Il termalismo antico nel comprensorio euganeo e in Italia. Atti del I Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2011, pp. 109-115.
Miola A., Mozzi P., Nicosia C., Piovan S., Maritan M., Gaudioso B., L’area archeologica di via Neroniana. Inquadramento paleoambientale, in Aquae patavinae. Il termalismo antico nel comprensorio euganeo e in Italia. Atti del I Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2011, pp. 65-88.
Rinaldi F., La villa romana di via Neroniana. I rivestimenti pavimentali: aspetti tecnici e tipologici, in Aquae patavinae. Il termalismo antico nel comprensorio euganeo e in Italia. Atti del I Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2011, pp. 129-140.
Salvadori M., La villa romana di via Neroniana. Dati per la ricostruzione dei sistemi decorativi parietali, in Aquae patavinae. Il termalismo antico nel comprensorio euganeo e in Italia. Atti del I Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2011, pp. 141-146.
Zanovello P., Basso P., Busana M.S., Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Indagine archeologica 2002, in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XIX, 2003, pp. 31-39.
Zanovello P., Bressan M., Onnis C., Montegrotto Terme (PD). La residenza romana di via Neroniana: le preparazioni pavimentali, in Atti del XVI Colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (AISCOM), Palermo 17-19 marzo 2010 – Piazza Armerina 20 marzo 2010, a cura di C. Angelelli, Tivoli 2011, pp. 379-396.
Zanovello P., Da Patavinorum Aquae a Terme Euganee, in Padova. Città tra pietre e acque, a cura di G. Baldissin, Cittadella (PD) 2001, pp. 51.

 
 

Accesso al sito
From via Neroniana n. 21/23 (Hotel Terme Neroniane). It is possible to visit the area.
Access and guided visits by appointment only. Contact: Associazione LAPIS, +39 389 0235910, lapisarcheologia@gmail.com

Archivio Materiali

Provenienza: Villa
Cronologia: 50 – 100 A.D. (Roman Empire)


Descrizione
The capital, almost intact, still retains the engravings which composed the design both on the main face and on the right side; the left part is poorly preserved and the back is rough to facilitate the anchoring to the wall structure. The main face is decorated with plant motifs: around a palm-leaf trefoil there are two water leaves, with thinner engravings; above the central palmette, another smaller one hangs upside down, and above this a tulip with two petals is engraved. The right side is also decorated with a palm-leaf trefoil, but in profile.
The engravings were originally filled with stucco or glass or colored stone fragments, which created vivid contrasts with the white stone base. This technique was called opus interrasile.

Funzione
The capital crowns a vertical element of the architectural structure, such as a column, a pillar, or – as in this case – a pilaster, i.e. a sort of pillar incorporated in the wall and just protruding from the wall surface. In the case of the pilaster, the capital has more a decorative than a structural function; the choice of the technique and the decorative motifs depends on the customer’s personal taste and changes according to the historical moment.


Luogo di Conservazione: Museum of Glass in Montegrotto Terme
Provenienza: Medieval settlement
Cronologia: XI – XII century A.D. (full-medieval age)


Descrizione
Fragment of tile inscribed with three concentric squares, intersected halfway by short perpendicular lines; the incisions were practiced after the firing of the clay with a tool of 2 – 4 mm tip. A small bone disc engraved with five circles arranged in the shape of a cross and a central hole can be seen above the tile.

Funzione
The engraved tile is a tablet for the game "Nine Men’s Morris," popular from the XI century. The bone disc is a pawn for the same game.
In medieval Christian culture of rigor and austerity forms of entertainment such as these were not frowned upon; nevertheless people used to play, perhaps in secret, at home, in taverns or on the street.
"Nine Men’s Morris" was a more complicated version of the older "tria" game and involved two players, who controlled nine pieces each. Players had to form a row of three pawns on the same segment of the square before the opponent, moving a checker at a time from the top of the square. This hat trick allowed a player to remove an opponent’s token from the game: remaining with two pawns meant losing.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits
Provenienza: Medieval settlement
Cronologia: XV – XVI century A.D. (Late Medieval age and Early Renaissance)


Descrizione
Top part of the neck of a glass jug; it has a flared rim, entirely preserved, decorative ribs with spiral pattern and, at the base, a collar with the function of finger-stop. The fragment belonged to a jug with long neck and ovoid body, without handles.

Funzione
This type of jug, known in the Venetian dialect since the XII century as "inghistera" or "’nghistera" or "anghistera", was a tableware which served to hold and pour liquids; for Giuseppe Boerio, author in 1829 of the "Dictionary of the Venetian dialect", the term also used to indicate the "measure of wine that is sold in the province of Verona."
To produce it, the glassmaker inserted the vitreous bolus into a mold (called “bronzin”) and then blew it. The jug or "inghistera" was mass produced and had little value, even aesthetic.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits.
Provenienza: Villa
Cronologia: 50 – early II century A.D. (Roman Empire)


Descrizione
Fragment of red marble pilaster capital (maximum size: 12 x 5 cm). The main face shows upper part (abacus) molded with two strips and lower part (area under the abacus) decorated in relief with floral motifs, sometimes protruding on the abacus itself.
The decoration has a central stem of a flower with jagged petals and almond button, tied by an horizontal ribbon to a branch, which ends on the right and left with a four-petal rosette (only the right one is fully preserved); in the lost part of the capital there were probably two other similar rosettes. Traces of an acanthus leaf with jagged edges can be seen on the right side of the preserved rosette. This decoration is part of the so-called Corinthian style.

Funzione
The capital crowns a vertical element of the architectural structure, such as a column, a pillar, or – as in this case – a pilaster, i.e. a sort of pillar incorporated in the wall and just protruding from the wall surface. In the case of the pilaster, the capital has more a decorative than a structural function; the choice of the technique and the decorative motifs depends on the customer’s personal taste and changes according to the historical moment.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits
Provenienza: Villa
Cronologia: I century A.D. (beginning of the Roman Empire)


Descrizione
Fragment of a marble oscillum (diameter of the reconstructed piece: 36 cm); one face presents at the bottom the relief of a female figure, facing right, wearing a tunic dress (chiton), in the act of walking barefoot on a rough terrain towards a rocky altar; the opposite side shows the leg of a relief figure, probably a male, who is wearing a pelt cloak (nebris or pardalis). The female figure is interpretable as a maenad, a devotee of the god Dionysus, while the male as a satyr, a mythological human-like character with animal attributes linked to the Dionysian cult.

Funzione
The oscillum was usually hung with chains or ribbons between the columns of the porticoes that surrounded gardens or courtyards in private homes or public buildings and had a decorative function, thanks to the representations in relief on one or both sides.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits
Provenienza: Villa
Cronologia: I century A.D. (early Roman Empire)


Descrizione
White marble sculpture representing the head of a child. Under the broad and smooth forehead, framed by long and sharp hair locks, the statue has small distant eyes, well defined eyelids, broad nose with small, deep and slightly asymmetrical nostrils, chubby cheeks and opened tiny lips. The back of the head appears rough-hewn and presents a circular hole with traces of rust, suggesting that it belonged to a group of sculptures. It is a work of fair artistic craftsmanship.

Funzione
The sculpture was part of the decoration of the villa. The use of embellishing domestic gardens and porticoed courtyards with small statues or sculptural groups was popular in Roman times in the city and in the countryside.


Luogo di Conservazione: Museum of Glass in Montegrotto Terme.
Provenienza: Villa
Cronologia: I century A.D. (beginning of the Roman Empire)


Descrizione
Various fragments of chalcedony furniture legs (measures of the complete objects: height between 3 and 6 cm, diameter between 6 and 10 cm). The objects were originally cylindrical in shape, flared or flattened discoidal; all of them are perfectly smoothed on the outside and provided with a passing hole between the upper and lower flat surfaces.

Funzione
These objects belonged to the legs of a piece of furniture, perhaps a bed, a triclinium, a seat or a throne: the passing hole housed the metal pin for fixing them to a wooden frame. The presence of such objects in a residence, although of great luxury, is exceptional: the only comparison known to date, but in rock crystal instead of chalcedony, comes from the imperial residence of the Horti Lamiani in Rome. The rarity of the objects and the preciousness of the material are evidence of the very high rank of the client who wanted them and who lived in the villa of via Neroniana.


Luogo di Conservazione: Museum of Glass in Montegrotto Terme
Provenienza: Villa
Cronologia: Late I – early II century A.D. (beginning of the Roman Empire)


Descrizione
Five fragments of a plane sundial in white marble (measures of the intact object: about 80 x 40 cm). A series of lines forming a two-edged ax design (pelecinum) are etched on the marble slab; the socket for the gnomon can still be recognized in the middle.

Funzione
Sundials were placed both in private houses (as in this case) and in public squares, always outdoor, in areas such as porticoed courtyards and gardens, on the ground or on a platform, in order to be optimally exposed to sunlight. They were prestigious objects, since they were not only decorations, but had to be placed accurately in order to function properly.
The gnomon was the focal point of the clock, because it threw the shadow that allowed to read the time on the lines engraved on the base slab. These lines were converging and gradually more spaced out with respect to the median, which indicated noon; they were also intersected by the equinoctial line and bounded by the hyperbolic curves of the solstices.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits
Provenienza: Villa
Cronologia: Beginning of the I century A.D. (early Imperial Period).


Descrizione
The fragment (maximum size: 14 x 8 cm) was part of a fresco which decorated the inner wall of one of the rooms of the villa. It preserves a woman’s face drawn with elegant stretch, framed by a curly hairstyle adorned with a diadem; the red and blue pattern on the white background is perhaps the drapery of a dress.

Funzione
Frescoes used to decorate the walls of private houses in Roman times, from the modest ones to the most prestigious; the richly colored panels were decorated – depending on the context and fashions – with mythological or daily life or erotic scenes, reproductions of lush gardens, theater sets, more or less realistic architectures and much more. Sometimes the scenes painted on the walls of the same room were based on the same subject; in some cases they were consistent with the function of the room.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits
Provenienza: Villa
Cronologia: End of I – III century A.D. (Roman Empire)


Descrizione
The oil-lamp was found intact. At the center of the disc which covers the fuel chamber there is a pouring hole, communicating with the pick hole located at the end of the nozzle. The disc is smooth (in other specimens it may show figured representations) and has a thin cord in relief which emphasizes its edge and goes uninterruptedly to the nozzle (from which the name “open channel” oil-lamp for this type of object); the body of the lamp has two studs on the sides.
On the bottom, externally, a cartouche with letters in relief says "Vibiani". This is the trademark with the manufacturer’s name, Vibianus, whose workshop – located somewhere in northern Italy – was active between the late I and the III century A.D. The presence of the stamp on the bottom puts this oil-lamp in the "Firmalampen" type.

Funzione
The wick to light the lamp was located in the pick hole and oil or animal fat were used as fuel, by pouring them into the tank through the hole in the disc.
The lamp is one of the most common tools for lighting used in antiquity, with the primary and daily function of illuminating environments during the dark hours. This kind of objects can also be found in relation to the funeral rituals, as a symbol of artificial light that accompanies the deceased in the journey into the darkness of the afterlife.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits
Provenienza: Settlement dating between XIV and XII century B.C. (Recent and Final Bronze Age)
Cronologia: half of the XIV – half of the XII century B.C. (Recent and Final Bronze Age)


Descrizione
Fragments of pottery vessels, made with a textured clay enriched with a temper made by chopping other unusable vessels (this technique is called chamotte or grog) and rock fragments. These specimens are all hand-made (not wheeled) and then fired in special furnaces. Some pieces (1, 7 and 8) are decorated with studs and tablets, i.e. molded clay "balls" placed on the vessel walls before firing; others (4) have applied horizontal cords or festoons, always in clay material.
Careened bowls with handle were the most refined table form and were therefore more fancifully decorated with flashy terminations at the top of the handle (1, 2: "straight-cylinder"), with "rod-shaped" motifs (3) or wide ribbons (9). Grips (5) were also frequent; sometimes they were punched for hanging the vessel or for attaching a lid. 7 is a fragment of an “olla” vessel.
The terracotta spindle whorl (6), found intact, is a small disc of clay with a central hole practiced before firing.

Funzione
Different shapes and sizes of pottery vessels responded to different functions, although, in the past as today, one container could be used for more than one purpose. Large containers were used to hold solids, such as flour and grains; jars were used for the liquids and for the cooking of food; smaller containers, such as bowls and cups, were used for the consumption of food and drinks. The more refined tableware comprised careened bowls with handle, which were characterized by a fine clay body and a better polished surface.
The terracotta spindle-whorl was one of the few imperishable parts of the equipment for the production of textile yarn. It was inserted at the base of the wood spindle and it was used both to facilitate rotation, such as a flywheel, and to stabilize it as a weight.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits
Provenienza: From the layers of the Medieval settlement
Cronologia: 2500-2000 B.C. (end of the Copper – beginning of the Bronze Age)


Descrizione
Flint arrowhead, almost intact, it consists of a triangular blade, carefully refined on both sides (so-called "bifacial working"), with a sharp tip and serrated cutting edges. The base (stalk), now broken, was originally equipped with two short flaps at the ends. The name of this type of arrowhead, with "pedicle and fins", derives from these characteristics.

Funzione
Arrows, and consequently bows, have been the main thrown weapon for men of all latitudes for thousands of years, both for hunting and for war. In use since the late Stone Age (V – IV millennium B.C.), they continued to be made until the end of the II millennium B.C. in flint, such as this, or bone, for reasons of efficiency and cost effectiveness.
The arrow consisted in an arrowhead and a wood rod; feathers were attached to the arrows at the height of the body with strings and mastics, which ensured stability and balance to the weapon during flight. Similar arrows formed the equipment of the famous Iceman, who lived between 3350 and 3100 B.C.
In this case the pedicle was inserted into a natural or artificial split at the top of the rod, which was usually a sucker or a twig of a resistant and elastic cable plant, such as viburnum. The ties were in plant or animal fibers and the tightness of the graft was ensured by mastic resin, as the fins, which were used to limit the lateral movement of the tip on impact. The sharp spire and the jagged edges determined a better effectiveness in penetrating the target.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits
Provenienza: Medieval settlement
Cronologia: About 350-375 A.D. (Late Antiquity).


Descrizione
The bronze fibula was found intact; the arch is rounded with a grooved crest and the bracket (i.e. the straight base) has a rectangular section. The large edge of the bracket, which resembles an onion, has determined the name "onion head" for this type of fibula.

Funzione
A fibula is a brooch, or a pin used for fastening a cloak on the shoulder. In particular, the “onion head” fibula was typical of the clothing of the Roman soldiers stationed in the Danube regions in the first imperial age (I – II century A.D.) and, if gold, it was worn by the emperor in military clothes. Starting from the late imperial age (III century A.D.) the emperor granted it to senior officials of his court as a sign of merit and this explains its wide spread in northern Italy. "Onion head" fibulas continued to be used for centuries as shown by the mosaic of San Vitale in Ravenna (525-547 A.D.), where they are worn by officers in the parade alongside the Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodelinda.


Luogo di Conservazione: University of Padua, deposits