The Late Antique and Medieval settlement of Astura (Lazio, Italy). A synthesis of GIA investigations (2005-2014)
Keywords:Italy, Pontine Region, Astura, Late Antiquity, medieval period, Late Antique economy, Peutinger Map, connectivity, road station, pottery production, lime production
This article discusses the results of archaeological investigations carried out by the Pontine Region Project (PRP) near the site of Astura in the coastal part of the Pontine Region. In the period 2005-2008 a long section, exposed by marine erosion, was drawn and sampled. Subsequently, in the years 2012 and 2013 small-scale geophysical prospections were carried out to assess the preservation of structural remains at the site. The investigation yielded evidence belonging to two main occupational phases. A large quantity – and wide variety – of Late Antique materials indicate the presence of a substantial settlement, that is alluded to in historical and textual evidence as well. For the High Medieval period (12th century AD) evidence was obtained for the production of pottery (ceramica a bande rosse) and lime, possibly forming part of the economic basis of a larger (private or ecclesiastical) estate.