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The archeological excavation conducted at Vigna Masci site has allowed the investigation of a rich and articulated stratigraphic palimpsest which, even if punctuated by some chronological hiatus, leads from the imperial age to the late Middle Ages. In this brief synthesis we will try, through the analysis of ceramic and glass artifacts, to determine what seem to have been the main characters from the material culture that distinguished this small demic nucleus. Analyzing the findings pertinent to the first phase of human occupation of the area, leaving out some residual fragment of black-painted pottery, datable between the end of the Republican age and the beginning of the imperial age, these seem to refer to a frequentation of the first age imperial.

Among the major ceramic indicators that lead back to this periodization there are certainly the fragments of Italic Sealed Lands, pertinent to different morphological typologies, including also the small cups on a ring foot that refer to the Retteling type 12 type B (category 1) or scroll lamps with scrolls referring to type BIII 2 (category 2). Dating to this period are, on a stratigraphic basis and by dough, some tools related to the practice of spinning, consisting mainly of loom weights (cat. No. 3-4) and some construction elements, including a substantial number of clay floor tiles. rhomboid in shape that can be dated, based on typological comparisons, in a chronological period between the first century. BC and the I sec. AD (category 5).

Quantitatively more numerous are the testimonies related to the Late Antiquity, mainly due to artifacts suitable to meet the different needs of everyday life. There are numerous common ceramic containers for the pantry and the canteen or for domestic use (cat. No 6-8), such as containers and broaches, in many cases also enriched by red paint that covered the external surfaces of the walls. There are several terracotta containers for food preparation (cat No. 9), above all medium and large sized oil and pots, and oil lamps, among which there is a sample with beads decoration that can be traced back to the type VIII C2 (cat. n. 10). The ceramic kit was enriched, moreover, with crockery imported from overseas centers and functional above all in the canteen.

A claim in this sense is provided by the fragments of sealed African soil which, although very fragmentary, testify to us how the site of Vigna Masci, although located inland, was not entirely foreign to the commercial flows that affected these productions. Finally, again in relation to this chronological band, on a stratigraphic basis, are some fictile tools once again referable to textile activities (cat. Nos. 11-12) or vitreous products in use for daily grooming and body care practices. (category 13). Leaving aside the findings of the early Middle Ages, placed in support of the burials, a conspicuous batch of ceramic containers reaches us from the surface layers and the fills of some pits, dating mainly to the course of the thirteenth century.

Ceramic containers made of purified and light-colored clay were relevant in most cases to containers, of different sizes, suitable for the storage / transport of foodstuffs. In this regard, containers were widespread, with heights estimated at between 11,8 and 15,7 in., with a double handle consisting of ribbon handles and wide flat bottoms, which could be adorned with thin-line decorations painted red (cat. n. 14). Less attested, on the other hand, are the dishes for the pantry of smaller dimensions, such as the small, whitened amphoras with a globe-shaped body (category 15), a typical morphology that spreads between the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century. part of southern Italy.

Representative of the tableware kit, however, is a small jug decorated with an ornate thin line painted in red, mono-axis and with a trilobed edge to facilitate the pouring of the contained liquids (cat.16). The drinking use does not seem to be directed to the realization of terracotta pottery, attested in other centers of Capitanata , but favors materials such as glass, as for example a glass bottom with conical concavity and pointed apex testifies (cat.26). There are numerous fragments of kitchen ceramics, which can be traced back to the shape of the saucepan (cat. No. 17-18), of the olla (cat. No. 19-21) or even of the basin-cover, as are the remains of basins with truncated conical socket.

Artifacts related to lighting lead only to a type of lamp of Muslim ancestry, or to oil lamps with almond-shaped beak and tank with a carinated profile, all made with purified bodies (cat. No. 22-24). The low incidence of fine table ceramics, a category represented by a fragment of a bowl attributable to the local class of protomaiol (class 25), together with the almost absolute prevalence of crockery with functional value, seem to define a rural type of appropriation with a strong agricultural / pastoral connotation.

Vincenzo Valenzano