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Orvieto
June 7, 2020

Montegabbione – Poggio alla Croce

Contacts

Pro Loco Montegabbione
prolocomontegabbione@gmail.com
Daniele (+39) 328.8295217
Monica (+39) 349.6466034

Can be visited for free

In 1987, some young people from Montegabbione discovered the Poggio della Croce area. Poggio della Croce is a hilly relief between Castel di Fiori and Montegiove in the municipality of Montegabbione. The excavations carried out on the eastern summit brought to light some stone tombs built from slabs placed both vertically to form the walls, and horizontally for the bottom and the roof. So far only three tombs have been investigated: one of them contained only one human skeleton, another four, the third as many as nine individuals including some children. They are surrounded by a funerary fence, originally covered with bricks, whose threshold and access steps are still visible.

The most interesting finds found in the necropolis are: five rather deteriorated bronze coins in support of the first tomb; in the second, fragments of a greyish ceramic ceramic with its lid and a shattered lamp with disc decorated with petals and a cross on the spout, which dates these finds to the 5th and 6th centuries. A.D.; in the third tomb a bronze ring, earring, coins and fragments of a lamp similar to the previous ones came to light.

A short distance from the necropolis on the western peak of the hillock there is a large circular fence made up of stones classified as a castelliere used since the Bronze Age.

There are other castles in the territory of Montegabbione in visual connection with each other: in particular those of Torricella (Piazzone) in Montegabbione, Poggio Murale near Montegiove and the aforementioned Poggio della Croce. The castellieri were fortified enclosures, which generally stood at the top of the hills and were distributed in a chain so as to control vast areas and dominate the communication routes. The best known and most studied castles are located in northern Italy and according to some experts date back to the end of the Bronze Age or the early Iron Age, but not beyond the protohistoric era. The fortified fences may have been abandoned by primitive men when the improvement of environmental conditions and the evolution of sheep farming towards agriculture favored the settlement in the surrounding plains. The castellieri returned to live in the Etruscan-Roman period, and in the early Middle Ages for primarily defensive purposes.

The fortified fence on Poggio della Croce, the only one investigated by the Superintendency of those in the area, appears as a huge accumulation of stones. Its circular shape can already be clearly identified as an interesting archaeological document. Studies have shown that it is a 25 m diameter fence, with dry overlaid limestone walls for a thickness of about 4 m, and with a presumed height of 7/8 m on the eastern side, two walls stretch hemicycle with a characteristic pincer pattern. The access to the fence, about two meters wide, opens to the right in the direction of the necropolis, which was perhaps joined by a paved road still partially visible.