UCLouvain discovers a late antiquity villa


Research teams from UCLouvain have uncovered a huge villa in Tuscany, dating from late antiquity.

This discovery was made in Sin Gimignano, in Tuscany. It has taken 13 summers for Professor Cavalieri and his teams to excavate the Aiano-Torraccia di Chiusi villa. This gigantic 10,000 m² villa has been studied to gain a better understanding of the world of late antiquity and the transition from paganism to Christianity.

The reason why the excavations, which began in 2005, have taken so long is explained not only by the expanse of land that has had to be studied, but also by the villa's complex geographical location. Indeed, the villa was set at the foot of a hill, on a terrace overlooking a valley through which the Fosci river flows, which led to several landslides that covered the villa. The archaeologists had to dig 2 metres to reach it.

They have found the villa's production area, composed for the moment of 4 rooms, along with earthenware jars, which were probably used to store oil or wine. Objects produced in Alexandria, Egypt, reveal the existence of a luxurious lifestyle.

For Mario Cavalieri, it is obvious that these discoveries are evidence of the meeting of Roman and medieval worlds. It can also be concluded that the environment of the Tuscan landscape has changed completely over time. The wealth of the objects found in this villa, which contrast with the decline of the time, leads us to believe that this must have been a place of power.