Parco Archeologico di Poggio La Croce

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Loc. La Croce
IT - 53017 Radda in Chianti - Siena
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Welcome to Poggio La Croce Poggio La Croce, at 633 m. above sea level, is one of the highest hills in the ridge - line that is the watershed between the Pesa River and one of the first tributaries into the Arbia river The archaological area The excavation has begun in 1989. The following phases were identified. I. Campaniform Phase (Copper Age, II millennium B.C.) These consist of just a few small fragments of pottery objects which, owing to their decorative features, can be dated to the Copper Age, and specifically to the culture known as the Bell-Shaped Vase Culture (4,000 years ago). These finds, which come from excavations, are the oldest signs of the occupation of the local area, and this is what makes them so extremely interesting; however, the information currently available to archeologists does not allow us to know more details. II. The Protovillanovan Period (Bronze Age, XI-X century B.C.) The excavation showed that there were several re-occupations of the site, and that the houses inside the outer fence consisted of huts made of small branches and leaf fronds. These considerations based on stratigraphy, and the overall assessment of the historical period to which this find can be dated, suggest that these people were involved in the transhumance of flocks of sheep from winter pastures, located on the lower plains, to summer pastures, located at slightly higher altitudes. The archaeological excavation allowed to single out many activities of this human group working, like for example the deer horn and bone working the wool spinning and the cheese production. III. The Etruscan Period ( IV Century B.C. ) At the end of the 4th century BC, in the Chianti area we see the appearance of a new kind of settlement: fortified hill-top settlements. They are located on the tops of hills, they are defended by a surrounding wall, and their perimeter is defined by terracing which contains the settlement level. Inside are located both houses and buildings whose functions are not yet clear. In some instances, walled structures are also found outside the fortified perimeter, and these may perhaps relate to craft activities. The material attests to domestic activities, from those linked the production and preparation of foodstuffs, to those relating to weaving; as well as hunting, and making and maintaining iron tools. Of exceptional importance is the find, in the area of Building 1 at Poggio La Croce, of burnt seeds - deriving from a foundation rite - which, amongst other things, attest to the presence of the vine (vitis vinifera). This is unique evidence regarding the antiquity of vine-cultivation in the Chianti (wine-making) region. The archaological experimental area The archeological experimental area is a place, where the houses and the productive activities of old human groups are rebuilt. In this area the visitors can directly experiment with these activities. This place wants to give visitors "the imagination", they need to understand and to use the "archaeological remains". At the moment the archeological experimental area of Poggio la Croce rebuilds one of the most important phase of the history of this hill: the enviroment and the daily life activities in a settlement of transumant shepherds , who lived here about in the XI century B.C.