Tratturo Caniò (Sezze)

Tratturo Caniò (Sezze)

Chronology: from EBA to EIA
UTM WGS84 33N: 332514E 4595007N

In 1986 and 1987, the former director of the Antiquarium Comunale of Sezze conducted some non stratigraphical probing excavations near the Roman Temple of Juno, in Tratturo Caniò (Zaccheo 1986). The excavations led to the discovery of a layer full of Bronze Age pottery, at a depth of around 170cm, and a complete impasto dolium at 180cm below sea level, in a sandy layer (Angle et al. 1992; Rosini 1996a, as Area del Santuario di Giunone; Cancellieri 2000; Cassieri 2004).

Later on, during some coring campaigns , the sandy layer was again identified in the surroundings, between a depht of 150cm and max 200cm (Attema & Delvigne 2000). A thin humic clay layer within it was radiocarbon dated to 3340±50 BP (1744-1506 calBC, 95,4%, IntCal13, OxCal 4.2). In 1994, during a systematic survey in a field immediately to the north of the site, materials dating from the protohistoric period up to the Roman Republican period were found. The Bronze Age sherds (still unpublished) have been studied by C. Anastasia, in her master thesis; the scholar date the settlement from EBA to Early Iron Age (Anastasia 2007). In 2007 and 2008, H. Feiken and E. Bakker, conducted a coring campaign, reconstructing the geo-archeological section at the site (Bakker 2009). Finally, in 2009, the Groningen Institute of Archaeology led an excavation by plana (5 levels in total, number 1 is the upper), reaching a depth of about 200cm (Cassieri et al. 2013; Feiken 2014; Feiken et al. 2012). In the excavation, the protohistoric features and layers start at about 170cm of depth (number 4). Here, an upper and a bottom layer 5001 has been recognized; in the former (up5001) most of the pottery sherds have been dated to MBA1 and RBA, in the latter the authors found a preponderance of MBA2 pottery sherds (fig. 3.2). A charcoal from layer 5001 (not specified if top or bottom) was radiocarbon dated to 3495±45 BP (1936-1731 calBC, 89,9%, IntCal13, OxCal 4.2). The layer 5001 provides also a post-quem date of RBA for the formation of the portion of layer 5000 that overlies it.

In level 4 some features have been recognized too. The feature number 27, with pieces of burnt clay, large fragments of limestone, travertine and calcareous concretions of karstic origin, charcoal, pottery and bones of a young pig and of sheep/goat, has been interpreted as an hut floor and dated to MBA1 by means of two carenated bowls.

In the level 5, at a depth of about 200cm, a nearly complete but fragmented dolium (find 90/01) was found in a fluvial sediments; the latter was already observed and dated to the EIA. In the same level, a thin layer of ashes was exposed (layer 7000, the Avellino ashes from the Vesuvius). No pottery has been found below the ash layer.

Tratturo Caniò, the dolium from the sandy layer and an appennine sherd (after Rosini 1996b)
Tratturo Caniò, the dolium from the sandy layer and an appennine sherd (after Rosini 1996b)


Tratturo caniò, impasto potsherds from the GIA excavations. Scale 1:4 unless otherwise stated (after Feiken et al. 2012; modified by the author)
Tratturo caniò, impasto potsherds from the GIA excavations. Scale 1:4 unless otherwise stated (after Feiken et al. 2012; modified by the author)
Tratturo Canio 3
Tratturo caniò, impasto potsherds from the GIA excavations. Scale 1:4 unless otherwise stated (after Feiken et al. 2012)


Anastasia, C., 2007. L’evoluzione dell'insediamento nelle valli dell'Amaseno e dell'Ufente nell'età del Bronzo e del Ferro, in , 877–81
Angle, M., A. Gianni & A. Guidi, 1992. Nuovi dati sul Lazio centromeridionale, Rassegna di Archeologia X, 717–19
Attema, P.A.J. & J.J. Delvigne, 2000. Settlement dynamics and alluvial sedimentation in the Pontine Region, central Italy: a complex relationship, in Geo-archaeology of the Landscapes of Classical Antiquity, a c. di F. Vermeulen & M. De Dapper. Leiden, 35–47
Bakker, E.F., 2009. Reconstructie van het landschap rond de archeologische site «Tratturo Canio», University of Amsterdam
Cancellieri, M., 2000. Studi e ricerche sulla Valle dell’Amaseno: contributi per la storia del popolamento in età protostorica, Terra dei Volsci, Annali del Museo Archeologico di Frosinone II, 1999, 7–26
Cassieri, N., 2004. Il deposito votivo di Tratturo Caniò a Sezze, in Religio. Santuari ed ex voto nel Lazio meridionale, a c. di G. Papi. Terracina, 162–81
Cassieri, N., M. Van Leusen, H. Feiken, C. Anastasia & G.W. Tol, 2013. Ricerche geoarcheologiche nell’area di Tratturo Caniò (Sezze, Latina), Lazio e Sabina 9, 393–98
Feiken, H., 2014. Dealing with biases. Three geo-archaeological approaches to the hidden landscapes of Italy, University of Groningen
Feiken, H., G.W. Tol, M. Van Leusen & C. Anastasia, 2012. Reconstructing a Bronze Age hidden landscape: geoarchaeological research at Tratturo Canio (Italy, 2009), Palaeohistoria 53/54, 109–59
Rosini, L., 1996b. Area del «Santuario di Giunone», in Repertorio dei siti protostorici del Lazio - provincie di Rieti e Latina
Zaccheo, L., 1986. Presenze archeologiche a sezze, Quaderni del CEPIG 8/9, 70–72

Featured image from Feiken 2014

The southern island

Caprolace project

The excavation

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Underwater collections

Caprolace salt production

The salt evidence
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Faunal remains from SU 9: a: ox incisor; b: fragment of dog mandible; c: sheep/goat phalanx; d: deer phalanx; e: pig metapodial

La Sassa faunal remains

The Copper Age layers

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La Sassa human bones

Campaigns 2014 and 2015
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La Sassa project

The project
Four excavation campaigns at La Sassa cave by the University of Groningen and Roma Tor Vergata took place starting from ...
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La Sassa potsherds

The 2015 campaign


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