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Medieval Cetamura

Sandstone Foundations of the Castle of Civitamura

12th century CE
Zone I, Cetamura del Chianti

Much of the surface of Zone I, the top of the hilltop of Cetamura, was cleared of its Etruscan and Roman remains, and a large medieval structure, now believed to be a castle, took their place. Documents, artifacts and carbon 14 analysis support a date of the 12th century CE.  

For many years, evidence of medieval activity at Cetamura has come to light, leading to a hypothesis that there was a courtyard of that period on the west side of Well # 1 on Zone I (called Area G).  When excavations recently moved to the east side of the well, the magnitude of the building became more evident, justifying the fact that in documents of the 12th century it is referred to as a castle called Civitamura.   What was found was almost all foundation walls, some so thick that it seemed likely they would support a building of more than one story.  Excavations in 2019 revealed a worker’s area adjacent to the walls with extensive evidence of burning.  Originally the area was conjectured to be a hearth, but the broad extent of carbon deposit suggests rather some industrial activity. Samples were analyzed for dating by carbon 14, revealing a date in the 12th century CE.   Excavations were suspended in 2020 and will be resumed when possible to explore this important area. The Medieval Gallery provides more of what is currently known about the castle and its inhabitants.

Bibl. Cetamura  Antica, 2000, 7, 10. N. de Grummond, Cetamura del Chianti, Austin, 2020, 111-112.