Thursday, May 23, 2024

What’s beyond the Etruscan bridge? Analysis and dating of the Vignale plateau

Front cover of San Giovenale vol. 6. Excavations and finds. The bridge on the Pietrisco. Vignale. The castle and the chapel. Fasc. 2–3. Yvonne Backe Forsberg & Richard Holmgren 2024. What's beyond the Etruscan bridge? Analysis and dating of the Vignale plateau, Stockholm. ISBN: 978-91-7042-188-4 (hardcover: 345 pp.)

Stockholm 2024. ISBN: 978-91-7042-188-4 (hardcover: 345 pp.). For more information about the San Giovenale-series, see

Published by the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome. Distributed by AB.

Open access, use links below.

The Etruscan site of San Giovenale has been excavated periodically since 1956. From the beginning the main focus has been the question of settlement remains. However, a fundamental area within the site had still not undergone the inquiry necessary for a complete understanding of the site as a whole. The Vignale plateau, connected to the main site by an Etruscan bridge, was surveyed and partly excavated in 1959–1960, but not published. The Vignale Archaeological Project (VAP) began new investigations in 2006 that aimed to answer the question of “What’s beyond the Etruscan bridge?” This publication focuses on the initial investigations of 1959–1960, augmented by new ground- and aerial remote sensing surveys.

The current volume is divided in six chapters. Through an introduction, and geological/topographic and historical/archaeological settings (Chapters 1–3), the reader achieves a general understanding of Vignale within a larger framework. The main archaeological studies of various features on the plateau, their function and dating are covered in Chapter 4, where Vignale from the Final Bronze Age to medieval times is approached with an emphasis on the Etruscan periods. The study of the latter investigates the connection to Vignale’s sister plateau (the Acropolis area), and the plateaus’ connection to the surrounding landscape. An intrinsic aspect of Vignale is the association with wine over time. Chapter 5 therefore elaborates on wild and domesticated vines with emphasis on production, ritual, and material remains, concluding with a summary and synthesis in Chapter 6. Two extensive appendices follow, one detailing the material remains and data connected to the southern Bridge Complex, and the other a treatise on the Etruscan awareness of their local mineral salt, alunite.


Front matter

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List of abbreviations

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List of illustrations

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Chapter 1. Gemeral introduction. “Make bricks without straw”

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Chapter 2. The Vignale plateau. Geological, topographic, and historical setting

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Chapter 3. Archaeological studies on Vignale

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Chapter 4. Remnants of the past. The structures of Vignale

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Chapter 5. Vignale and the wine connection. Economic and religious prerequisities from Etruscan to medieval periods

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Chaper 6. Final synthesis and chronological overview

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Appendix 1. Catalogue and artefact analysis from the trenches on the southern Bridge Complex

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Appendix 2. The Etruscans and the question of alunite

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Appendix 3. Conservation of a Hellenistic altar, by Agneta Freccero

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