Journal of Ancient Topography

n. XI 2001


JAT XI (2001)


Merle K. LANGDON, The Barrington Atlas's Missing Mountains

Though the new Barrington Atlas (under the general editorship of R.A.J. Talbert) is a standard reference work, new surveys are still required. The author refers to some gaps concerning physical features, particularly mountains (oronyms) from Greek and Latin (though not Byzantine) sources. Apart from uncertain names and the mountains of Crete, the Atlas contains 534 oronyms, while 369 remain unaccounted for. The author identifies several groups of the latter, beginning with 57 mountains marked in the Atlas to be removed, since they refer to settlements or other phenomena. Next come a group of 23 place-names that are part of other entities. In third place are 34 mountain place-names known only from late sources. 50 oronyms known from Greek lexicographers and grammarians are listed separately. The final list comprises 205 mountain names known from sources that may be considered reliable. In the appendix the author provides 9 names for which the label as mountain is not justified.

Luigi BESCHI, Lemnos Cartography, Topography and Place Names (15th - 18th Centuries): some observations

A series of unpublished or little known maps of the Greek island of Lemnos from the 15th - 18th centuries are presented and commented on here. Special attention is drawn, for the first time, to the preparatory drawings for the famous map of the island by Choiseul-Gouffier (survey 1784, published 1809), the first one to be made with modern tools, following a modern scientific method. This presentation is also an opportunity for considering some ancient and medieval place-name and topographical problems.

Pascal ARNAUD, Varus, finis Italiae. Réflexions sur les limites occidentales  du territoire d'Albintimilium et la frontière de l'Italie impériale

After dealing with the true nature of a provincial border, this paper turns to critical examination of both literary and epigraphic evidence. It reaches the conclusion that the River Var should be considered as the restricted area of the mouths of the river, as far as the point where it was crossed by the Via  Aurelia and that it was established as the administrative border between Gallia  Narbonensis and Italy. Inscriptions concerning municipal magistrates from Antipolis and Albintimilium as well as other epigraphic evidence show that the province of Alpes Maritimae had no access to the sea, at least until Diocletian's reform. Nikaïa should be considered a small stretch of land, belonging to Marseilles, but situated outside the borders of Gallia Narbonensis, as described by Strabo.

Daniela MONACCHI - Claudia ANGELELLI - Serena ZAMPOLINI FAUSTINI, New Findings on the Walls of Amelia

The discovery of new stretches, new interpretations of already known stretches, excavations for consolidation with subsequent unearthing of structures, stratigraphy and geognostic and geological investigations have led to new, unexpected data on the walls of Amelia.

The walls date from the first town planning stage in the second half of the 3rd century B.C. following Romanisation. They extended to a complete circuit of c. 2,150 m in line with natural defences and the mountainous terrain.

The walls were mostly limestone polygonal and partly clastic travertine opus quadratum. These two building techniques were coeval and employed in accordance with available materials, in both cases local ones. To the north the walls stood on appropriately worked limestone rock. To the south they stood on clay and sandy-muddy-limestone strata. Town streets were planned on the basis of the gates so far identified, the Via  Amerina crossing the town being the main thoroughfare. Water outlets relied on a network of drainage tunnels. During the first half of the 1st century B.C., a long stretch on the south-west side was restored in opus incertum, possibly after damage during the Social War.

Maria Milvia MORCIANO, Gela. Observations on the Building Techniques of the Capo Soprano Fortifications

The author provides a new interpretation of the Capo Soprano fortifications in Gela, whose famous unfired brick elevation was believed to be coeval with the stone base.

A very detailed analysis of the structure has led to greater understanding of building techniques and formal, structural and functional features, as well as reconstruction of the different building phases. It has now been established that the walls were planned and initially built in stone, while the upper unfired brick part belongs to a later stage, linked with subsequent restoration, after destruction which probably split the side walls in places. The generally accepted dating to the age of Timoleon is confirmed, while the later stages belong to the age of Agathocles, the last period of warfare involving Gela, before its final destruction in 282 B.C.

Giovanni IDILI, Tharros: The So Called castellum aquae. A Hypothesis

The structure known as a castellum   aquae is one of the unresolved problems in Tharros archaeology. Its interpretation, almost fifty years after discovery is still an open question. Gennaro Pesce, its discoverer, though admitting that there are some features useful for identification, was still uncertain. Nowadays the term castellum aquae is merely a traditional label.

A new look at the structure during a more recent survey led to the hypothesis that rather than having a distribution function, it is actually a large water storage cistern. It appears to have been part of new building activity in the town connected with water supply for the new 'Convento Vecchio' baths. Surplus water fed the adjacent fountain.

On the basis of new data an ideal reconstruction of the structure is proposed.

Mauro CALZOLARI, The Castagnaro Valley in the Roman Period. A Contribution to the Archaeological Map of the Lower Verona Area

This paper attempts to outline the Roman period landscape of the Castagnaro valleys on the edge of the ager Veronensis on the lower plain between the Rivers Adige and Tartaro. By means of a systematic survey, carried out in 1999, the archaeological map of the district was drawn up, leading to identification of traces of Roman rural settlement, particularly well documented between the 1st century B.C. and 2nd century A.D. The traces of agrarian divisions, probably dating from the age of Augustus, which disappeared after the area turned into marshland in the Middle Ages, can be seen on air photographs. This division is important, since it is evidence of very small-scale interventions in the Po valley in an area characterised by river humps and a very precarious hydraulic situation.

Cesare MARANGIO, New Evidence for Empire Period Farms in Roman Salento

This paper presents an unpublished funerary inscription from Lupiae (Lecce) dedicated to a Caesaris servus dating from the age of Hadrian. After careful analysis, the author refers to the other epigraphic evidence linked with Imperial property in Roman Salento, dating from the Julio-Claudian age to that of Septimius Severus. These properties were situated in the most fertile part of the regio secunda, especially along the most used routes crossing it.

After the first part dealing with the correlation between inscriptions and surviving estate place-names, a new look at the Imperial estates in the rest of the region, farmed by both servi and liberti, follows. The period covered goes from the early years of the Empire to the end of the 3rd century A.D.

Evidence shows that these properties were mostly situated in central-northern Daunia.