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Tortoreto

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The rests of burials and villages dug up as from the 19th century testify that the territory of Tortoreto was probably inhabited ever since the 5th millennium B.C..

The area first fell under the dominion of the Piceni to be then conquered by the Romans and included into what Pliny the Elder identified as the ager palmensis.

The present historical centre of Tortoreto rose in a zone called -by Pliny the Elder again- Castrum Salini while at the mouth of the Salinello stood the Servium settlement.

  • The excavations

In 1894 four tombs were dug up which date back to the archaic period and contain four skeletons curled up in the grave. The skeleton in the best state of conservation is of a women laid down on her side and surrounded by the objects of the funerary equipment (bronze lamina bracelets and a pendant on a chain).

Still within the area between Tortoreto and Alba Adriatic, excavations have allowed to dig up the rests of pavements with marble tesserae of various colours or parts of mosaics, stone columns, Roman coins, cisterns and rests of lead or terracotta piping.

Most of these finds were dug up by chance as of half to the end of the last century and news from them have reached us only through the works of local experts which lead to believe that these are the rests of constructions resulting from the contact with Rome during the late republican or the imperial periods. The only well-known features found in Tortoreto are a complex of fictile statues dated at the late Hellenistic period. They represent muses and the Polyphemus episode; today they are conserved at the Museum Museo Archeologico Nazionale d'Abruzzo (Chieti).

In the zone called Le Muracchi stands the rustic Roman villa which in its richest period stretched over 3,500 sqm.

The village of Pianaccio was situated at the confluence of the Salinello and an other stream about 4 km. from Ripoli. It was discovered by Rinaldo Rozzi in 1944, who identified eighty different huts, thirty of which were dug up. Because of its disappearance, it is unfortunately impossible to describe the ergological characteristics of the village.

Finally in the village of the Fortellezza rare elements of Appennine culture were found such as fragments of proto-Villanovan ceramics, fragments with typical Picene decorations and some fragments of painted ceramics from the Apuglia region.

Information taken from the Rete della Cultura Abruzzese - Regione Abruzzo (Sezione siti archeologici).

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