Drei Canè archaeological site

Back to the roots

Mezzocorona

Excavations at the Drei Canè site have unearthed important archaeological finds that provide a cross-section of everyday life in Roman times and take us back to the roots of the Piana Rotaliana's history.

DREI CANE'

The Drei Canè site (discovered in 1998 during construction work on the Cantine Mezzacorona) consists of a series of buildings typical of the vast agricultural estates the Romans referred to as a “villa rustica”.
The estate would have originally appeared as a series of buildings attached to each other and grouped around one or more courtyards, accessed from the east by a dirt road, which had been repaired several times with gravel and sand. Given that it was destroyed on numerous occasions, it isn't easy now to ascertain the exact layout of the complex, which originally extended over an area well in excess of 1000 m2. The remains of a kitchen with a fireplace were brought to light in one part of the building, while in another, assumed to be a storeroom, numerous bone fragments were found along with some wheat, an amphora and even some grape pips, irrefutable evidence of a winegrowing industry that would continue through the centuries to come. These remains are important as they have provided an insight into the food the Roman population ate in the Piana Rotaliana area. Coins, all of them bronze, belonging to the period from the middle of the 2nd century to the middle of the 5th century were also discovered.
Around the end of the 5th and into the beginning of the 6th century the estate was gradually abandoned and over time the buildings fell into disrepair and were emptied of their contents. Once the buildings were abandoned they started to collapse, a process that was exacerbated by the destructive force of the river Noce when it overflowed its banks, as it would do on many successive occasions. Only part of the area once occupied by buildings was saved. On exhibition in the antiquarium are several slabs of ammonitic and verdello limestone, which are not directly related to the houses but were found during construction work on the winery. These slabs, around fifty all together, turned out to belong to a monumental necropolis, having formed the cover, side walls and bases of the tombs. They were once above ground but were knocked over and displaced by the river Noce in flood. The pieces on display formed the bases and covers of three different tombs.