During the early 1970s while work was underway to construct the present day road (via martiri di rigo secco) that passes in front of the hotel in Vescovado di Murlo the remains of what appears to be a small hypocaust or, more likely, a forno were discovered. These remains appear to have been quickly excavated and conserved. Parts of the surviving structure were reinforced with cement and the entire excavated area was covered over with a simple roof and fenced off.
The opportunity has now been offered to explore around these excavated remains. However, the available area suitable for excavation is limited due to modern construction. To the immediate east of the preserved remains is the modern road, while to the immediate west at a higher elevation is a tennis court. There is a small area to the north of the preserved remains suitable for excavation while to the south there is a slightly larger area.
The trench, VT-2, will be situated immediately south of the perimeter fence that encloses the ancient remains discovered in the 1970s.
The purpose of this trench has several aims: first, to establish more precisely the dating of the remains uncovered so far, second, to clarify the purpose for which they had been built, third, to determine if they were part of a larger complex and if so what type of complex it was. Finally, the presence of extensive Etruscan remains of both the Orientalizing and Archaic periods on nearby Poggio Civitate just south of Murlo raises the possibility that there may have been outlying inhabited areas which provided support fot the type of community that resided there. With this in view, evidence will be sought to determine whether the hill on which Vescovado di Murlo rests may have had habitation contemporaneous with that on Poggio Civitate.
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