Abstracts of number 1/2019

Prof. Amos Kloner February 26, 1940 – March 15, 2019.

Boaz Zissu

Amos was born in Givatayim, near Tel Aviv, in 1940 to Dina and Pesach Kloner. He was educated in Gi­vatayim and in Tel Aviv. In his youth he traveled the length and breadth of the country and volunteered in archaeological excavations. Prof. Amos Kloner was a member of the teaching and research faculty of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University from 1980 until 2009, when he was named professor emeritus. From then until shortly before his passing, he taught and advised students in the de­partment on a volunteer basis. Amos’s teaching and research focused on the archae­ology of Israel and neighboring countries in the Hel­lenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. His fieldwork and his advancement of scholarly research were as­tounding in terms of both quality and quantity.

Evidenze rupestri nella Valle del Farfa (Rieti, Lazio). Rupestrian evidences in the Farfa Valley (Rieti, Latium, Italy). 

Carla Galeazzi, Carlo Germani, Tullio Dobosz

Riassunto

Le indagini speleologiche condotte fra Castelnuovo di Farfa e Poggio Nativo hanno portato all’individuazione di due inte­ressanti strutture semi ipogee. La prima consiste nei resti di uno stanziamento ormai quasi del tutto scomparso, situato a ridosso della Chiesa di San Donato, a Castelnuovo di Farfa, caratterizzato da innumerevoli iscrizioni parietali comprese fra il 1866 e i primi anni ‘60 del secolo scorso. L’ipotesi è che tali modeste porzioni residuali siano da ricondurre al fundum (poi castrum) di Agello, citato dalle fonti antiche, del quale sino ad oggi non sono mai state rinvenute tracce certe. La se­conda è un raro esempio di cimitero sotterraneo impostato su un preesistente eremo dedicato a San Michele Arcangelo, nel comune di Poggio Nativo. L’analisi delle fonti si è rivelata particolarmente complessa per entrambe e dal nostro punto di vista il lungo studio condotto nell’area, ivi compresa l’analisi di tutte le implicazioni storiche e cultuali, non ha ancora restituito risultati conclusivi, in particolare per quella limitrofa a San Donato. Con questa comunicazione ci auguriamo che le labili tracce da noi individuate possano concorrere a ricostruire la storia meno nota di questi luoghi fornendo la base per successivi approfondimenti.

Abstract

Between the end of 2016 and the first months of 2017, speleological investigations conducted between Castelnuovo di Farfa and Poggio Nativo (Farfa Valley, province of Rieti, Latium – Italy) led to the identification of two interesting semi-underground structures, very different in type, but whom would seem connected by a thin thread. They are located about 8 km away from each other, along the Farense route. The first one consists of the remains of an almost completely obliterate settlement, located on the walls that from the Farfa Valley climb towards the Church of Saint Donatus in Castelnuovo di Farfa. The parietal portions covered with cement mortar have countless inscriptions, ranging from 1866 to the early 60s of the last century. The Church of Saint Donatus and its surroundings, although subject to countless troubles over the centu­ries, have always maintained an important cultural vocation, until the mid-seventeenth century. In the last years of the 19th century (1880) a confraternity took care of it. The hypothesis we are advancing, supported by a single archival document, is that it may be the remains of the never found fundum (later castrum) Agello mentioned in the “Regesto Farfense” of the first half of the fourteenth century. The second one is a rare example of an underground cemetery, connected to a pre-existing hermitage dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, in the municipality of Poggio Nativo (in ancient times named Podium Donadei). Also for this structure it was not possible to trace sources that attest with certainty the age of realization. The only bibliographical source available, dating back to 1700, indicates in the area a hermitage church managed by the com­munity, transformed into a cemetery after the death of the last hermit, digging the portions of the rocky basement to which the hermitage had been leaned during the construction phase. The burials date back to between 1880 and 1923. Despite the uncertainty of the sources on the origin of the ancient name of Poggio Nativo (Podium Donadei) no one seems to have connected the presence of the church of Saint Donatus with the toponym Podium Donadei. The bibliographic and archival investigations, which in a widely documented area like that of the Abbey of Farfa we imagined easy, have instead consider­ably complicated the study because in fact for neither of the two structures it was possible to trace certain attestations. It also seems incredible that the structures, frequented until recently, are not cited by modern sources and even unknown to the locals. We hope that this communication could help to reconstruct the lesser-known history of these places, providing the basis for subsequent archaeological investigations ad over of all preserving them from the final oblivion.

Le gallerie di esaurimento del lago residuo “C” del Vajont (Friuli-Venezia Giulia). The emptying tunnels of the residual lake “C” of the Vajont (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy).

Daniele Davolio, Alessandra Zecchin, Elvis Del Tedesco

Riassunto

Il 9 ottobre del 1963, alle ore 22:39, un’enorme frana del volume di circa 270 milioni di m³ precipitò dal Monte Toc nel bacino artificiale del Vajont, generando un’onda alta diverse decine di metri che investì da prima i vicini paesi di Casso ed Erto e, scavalcata l’omonima diga appena ultimata, precipitò poi nella sottostante valle del Piave distruggendo completamente l’abitato di Longarone e molte delle sue frazioni limitrofe. Persero la vita in pochi minuti più di 1900 persone. All’indomani dell’immane tragedia l’ENEL si trovò ad affrontare, tra le altre, l’emergenza rappresentata da ciò che rimaneva del bacino artificiale del Vajont: una vasta porzione di lago residuo il cui livello iniziò a salire in maniera incontrollata nel giro di pochi giorni, creando nuovi scenari catastrofici per gli abitati di Erto e Cimolais in primis, e per l’intera Val Cimoliana poi. La costruzione in tempi record di tre tunnel di esaurimento del lago residuo scongiurò una sicura seconda catastrofe, consen­tendo di mettere in sicurezza quel che rimaneva della valle oramai già pesantemente ed irrimediabilmente compromessa.

Abstract

On 9 October 1963, at 10:39 PM, a huge landslide about more of 270 million m³ fell from Mount Toc in the artificial water basin of Vajont, generating a wave several tens of meters high that first swept the neighboring villages of Casso and Erto and, bypassed the homonymous dam just completed, then precipitated into the valley of Piave river, completely destroying the town of Longarone and many of its neighboring hamlets. In a few minutes more than 1900 people lost their lives. In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy, the electricity italian company ENEL had to face, among the others, the emergency repre­sented by what remained of the lake Vajont: a large portion of the remaining lake whose level began to rise uncontrollably in the lap a few days, creating new catastrophic scenarios for the inhabited areas of Erto and Cimolais in the first place, and for the entire val Cimoliana then. The construction, in record time, of three tunnels of depletion of the remaining lake, prevented a sure second catastrophe, allowing to secure what remained of the valley now already heavily and irreparably compromised.

Cavità artificiali sul Tetto del Mondo. Testimonianze dal diario di una spedizione scientifica della Reale Accademia d’Italia in Tibet nel 1933. Artificial cavities on the Roof of the World. Testimonies from the diary of a scientific expedition of the Royal Academy of Italy in Tibet in 1933.

Andrea Bixio, Roberto Bixio

Riassunto

Sono qui integralmente raccolte le scarne informazioni che sono marginalmente apparse nelle due relazioni originali scritte da Tucci e Ghersi (e in parte riprese in un recente libro di David Bellatalla), protagonisti nel 1933 di una spedizione scientifica promossa dalla Reale Accademia d’Italia nelle impervie valli dell’Himalya occidentale. L’obiettivo della spedizione era quello di documentare la cultura e le vestigia di una popolazione all’epoca pressoché sconosciuta. Nel corso di un itinerario lungo più di 850 km, vengono indagati innumerevoli monumenti costruiti in muratura (templi buddisti, stupa, castelli in rovina) e reperiti preziosi manoscritti. Sporadicamente vengono anche citati, molto brevemente, alcuni siti scavati nella roccia, a quote che si aggirano attorno ai 5.000 m, in cui si riconoscono funzioni abitative, di culto, di transito e idriche. Ci è sembrato utile raggrupparli in un unico documento.

Abstract

Here we have fully collected the scant information that has marginally appeared in the two original reports written by Tucci and Ghersi (and partly taken up in a recent book by David Bellatalla), protagonists in 1933 of a scientific expedition pro­moted by the Royal Academy of Italy in the impervious valleys of the Western Himalayas. The aim of their expedition was to document the culture and the vestiges of a population that was almost unknown at the time. During a journey of more than 850 km, countless monuments built in masonry (Buddhist temples, stupas, ruined castles) are investigated and precious manuscripts are found. Some sites excavated in the rock are also mentioned very briefly, at altitudes of around 5,000 m, in which housing, worship, transit and water functions are recognized. It seemed useful to group in a single document the thirteen rock-cut sites identified in a total of eighty-three camps. The most significant hypogean works are constituted by some rock-cut villages, dug into pinnacles and vertical walls that recall the landscapes of Cappadocia, in Turkey. They are still partly used, especially in winter, due to their natural thermal inertia. The intercommunicating internal tunnels could also have had a defensive purpose as, presumably, a tunnel ex­cavated to ensure the water supply of a temple-fortress. The presence of only one burial chamber is recorded, while the anthropized little caves used by solitary lamas for periods of even multi-year isolation are frequent. Along the way is described a track deeply engraved in a rough badlands area, but it is probable that works of this type, as indeed, the rock-cut dwellings and water works are much more numerous than those described in the reports of the 1933 expedition.

L’antico monastero di S. Gregorio Armeno a Napoli: le cavità del chiostro e la scoperta di un nuovo tratto dell’acquedotto ipogeo della Bolla. The ancient monastery of Saint Gregorio Armeno (Naples, Italy): the cavities of the cloister and the discovery of a new section of the Bolla underground aqueduct.

Rosario Varriale

Riassunto

Il monastero di S. Gregorio Armeno è situato nel centro antico di Napoli, lungo l’omonima strada. Nel sottosuolo del suo chiostro vi è un ampio ed articolato sistema di gallerie che si sviluppano ad una profondità di circa 22 m. La superficie totale di queste cavità è di 586 m2, con un volume di vuoto generato pari a 3.896 m3. La morfologia delle cavità rivela l’esistenza di un’attività mineraria, che fu intrapresa tra il 1572 ed il 1646, per l’estrazione e la lavorazione del tufo. Una parte di tali cavità è stata già rilevata e censita dall’amministrazione comunale di Napoli. Nel corso di alcune indagini compiute dall’autore nell’area tra via dei Tribunali, via S. Biagio dei Librai e via S. Gregorio Armeno è stato rinvenuto un pozzo profondo 23,7 m collegato a delle sottostanti cavità antropiche. Durante l’esplorazione Di tale pozzo è stata individuata una nuova cavità lunga 10 m, larga 4 m e alta 6,8 m collegata ad un secondo pozzo inedito (P2). L’apertura di un passaggio, parzialmente ostruito dai detriti alla base del pozzo esplorato, ha successivamente permesso di localizzare un’inedita diramazione verso sud dell’antico acquedotto ipogeo della Bolla, di epoca medievale, lunga 35,8 m. Il cunicolo è collegato ad un pozzo e ad una cisterna di piccole dimensioni. La cavità termina in corrispondenza degli ambienti posti a settentrione del chiostro di S. Gregorio Armeno e in cui erano anticamente ospitati il refettorio e la cucina. Oltre alla descrizione delle nuove cavità indi­viduate, l’autore espone in questo lavoro anche delle inedite considerazioni sulla cronologia e le trasformazioni compiute, per oltre un secolo, nella grande cavità sottostante il monastero.

Abstract

The ancient monastery of S. Gregorio Armeno is located in the historic center of Naples, along the homonymous road today characterized by the presence of many workshops that produce handmade cribs. The monastery was founded, probably, by a group of nuns of the religious order of St. Basil. In the subsoil of monastery there are two main typologies of artificial cavities. Some of these cavities were reutilized as air-raid shelter during the second War World. The total surface area of these cavities is 586 meters square, with a volume generated of 3.586 cubic meters. The heights of the underground tun­nels are extremely variable and comprised between a maximum value of 7,5 meters and minimum of about 4 meters. The morphology of the underground cavities of San Gregorio Armeno suggest the existence of a long mining activity for the processing of the Yellow Neapolitan Tuff started in the 1572. This rock was utilized as a natural stone for the building of new areas of Monastery. Some cavities have already been explored and included in the census of Municipality of Naples with the code C0026. During some surveys carried out by the author in the area between the street: dei Tribunali, San Gregorio Armeno and San Biagio dei Librai, a 23,7 m deep well was explored. During the speleological exploration, a new artificial cavity was discovered at a depth of 10.7 meters, with a surface of 40 square meters and 6,8 meters high. Inside the cavity and in east direction there is a second well, unfortunately unexplored. This cavity was realized, probably, in the 1700 for an illegal mining–activity of the Yellow Neapolitan Tuff. At 23,7 meters of depth, south from the first well, a small passage towards a new tract of the ancient underground Bolla aqueduct was dis­covered. The tunnel is 35,8 meters long and ends in the subsoil of monastery of S. Gregorio Armeno, north of the cloister. In this work, over the description of the new cavities explored, the author presents a new consideration about the chronology and the transformations carried out in the underground cavities of S. Gregorio Armeno.

Complesso di opere idrauliche presso l’antica Vesentum (Capodimonte, Viterbo, Lazio). The system of hydraulic structures in the ancient Vesentum (Capodimonte, Viterbo, Latium, Italy).

Barbara Bottacchiari

Riassunto

ln località Casale Giardino, presso il Monte Bisenzo (Capodimonte, provincia di Viterbo), vi è una serie di cavità e strutture idrauliche di superficie che testimoniano lo sfruttamento di una copiosa sorgente, sin dall’antichità.

L’analisi delle cavità ha consentito di valutarne gli aspetti pertinenti alla genesi e agli usi nei secoli, nonché formulare l’i­potesi che una di queste sia stato un luogo di culto delle acque (un ninfeo?); le altre strutture sono: un lungo cunicolo di captazione delle acque sorgive, scavato con tecniche antiche, e strutture di sfruttamento dell’acqua captata (in superficie) fino ad un’epoca assai recente.

Abstract

A cavity, a deep tunnel and several outside hydraulic structures can be found near Monte Bisenzo in the town of Capodi­monte, in Viterbo province that hold significant importance for understanding the history of pasts settlements in this area and how the entire natural setting was utilized across several centuries. It is evident that these structures were created both in part by nature itself and by man. The primary focal point remains the spring, an important early source for collecting wa­ter. This article contains the thorough analysis of this spring and the surrounding site: a cavity of about 3-4 meters, a tunnel of about 80 meters and outside structures covering a space of about 5 m2. The results of this analysis make available three arguments. The first being the revelation of a hypothesis that one of these cavities was at one point an important place of worship for ancient Nymphaeum cults, which created Greek and Roman sanctuaries consecrated to water nymphs. This finding is interesting for the fact that within a small geographical location, one can find the past geological presence of three very diverse places of worship: located just 500 meters away is another spring used by ancient settlements as a place of worship for cults of the Indo-Iranian mythical god of light called Mithras and located just 1 km away are the paleo-christian catacombs. The second being that this article sheds light on a clearly visible hydraulic system connecting long tunnels to natural water springs that has been extensively transformed over numerous generations for the use of water collection, including up until the present day. The third argument covers the question of where the water in this spring and hydraulic system originates from, whether the water originates from the nearby Bolsena lake or from underground water sources.