San Giovenale, vol. 5, fasc. 1: The Borgo


Open access, use links below. Printed edition distributed by AB. Also available at,,, and

San Giovenale. The Borgo. Excavating an Etruscan Quarter: Architecture and Stratigraphy

By Carl Nylander, Börje Blomé, Lars Karlsson, Angela Bizzarro, Giuseppe Tilia, Stefano Tilia & Alessandro Tilia

The Etruscan city of San Giovenale was excavated by the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies at Rome between 1956 and 1965. The ancient city plateau consists of two residential areas, the Acropolis and the Borgo, separated by a cut roadway. This publication deals only with the northwest corner of the Borgo (Borgo NW), which was excavated under the direction of Carl Nylander between 1961 and 1965. Here, in a “pocket” at the edge of the plateau, the Etruscans built a small metal working quarter, surrounded by a defensive terrace wall. Protected by the high tufa cliff a series of water cisterns and furnaces were installed. The excavations uncovered four major houses, Houses A, B, C and D, separated from each other by small drains and a Lane K. The houses, the drains and lanes are oriented west–east. A major well is located east and above House C. The most important settlement dates from the early Archaic period, in the late 7th century BC. The buildings were destroyed around 550/530 BC by a possible earthquake. The buildings were then rebuilt on a higher level and existed down to about 400 BC. Below the Archaic levels there are cuttings for huts and a wooden palisade.

The publication starts with an informative personal prolegomena by Carl Nylander in which the history of the excavations and the participating members are described. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the site and an analysis of the geology by Sheldon Judson. Chapter 2 gives the history of the work and Chapter 3 the settlement periods and the stratigraphy. Chapters 4 and 5 present the mainly rock-cut remains of pre-archaic structures. Chapter 6 attempts to describe the large work of levelling the area for the Archaic houses, called “The Great Fill Project”. The following chapters are archaeological and architectural descriptions of the walls and houses, starting from the north: House A (Ch. 7), Houses B and C (Ch. 8), Lane K (Ch. 9) and House D (Ch. 10). The possible earthquake as the destruction of the early Archaic settlement is discussed in Chapter Eleven. Chapters Twelve and Thirteen reports briefly on the very scattered traces of later developments. The book contains several appendices: a San Giovenale bibliography 1877‒2011, a catalogue of the walls at the site, an investigation of the mortar remains, a discussion on the roof-tiles and an explicatory text about the process of architectural documentation. Finally, the publication contains 43 plates with the very carefully drawn elevations and plans of the excavated buildings, originally produced by architect Börje Blomé, later digitalized and completed by Giuseppe, Stefano and Alessandro Tilia as well as by Angela Bizzarro.


Contents | download pdf

Acknowledgements | download pdf

Ringraziamenti | download pdf

Preface | download pdf

List of illustrations | download pdf

Bibliography | download pdf

Personal prolegomena | download pdf

Introduction to the geography and geology of San Giovenale | download pdf

History of the Borgo excavations | download pdf

Excavation areas, periods and stratigraphy | download pdf

Pre-House Period I | download pdf

Pre-House Period II | download pdf

The Great Fill Project | download pdf

The northern Area A. Buildings and stratigraphy of periods 1 & 2 | download pdf

The central Area B/C/I/R | download pdf

Lane K | download pdf

The southern Area D/E/F/G/H | download pdf

An earthquake at San Giovenale in the 6th century BC (?) | download pdf

Period 3—after the earthquake | download pdf

Periods 4 & 5—later developments | download pdf

Summary | download pdf

Appendix 1: San Giovenale bibliography 1877–2011 | download pdf

Appendix 2: Osservazioni sulle strutture murarie | download pdf

Appendix 3: An investigation into ancient mortars | download pdf

Appendix 4: The roof-tiles | download pdf

Appendix 5: Documentation of architectural remains | download pdf

Plates | download pdf

Bibliographical information

Carl Nylander, Börje Blomé, Lars Karlsson, Angela Bizzarro, Giuseppe Tilia, Stefano Tilia & Alessandro Tilia, San Giovenale. The Borgo. Excavating an Etruscan Quarter: Architecture and Stratigraphy, (Skrifter utgivna av Svenska Institutet i Rom, 4°, 26, vol. 5, fasc. 1), Stockholm 2013. ISSN: 0081-993X. ISBN: 978-91-7042-180-8. Hardcover: 222 pages.


Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.07.18 (Flavia Morandini)
Gnomon 88:6, 2016, 535-539 (Jon Albers)
Journal of Roman Archaeology 27, 2014, 504-509 (Ingrid Edlund-Berry)
L’Antiquité Classique 84, 2016, 509-510 (Jean-Christophe Caestecker)
Revue Archèologique, Nouvelle Série, Fasc. 1, 2015, 236-237 (Jean-René Jannot)

No Comments

Comments are closed.