Erik Wetter and the genesis of the San Giovenale excavations

All content of Opuscula 13 will be made available with open access in May 2021. Printed edition distributed by AB at Also available at, Adlibris, and Bokus. View volume at ERIH PLUS. Erik Wetter and the genesis of the San Giovenale excavations By Fredrik Tobin-Dodd (Swedish Institute in Rome, Italy) Abstract The Swedish excavations at San Giovenale (1956–1965) had a major impact in the field of pre-Roman archaeology in Italy, primarily through the discovery of remains of both Etruscan and earlier domestic architecture. This article examines the genesis of the project, and suggests that the early history of the project has sometimes been misrepresented. While the excavations came to serve as a training-ground for young Swedish archaeologists and made very important contributions to the study of ancient domestic architecture, these were not explicit goals at the conception of the project. The article also studies the peculiar role of Admiral Erik Wetter in the San Giovenale excavations. Despite not being an archaeologist himself, Wetter was both the instigator and, in many ways, the driving force behind the project. The result was an unusual and unclear leadership situation, something that in the long run created problems for the project….

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

Now available for purchase and free download at 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…

San Giovenale, vol. 2, fasc. 5: Two cisterns and a well in Area B

Now available for purchase at,, and San Giovenale. Two cisterns and a well in Area B By Ingrid Pohl Area B on the San Giovenale plateau was inhabited during the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Archaic period, the Hellenistic period and Medieval times. Trial trench AP 2 in Area B was excavated by B.E. Thomasson in 1958–1959 and by B. Olinder in 1960 and 1961, uncovering two underground cisterns dated to the Archaic period (CI and CII) and a fourth- to third-century well (W). In this volume, the cisterns and the well are published together with the pottery and other finds found within them. A presentation of the structures is followed by a catalogue including pottery and minor finds of terracotta, metal, glass and stone, as well as tiles. The pottery assemblage includes Greek imported wares, Italic or local painted and glazed ware, unpainted fine wares (Bucchero, Fine Cream ware), as well as household wares, kitchen wares, large jars, dolia and pithoi. The finds are illustrated by figures and plates. A general discussion presents an overview of the pottery according to wares followed by a discussion on the minor finds and the structures themselves. The finds…

The Brygos painter at San Giovenale
Article , Content / 2009-12-02

Opuscula 2 (2009) is now available for purchase and free download at Also available at,, and The Brygos painter at San Giovenale By Yvonne Backe-Forsberg Abstract Based on stylistic criteria, it is argued in the following article that two Attic red-figured cups, one fragmentary kylix called the Pietrisco cup found in the Etruscan Bridge complex and the other one from a chamber tomb at San Giovenale, were made by the Brygos painter or a member of his circle c. 490–480 BC. The Pietrisco cup may even have been produced by Brygos the potter as it belongs to the cone-foot class. This group was previously dated to 480–475 BC, but is now backdated to 490–475 due to the analysis of the painting on the tondo of the Pietrisco cup. The Pietrisco cup was found with a substantial amount of Attic Black-figured, Red-figured and Blackglazed fragments in a fill deposit in a quadrant building of tufa ashlars interpreted as a sacellum near the Etruscan bridge at the Pietrisco brook in San Giovenale, Etruria. The two cups are the third and fourth kylikes attributed to the Brygos painter found in the settlement and in tombs at San Giovenale…

San Giovenale, vol. 5, fasc. 2: The Borgo

Now available for purchase at,,,, and San Giovenale. The Borgo. The Etruscan habitation quarter on the North-West slope. Stratification and materials By Ingrid Pohl During 1961–1963 and 1965, excavations were carried out on the so-called Borgo as part of the large-scale archaeological investigations of San Giovenale which took place in 1956–1965. A large habitation complex consisting of houses, courtyards, lanes and wells was uncovered. The architectural remains and their stratigraphy will be presented in Part I of the publication. In this part (Part 2) the stratigraphy and the material found in the excavations are presented. Bibliographical information Ingrid Pohl, San Giovenale. The Borgo. The Etruscan habitation quarter on the North-West slope. Stratification and materials, (Skrifter utgivna av Svenska Institutet i Rom, 4°, 26, vol. 5, fasc. 2), Stockholm 2009. ISSN: 0081-993X. ISBN: 978-91-7042-176-1. Softcover: 114 pages.

Opuscula Romana 31–32 (2006–2007)
Opuscula Romana / 2008-12-01

Now available for purchase at,,,, and Contents Johnny R. Bengtsson | Late Bronze Age handles from the Apennine settlement at Luni sul Mignone: Some chronological observations Ingela M.B. Wiman & Yvonne Backe-Forsberg | Surfacing deities in later Etruscan art and the sacellum at San Giovenale Allan Klynne | The Villa Selvasecca revisited John W. Hayes | Villa Selvasecca: the pottery finds Ebba Engström & Ragnar Hedlund | Villa Selvasecca: the coins Dominic Ingemark | Villa Selvasecca: the glass Anne-Marie Leander Touati | Interim report of the Swedish Pompeii Project: Work 2000–2004/5 in Insula V 1. Introduction Margareta Staub Gierow | The House of the Greek Epigrams V 1,18.11–12: preliminary report 2000–2004 Arja Karivieri & Renée Forsell | The House of Caecilius Iucundus, V 1,22–27: a preliminary report Henrik Boman & Monica Nilsson | The commercial establishments V 1,13; V 1, 14–16; V 1,20–21: preliminary report 2001–2004 Mark Robinson | Evidence for garden cultivation and the use of bedding-out plants in the peristyle garden of the House of the Greek Epigrams (V 1, 18i) at Pompeii Henrik Boman & Monica Nilsson | The early street and the prehistoric finds in Vicolo delle Nozze d’Argento, Pompeii Jörg…

Opuscula Romana 30 (2005)
Opuscula Romana / 2005-12-01

Distributed by Astrom editions. Contents Anne-Marie Leander Touati | The Piranesi marbles from Rome to Stockholm. An introduction to research in progress (pp. 7–29) Raffaela Bosso | Osservazioni sull’attività della bottega Piranesi tra Giovanni Battista e Frencesco: il caso esemplare del gruppo di candelabri con trampolieri (pp. 31–62) Dietrich Boschung & Glenys Davies | Arae Passieniorum (pp. 63–72) G.F. Guidi, C. Giardino & G. Trojsi | L’insediamento etrusco di San Giovenale (Blera, Vitterbo). Caratterizzazione chimico-fisica dei residui delle attività produttive (pp. 73–84) Kristina Jonsson | Intra mural graves in Rome. Social dimensions in early medieval burial practices (pp. 85–95) Monica Nilsson & Mark Robinson | Remains of prehistoric habitation beneath Pompeii V 1,13 (pp. 97–103) Bengt E. Thomasson | Laterculi praesidium. Addendorum series quarta (pp. 105–122) Book reviews Örjan Wikander | L. Ambrosini, Thymiateria etruschi in bronzo di età tardo classica, alto e medio ellenistica (pp. 123–131) Izabella Donkow | B. Burell, Neokoroi: Greek cities and Roman emperors (pp. 132–133) Bibliographical information Opuscula Romana. Annual of the Swedish Institute in Rome (OpRom) 30, Stockholm 2006. ISSN: 0471-7309. ISBN: 91-7042-173-0. Softcover, 133 pages.