Archaeology

Locanda dell'Amorosa - Sinalunga - Siena - Tuscany - Italy

The Amorosa is situated on a small hill overlooking the Val di Chiana and is not mentioned by archeologists among those places that have yielded Etruscan finds. Unpublished researches, which I will make known elsewhere, allow us to ascertain that in the first years of this century some rather interesting finds were discovered, some of which very near the farmhouse.

At the time the owner was Count Alfredo of Frassineto who, during some agricultural work, found the remains of a building decorated with architectural terracottas dating from the II century B.C. Some of these finds were donated to the "Fraternita dei Laici" of Arezzo, while others remained at the farm. The fragments in Arezzo are relevant to the decoration in terracotta of a pediment, and amongst these of particular interest is the bottom part of a nude male figure seated on a rock, while amongst the finds still preserved at the Amorosa the most remarkable is a decorative element in the shape of a head of Athena with a bilobate helmet which can be compared with other specimens from Cosa and from the lovely temple of Talamone. These architectural terracottas were probably part of the ornaments of a sacred building, situated not far from an important route linking the Chiusi area with the Val di Chiana and the important centers of the Sienese region.

Most likely it was a sacellum consecrated to some divinity linked to the sphere of fertility, as is usual with rural shrines, built to satisfy the religious needs of various groups spread through the countryside, and in the specific case of the Amorosa, also those of the wayfarers traveling along the road below.

The above-mentioned researches also enable us to ascertain the existence of Etruscan tombs far more ancient than this same shrine, also discovered by Count Alfredo of Frassineto and containing bucchero vases. One of these is decorated with a narrow band depicting real and fantastic figures facing two personages seated on thrones with a high back. The vase was made in a Chiusi workshop and can be dated to the beginning of VI century B.C. Its presence at the Amorosa testifies the existence here of a small settlement of late orientalized period that further research will be able to identify more precisely.
My thanks to Carlo Citterio, owner of the Amorosa, for having kindly allowed me to view the Etruscan finds.

My thanks to Carlo Citterio, owner of the Amorosa, for having kindly allowed me to view the Etruscan finds.

(Ariano Guastaldi) From: Quaderni Sinalunghesi Anno IX n. 3 Dicembre 1998.