Archaeological excavations at the castle of Arena, the director: “A long work that will have significant results”


By John

Conducted by some young people, freelancers graduated from the universities of Siena and Rome (“La Sapienza”), and assisted by volunteers from the Promoarena and the municipality, led by the mayor, Nino Schinella, the archaeological excavations at the Norman castle continue in Arena. To explain the progress to a large audience, the director of the same, the associate professor of archeology at the university of the Tuscan town Carlo Citter. A large and still long activity, difficult to interpret, which is divided between a variegated past and a prosperous future.

«The structure – Citter explained – has been compromised by various renovations, which, fortunately, have not affected the various depositions, of which much has been preserved, to be interpreted also thanks to comparisons with similar buildings. The dating is between the eleventh and twelfth centuries – continued the scholar – but (especially in the post-Norman era, when there were no more military needs) it is not a real castle, but a fortified residence, to flaunt the power of the various notables who succeeded one another”.

The past is made up of different sedimentations, at least 4/5, he explained in detail: «The first pre-Norman; the second Norman; the third Angevin; the fourth Aragonese; the Bourbon fifth. To try to understand the various evolutions we start from the latest renovations and an attempt is made to arrive at the oldest, with the involvement of the University of New Castle, to establish a date with a margin of error of 30 years».

Having made a reference to the very ancient water intakes (the “prises”) for which the recognition of “Unesco” heritage will be requested, and to some suggestive bridges and mills, Professor Citton answered the question: «having ascertained that this place was palatable in different eras, how can it be made equally palatable for the future»? «The olive trees planted in the 80s will be caged and preserved – concluded the archaeologist – and, through a gigantic and long work of interpretation, we will proceed to create paths which, through virtual reality, and the overcoming of architectural, sensory and cognitive, making the castle once again an identity and livable in all its splendour. We won’t leave so soon – he commented – because the work is worth it and we don’t like to leave things half done ». In short: The area will return to “Norman” and, “hopefully” with the same glories. Also for the district that was part of that reality.