Santa Croce di Magliano, MoliseThe site of Masseria Melanico is located around seven kilometres east of the modern town of Santa Croce di Magliano in the east of the Molise region, close to the regional boarder with Puglia. It is located approximately 17 kilometres south east of the well-known Samnite and Roman settlement of Larino in an area that has been considered as remote, impoverished and thinly populated (Barker et al. 1978; Barker 1995: 12; Patterson 2004: 53). However, in the field immediately south-west of the site, on the southern side of the Strada Provinciale 118, a spread of archaeological material was noted and a Villa has also been identified nearby to the site, but little is known about its character and extent of these remains.
The specific survey area was selected to establish the archaeological potential of the site and subsequently assess whether it was an acceptable location for modern development. The work was carried out at the request of Dott. Sergio Fontana of Parsifal Cooperative di Archaeologia. Magnetometer survey was chosen as the best geophysical technique with which to explore these notions and was conducted during October 2010.
The results of the survey suggested that the area was not characterised by a high degree archeological potential. Whilst the survey did identify some very weak responses, it is unlikely that these related any significant archaeological features. Nonetheless, this lack or archaeological remains is consistent with the notion of the region as remote and thinly populated area during antiquity.
Barker, G, Lloyd, J. and D, Webley. (1978). A Classical Landscape in Molise. Papers of the British School at Rome. Vol. 46. 35-51.
Barker, G. (1995). A Mediterranean Valley: Landscape Archaeology and Annales history in the Biferno valley. Leicester University Press, London and New York.
Patterson, J. (2004) Samnium under the Roman empire. In. H, Jones. Samnium: Settlment and Cultural Change: The proceedings of the Third E. Togo Salmon Conference on Roman Studies. Archaeologia Transatlantica XXII, Brown University