Vagnari, Puglia

June 2000, June – July 2001

Vagnari is located some 12km south west of the town of Gravina in the Region of Puglia, southern Italy. The site potentially represents a Roman industrial village situated on the Via Appia and linked to the south coast by a small river valley which drains into the Basentello River.

The survey area at Vagnari

Two seasons of geophysical survey was undertaken here between 24th and 30th June 2000 and between 30th June and 6th July 2001. The survey was carried out by the British School at Rome on behalf of Professor Alastair Small of Edinburgh University, aimed at locating and mapping any potential archaeological features below the present ground surface.

The project at Vagnari follows four seasons of field survey carried out by a Canadian archaeological team from the University of Alberta between 1966 and 1999. The fieldwork for the 2000 season integrated geophysical survey with surface collection of archaeological material and targeted excavation to produce a comprehensive site interpretation.

The magnetometer survey successfully located archaeological remains at the site, indicating a settlement with multiple phases; probably of major industrial significance. Settlement areas were identified on both sides of a substantial gully. On the north side a large building, 30m x 17m was identified, which overlay an earlier, more complicated phase of construction, including a possible bathhouse. A series of structures associated with industrial activity were also located here, including fifteen kilns or furnaces, and a possible road connecting the settlement to the Via Appia. On the north side of the gully a large building complex comprising a number of rooms arranged around a courtyard was identified, and a further kiln set inside an enclosure.

Magnetometry Survey using a Geoscan Research FM 36 at Vagnari