Scoppieto Archaeological Area

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Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza Duomo 24 - 05018 Orvieto

The extensive Scoppieto archaeology site just outside of Baschi is situated on a plateau overlooking the Tiber Valley, an area rich with clay deposits, blessed with water and fertile farmland. 

The site is at the entrance to an archaeological nature trail in the Tiber River Park and offers an overview of the settlements that grew up around the river, which served as a vital means of communication and, of course, transportation. A tour of the area complements a visit to Baschi's own Antiquarium (museum of antiquities), where relics uncovered during excavation are on display.

The University of Perugia, which has been conducting the work here since 1995, uncovered the remains of a IV century B.C.E. sanctuary on which a ceramics factory was built in the late I century B.C.E. The factory was operative for about a century and made crockery known as terra sigillata (or sealed earth) after the name of the seal – sigillum – used to imprint decorative motifs on the ceramic objects. Aside from chalices, cups, plates and bowls with a smooth coral red surface, they also manufactured lamps and bricks. The 2,000 sqm area that has so far been uncovered has revealed some potters' stations, each one with a basin for clay, a wheel and a brazier. Other processes were also done here, like purifying the clay and the firing of the finished items. The ceramics made by the craftsmen from Scoppieto bear their signatures and this has allowed scientists to trace a map of their distribution: over the Tiber River at very little cost they reached the entire nearby Mediterranean basin. After the ceramics manufacturing activity ceased, the area became a residential zone until the IV century C.E.