Baschi

Scoppieto Archaeological Area

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Bureau d’accueil touristique
Piazza Duomo 24 - 05018 Orvieto
info@iat.orvieto.tr.it

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 excavations here since 1995, has uncovered the remains of a 4th century B.C.E. sanctuary where a ceramics factory was built in the late first 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 m2 area that has been uncovered to date 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 firing 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:  they could be carried at very little cost by the  Tiber River and then across the entire nearby Mediterranean basin. After the ceramics manufacturing activity ceased, the area became a residential zone until the 4th century C.E.