ENGLISH VERSION | Roman Necropolis unearthed in San Severino Marche

Preventive Excavations for the construction of a supermarket in San Severino Marche (MC), made between October 2021 and January 2022, have unearthed 14 roman graves that can be dated to the first two centuries of the empire.

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) Burial with tiled covering (source ©ABAP Superintendency for the provinces of Ancona, Pesaro and Urbino)


The Discovery

The digging was led by the ArcheoLAB of Macerata under the scientific direction of Dr. Tommaso Casci Ceccacci of the Superintendency for the provinces of Ancona, Pesaro and Urbino.

The sepulchral area discovered in San Severino Marche (Macerata), is part of the wide necropolis of the roman town of Septempeda. It was identified close to the S.P. 361 and it has an east-west development, parallel to the roadway. The presence of a rectangular basement made of a casting against concrete and river rocks enhances the peri-urban nature of the necropolis. Unfortunately, the poor condition doesn’t allow to accurately understand the type of structure but it had to be a monumental funerary complex.

Direct and Indirect Cremation Burials

The tombs that were brought to light are 14, 3 of them characterized by the ground inhumation ritual, the others by the incineration ritual. The latter can be officiated both directly and indirectly. In the first case, the corpse was placed inside the designed grave for the combustion, which was also used for the burial of the ashes. In the case of the indirect cremation, the deceased’s remains were taken from the pyre and subsequently placed inside the final grave.

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Inhumation (source: ©ABAP Superintendency for the provinces of Ancona, Pesaro and Urbino)


What was revealed from the San Severino tombs

The busta sepulcra, also known as direct cremation tombs, have returned large wooden pyres. Here, the deceased were placed and cremated, accompanied by grave goods, some of them burned alongside the body, others placed afterwards. Part of these graves have a sepulcrum, a funerary structure made of tiles, which is still intact. The indirect cremation burials have a simpler structure, made of a small box shaped like a triangle or a rectangle and formed by split tiles, within which the ashes and the funerary equipment were conserved. Also noteworthy is the condition of the burnt remains of the pyre, as well as the gurney and the wooden coffins, of which the original position of the nails has been preserved, allowing the reconstruction of the context.

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Remians of a pyre
The funerary equipment

The artifacts that have been recovered from the graves have allowed a first (and partial) documentation of the wide procedure followed during the funeral rites. Most of the interments feature items that were placed and burned during the incineration, while others were added later after the rearrangement of the remains. Among the recovered objects, we can find a considerable quantity of glass ointment vases that have been deformed from the heat, coins, oil lamps and bronze artifacts, which include a splendid round mirror with a shaped grip. Moreover, there were items that were closely related to everyday life, such as sewing needles and spindles for the female burials or common work tools such as knives, razors and scrapers for the male ones.


Translation from NEWS | Scoperta una necropoli romana a San Severino Marche

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