The first activities of Pietragalla Project focused on the study of the archaeological documentation never published and stored in the archives of the Museo Archeologico Provinciale.  This study, lunched in 2015, led to the rediscovery of the rich storerooms of the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Potenza. This allowed the promotion of the materials unearthed during the excavation campaigns of the 20th century carried out by Francesco Ranaldi, through the organization of the exhibition “Riscoprendo Monte Torretta di Pietragalla. I tesori nascosti del Museo Archeologico Provinciale di Potenza” – for which our dedicated Andoid app was developped.

The main outcome of the exhibition inaugurated in August 2017, subsequentely included in the permanent collection of the museum, was to highlight the archaeological wealth of the site and thus to highlight the potential that a new and modern archaeological investigation could have, both from a scientific and tourist-cultural point of view.

In fact, at the same time as the exhibition, new fieldwork operations were initiated.


2017

In August 2017 the Pietragalla Project launched the first campaign of archaeological research in Pietragalla (PZ), in loc. Monte Torretta.

The site, which reaches 1,070 meters of height and falls within the high basin of the river Bradano, had already been the subject of systematic surveys between the mid-1950s and the late 1980s. Unfortunately, there is almost no documentation on these activities. Hence the resumption of the investigations by the international team.

The main objective of the first mission was to intercept the excavations carried out in the past, making a new survey of the visible structures and immediately elaborating a dedicated GIS. The operations were focused in the area of the so called Acropolis. The situation proved immediately rich and articulated, showing how the known layout should be corrected in several places. The investigations just north of the «Porta Livia» suggest a certain caution in accepting the old planimetric reconstruction. Relevant news also comes from the northern slopes of the Acropolis: here, instead of the single wall fortification, it was possible to verify the existence of a system of terraced walls arranged at variable altitudes and made with irregular blocks just coarsely worked.


2018

Between July and August 2018, it took place in Monte Torretta di Pietragalla (PZ) the second survey campaign of the Pietragalla Project in collaboration with the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Basilicata, the SAFE department of the University of Basilicata and the IMA of the CNR.

The inspection and clearance operations of the western half of the site continued. New data have emerged on the chronology of the southern section of the Acropolis wall, which has at least three construction phases. The majority of the visible wall body belongs to the second phase, which reveals the insertion at variable distances of chain walls in the inner part of the wall, to contain the thrusts of the ground.

This year’s campaign also brought to light the main gate of the settlement, the Porta Marie. If it is similar to other courtyard gates already known in the region, it is remarkably well preserved: despite its collapse in antiquity, about 2 m of elevetion can be reconstructed, and one of the blocks documented suggests a vault closure. Despite this preliminary research and even before starting stratigraphic excavations, it is clear that the Monte Torretta’s fortification system is about to become one of the main sources of information of pre-roman military architecture in the region.