Peltuinum - Prata d'Ansidonia (AQ)
The city of Peltuinum, founded between the first century BC and the first century AD in the territory inhabited by the people of Vestini, extends over a plateau raised above the plateau of Navelli emerging between the valley of Aterno and that of Tirino, natural roads of crossing of the Abruzzese Apennines. The city had a role, both political and economic, strategic in the control of commercial traffic linked to transhumance routes; even in times closer to us the plateau was crossed in an East-West direction by the Regio Tratturo Borbonico, whose customs structures have settled on the entry system of the Roman city. The life of the city ends around the fourth century, perhaps due to an earthquake stronger than those that occurred frequently. The abandonment phase then follows an intense activity of spoliation of the building material, as confirmed by the numerous fragments of architectural decorations, capitals, columns, large limestone blocks, certainly coming from the buildings of the Roman city, reused in the churches and medieval castles of the valley (in particular in the churches of San Paolo in Peltuinum, Prata d'Ansidonia, Bominaco). The first excavation campaigns in the city were conducted between 1983 and 1985, in collaboration between the Chair of Topography of Ancient Italy of the University "La Sapienza" of Rome, the Abruzzo Archaeological Superintendence, the Mountain Community and the Local Authorities. The presence of structures emerging from the ground level in the central-southern area of the plateau, meant that particular attention was given to what turned out to be an impressive theater-temple complex, which incorporates architectural and urban models typical of Augustan Rome.
The excavations brought to light the temple with the three-armed portico that surrounded it, and part of the theater. Between 1986 and 1996, the Soprintendenza carried out works aimed at consolidating and enhancing the known structures. During this period, other excavation campaigns took place which highlighted the southern sector of the theater, on which a small fortified display insisted, an interesting testimony to the history of medieval Peltuinum.
Between 2000 and 2002 excavation campaigns were concentrated in the theater area, highlighting: part of the stands for spectators and the rainwater disposal system, the foundations of the northern half of the scenic building, the room for maneuvering the curtain, the portico that closed the theater complex offering spectators shelter from the rain and the sun during the performances. The commitment of the past years, in addition to the acquisition of important scientific data, has allowed us to highlight the architectural articulations of the monumental complex.
In perspective, as already mentioned, there is also the recovery to the theatrical complex of the medieval castle which, exploiting its powerful structures, was built on the ancient southern entrance and preserves important remains inside. It should not be forgotten that, alongside the most evident result of the excavation campaigns, consisting of the regained monumental emergency, there is a whole series of materials of different characteristics that already constitutes the initial nucleus for an antiquarium of the ancient Peltuinum.
For more information: www.comune.pratadansidonia.aq.it