Wells of Wonders: New Discoveries from Cetamura del Chianti
Opening: Friday, June 9, 2017 at 5pm
National Archaeological Museum of Florence
Entrance: Via della Colonna 38A
On view through September 30, 2017
FLORENCE, Italy — “Wells of Wonders: New Discoveries at Cetamura del Chianti,” will open June 9, 2017 at the Florence National Archaeological Museum and will remain on view through September 30, 2017.
The exhibition will feature 300 ancient items found at Cetamura del Chianti, an archaeological site discovered in 1964 by Italian avocational archaeologist Alvaro Tracchi. The excavation was led by Nancy de Grummond, Professor of Classics at Florida State University, and engineered by the Italian archaeologists from the firm ICHNOS: Archeologia, Ambiente e Sperimentazione. Throughout the excavation, de Grummond was aided by the Conservation Department at Studio Arts College International (SACI).
The artifacts will represent over 1500 years of history of the Chianti region, from the Etruscan period to the Medieval era. Museum visitors can view 2000-year-old bronze vessels, pottery, coins, numerous other metal items (silver, bronze, iron, lead), terracotta weights, votive cups, divinatory tokens and astragali, jewelry, glass artifacts, and tools made of bronze, bone, and stone. Though some items were recovered in perfect or near perfect shape, often only fragments or shards of an item were excavated. To provide visitors with a better view of what certain artifacts looked like, in some cases fragments will be placed next to 3-D-printed recreations.
A large number of organic materials, both floral and faunal were are also recovered, along with hundreds of pieces of water-logged wood, animal bones, fruit remains, grains, and other seeds, and reveal valuable information about environment and agriculture during these eras. Researchers found a series of grape seeds dating back to 300 BC that suggests the presence of vineyards even then. Leading experts from laboratories in Italy and abroad continue to study these findings, which can bring new insight to the history of one of the world’s most popular wine regions.
From 2011-2017, under the direction of Nora Marosi, professor of Conservation at SACI, SACI conservation students worked on approximately 180 Etruscan, Roman, and Late Antique artifacts dating between 3rd century BCE and 4th CE. SACI MX (Museum Experience) Spring 2017 students, led by Design Area Head Camilla Torna, worked on developing the show’s promotion and marketing materials. The selected designs where Danielle Gorton’s for the exhibition identity and Olivia Ellis for the infographic panels.
“Wells of Wonders” is under the authorization of and in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per Siena Grosseto e Arezzo (Superintendence for Archaeology Fine Arts and Landscape), and the Polo Museale della Toscana (Tuscan Museum Center).