(Saturnia) Tuscany, Italy.
A center in the province of Grosseto on a limestone plateau
on the left bank of the Albegna, near its confluence with
the Stellata. After the fall of Caletra it apparently became the principal city of the Ager Caletranus, a territory that extended along the Albegna valley among the territories of Sovana, Heba, and Roselle. Sources that
cite it are: Pliny (HN 3.8
), Dionysios of Halikarnassos
. 1,20), Livy (Hist. 39.55
); Ptolemy (Geogr
3.1.43), Festus (s.v. “praefectura”). It is also recorded
as a station on the Via Clodia (Peutinger Table
Excavations made at the end of the last century attest
to the continuity of life in this inland Etruscan center
from the Villanovan to the Roman periods, with an interruption from the 5th to the 3d-2d c. B.C., as is the
case in most Etruscan centers.
In 280 B.C. Saturnia passed under Roman domination
as a praefectura with a military praefectus sent from
Rome, and in 183 B.C. it was declared a Roman colony
by the triumvirate of Q. Fabius Labeo, C. Afranius Stellius, and T. Sempronius Graccus. As a Roman colony it
was ascribed to the tribus Sabatina and is recorded as
saturniana colonia by Ptolemy and by inscriptions from
the 2d c. of the Empire (CIL
VI, 2404a; x, 4832).
Little remains of the Etruscan city save a few sections
of the encircling wall, the longest and best-preserved
being on the S near the Porta Romana. From the Roman
city remain sections of the city walls, which must have
had four gates aligned with the cardo and the decumanus,
corresponding to the ancient roads that led from the
valleys of the Albegna and the Stellata. Also preserved
are numerous remains of public and private buildings
constructed in opus reticulatum. Among these are the
remains of a castelluin aquarium in the locality called
Le Murella, and of a public building with engaged columns in travertine. Vestiges of the Roman age include
a large bath building in the locality called Bagno di
Saturnia, a building at Pratogrande whose ruins are under
those of a mediaeval building called the Castellaccio, and
stretches of road paved with limestone blocks.
Various necropoleis surround the city. In the necropolis
at Sede di Carlo, NE of the city, are cinerary urns mixed
with contemporary inhumation burials in pit tombs. The
latter, from the late Villanovan age, are more numerous,
though they include rather meager fittings. At Pancotta
and Pratogrande there are tumulus graves with inhuination burials. A unique type of tomb occurs at both Campo delle Caldane and Pian di Palma. These are small chambered tombs constructed of rough slabs of travertine positioned upright and covered by horizontal blocks.
On the exterior are piled more slabs, and the whole is
covered by a tumulus of earth. The material they contain dates to the late 7th-early 6th c. B.C. There are
hypogeuin tombs with a single cell and inclined dromos
cut into the rock in the necropoleis at Costone degli Sterpeti and of Pian di Palma. Among these is the tomb
called the Pellegrina, dating between the 6th and 5th c.
B.C. Remains of jars and tiles, presumably from covered
tombs, have been found in Porcareccia and Podere S.
Bernardino. Much of the material found in excavations
at the turn of the century has been lost, and the small
part remaining is preserved in the Museo Archeologico
in Florence. In Saturnia there is a notable private collection, the Collezione Ciacci.
R. Bianci Bandinelli, Carta Archeologica id., Mon. Ant. Lincei
30 (1932) 209ff; A. Minto,
Mon. Ant. Lincei
30 (1932) 585ff; EAA
7 (1966) 78-79