Investing in Infrastructure: Results of the 2023 Coriglia Excavation Project (15 min)


William H. Ramundt, University at Buffalo


This paper will present the results of 2023 excavations at the site of Coriglia, located northwest of Orvieto, Italy. The major occupation of Coriglia begins with an Etruscan phase in the sixth century B.C.E. and reaches its peak during the Roman Imperial period. The site occupies a large hillside defined by a series of L-shaped terrace walls that are persistent through the life of the site. At various periods, these walls supported domestic areas, at least two bath complexes, production spaces, and a possible sacred space associated with a hot spring. The continuous habitation, regular restructuring, and later spoliation has made broad interpretations difficult, but evidence from this season resulted in several important interpretations about the major functions of the site.

Three major features were investigated this season. The first was a large vasca built next to the site’s major roadway. The two natural springs found on site necessitated intensive water management throughout the life of the site and the evidence from this new vasca offers new understanding of these and the purposes behind it.

The second area investigated this season was the site’s major roadway. Further excavation allowed us to better understand persistent nature of this feature and how movement influence the development of the site.

The final area that was investigated this season was a series of retaining walls found at the edge of the major terrace. Excavation revealed evidence of instability, consistent investment to maintain the layout of the site, and spoliation activity related to the end of habitation at Coriglia. This paper will discuss this evidence from these areas, present a new interpretation for the major purpose behind the site, discuss the end of habitation at Coriglia, and situate the site within the context of the central Italian countryside.