Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the archaeological excavation of the historical Castle of Montaccianicoin Sant’Agata near Scarperia.
A bit of history
The history of Montaccianico dates back to the Middle Ages. The castle was property of the Ubaldini family, who dominated Mugello between 12th and 14 centuries. It was strategically located on top of hill overlooking the important commercial way between Florence and Romagna.
The Ubaldini family decided to fight against Florence together with Pistoia and Florence, during the fights between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Florence wanted to conquer the castle because of its strategical position and attempted it many times before 1306, when it actually took the castle.
And was in 1306 that the castle was completely destroyed by Florentines. In addition they imposed the damnatio memoriae, literally the condemnation of memory, in the sense of a judgment that a person must not be remembered. Florentines also banned any new construction on the site.
The Castle of Montaccianico is an archaeological site, where since 2008 archaeologists are excavating to bring back the castle to its ancient splendor – or at least what’s left. Every summer a large group of your archaeologists and students from Florence University go back to the castle and look for it with lots of hard work and passion.
Over the years they found parts of the ancient castle, like two towers and part of the walls. Just think that the castle was about 146 meters in breadth and about 40 meters in length!
They found parts of medieval potteries, glasses and pieces of iron that will help to date the excavation. Just yesterday they found the rests of a large fire together with burned wood and burned pottery. Isn’t it amazing?
Until August 4th you can visit the archaeological site for free on your own every day from Monday to Friday from 3pm to 6pm. On Friday July 27th there will be an interesting guided tour at 4pm and again on Saturday July 28th at 9am. The tour costs 5€ per person and can be booked by calling 055 8468165 or email to email@example.com.
I strongly recommend you visit the site, because you see what’s the life of an archaeologists and see what a great job they’re doing for preserving our history! For more info visit the official Facebook Page Progetto Montaccianico.