Medieval period


The late medieval city is a military settlement built according to the model of the French “bastide”. The city was composed of a series of square building blocks placed in an orthogonal grid marked by two main roads. Some architectural features: e.g. the church with burials, the triangular castle and several silos distribuited along the edges of the roads, are fairly important and deserve further investigation. The excavations carried out so far have brought to light some quadrangular dwellings built with roughly shaped blocks of local limestone.
The excavations at Roca have produced, togheter with the monuments mentioned, a fairly rich context for the study of material culture, especially pottery, which yielded a mass of information about the internal organisation of the site from the point of view of its economic and social life. There are all type of pottery circulating during the Medieval Age: from unpainted and painted wares for storage in the pantry to the more refined tableware such as green or yellow glazed, bi-coloured and double dipped wares, pottery with graffito decoration, “smaltate” and Spanish maiolica imported. The findings documents a close link with the city of Lecce and with other active centres orbiting in Salento hinterland. Also, the discovery of imported products indicates that the site has always been a crossroad of people not only from the north-central Italy, but also from the Balkans.

ambienti medievali

The grid of buildings visible in the aerial photos is to be dated all to the Medieval period

Since 2005, University of Salento has started a program of investigation aimed at the better understanding of late medieval and renaissance occupation of the site. The research was carried out following dual strategy: on one side the excavation of some building blocks as part of the annual campaigns of archaeological research, on the other hand the re-examination of the complex documentation produced in mopre than twenty years of investigation on the ground. The first campaigns have allowed to document two fundamental aspescts of the settlement. The first is the presence of initial phase of occupancy, witnessed by scarce evidence, which can be dated now to the end of thirteenth-early fourtennth century. The second is the persistence of sporadic non-residential use of some areas of the city afteri its abandonment and specifically at least until the end of sixteenth century.


Antiquity and Poesia Cave