achtergrond.jpg
Temple I, phase of the timber buildings (I.b), built around 700 BC, Acropolis Timpone della Motta, Park 'Lagaria'. The red postholes belong to I.b, the blue postholes form the apse of an older house (I.a), the violet wall remains belong to temple I.d.
Temple I, phase of the timber buildings (I.b), built around 700 BC, Acropolis Timpone della Motta, Park 'Lagaria'. The red postholes belong to I.b, the blue postholes form the apse of an older house (I.a), the violet wall remains belong to temple I.d.

Plan of Temple I, phase of the timber buildings (Temple I.b)

Not far from Temple III, but placed considerably lower and immediately along the northern edge of the Acropolis in the last decennium of the 8th century BC, building I.b was constructed on top of an earlier building, perhaps apsidal in shape (I.a).

In the west, a number of post holes indicate a round wall more or less similar to the ‘House of Weaving’. As that House was full of female activities, it is possible, but unproven, that a similar building (I.a.) with male activities existed in the north. There are many trenches and post holes that are difficult to use in reconstructions of the several subsequent structures once built in this particular spot.

Temple I was excavated during the Scavi Stoop 1963-69 in two different campaigns; first the surface part and the deeper part in a later year.

Because Paola Zancani-Montuoro prohibited Dr. Stoop from continuing her excavations on the Acropolis in 1969, and worse, did not allow her to visit the Timpone della Motta or the magazine of the excavations, Stoop’s publication of the temples is incomplete.

A control excavation, the Scavi Mertens/Luppino 1982, undertaken with the purpose of providing the lacking stratigraphy, has not resulted in a publication either.

A thorough cleaning during the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004 revealed new aspects of the timber temple’s plan. The builders of Temple I.b. cut a row of post holes at more or less equal distances parallel to the northern edge of the Acropolis, evidently to erect wooden posts for the support of the north wall of this rectangular structure (post holes B, E, G, c, d, L, M, O, Q ).

In the south, a rectangle of the conglomerate rock was cut out and levelled. In this way, a long rectangular building of circa 20.7 x 6.90m resulted.

In the east, a deep portico was created with a roof of the veranda type leaning on a row of posts, which were less robust and put closer together than the posts of the long walls (portico post holes U, V, W, X, Y). The walls were possibly in pisé (constructed with branches, straw and loam) and it is likely that the roof was thatched, but no evidence remains.

The absence of fragments of baked loam or of sun-dried bricks in the contexts of all these early timber buildings on the Acropolis of Timpone della Motta indicates that they did not burn down, as this would have baked the loam or clay of wall material into conserved substances, which excavators usually find, but are totally absent here. The buildings must then have been taken down by hand.

In her final report, Dr. Stoop mentions finds from inside and outside Temple I that belong to this 7th c. BC structure and also pottery that would fit an earlier structure I.a, but she does not describe the objects individually: some matt-painted and impasto material and cups dating from the late 8th century BC (among which a fragment from a so-called Thapsos cup) and more fragments from cups dating to the 7th c. BC. 

Plan of Temple I, phase of the timber buildings (Temple I.b)

 

Not far from Temple III, but placed considerably lower and immediately along the northern edge of the Acropolis in the last decennium of the 8th century BC, building I.b was constructed on top of an earlier building, perhaps apsidal in shape (I.a).

 

In the west, a number of post holes indicate a round wall more or less similar to the ‘House of Weaving’. As that House was full of female activities, it is possible, but unproven, that a similar building (I.a.) with male activities existed in the north. There are many trenches

and post holes that are difficult to use in reconstructions of the several subsequent structures once built in this particular spot.

 

Temple I was excavated during the Scavi Stoop 1963-69 in two different campaigns; first the surface part and the deeper part in a later year. Because Paola Zancani-Montuoro prohibited Dr. Stoop from continuing her excavations on the Acropolis in 1969, and worse, did not allow her to visit the Timpone della Motta or the magazine of the excavations, Stoop’s publication of the temples is incomplete. A control excavation, the Scavi Mertens/Luppino 1982, undertaken with the purpose of providing the lacking stratigraphy, has not resulted in a publication either.

 

Fortunately, a thorough cleaning during the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004 revealed new aspects of the timber temple’s plan. The builders of Temple I.b. cut a row of post holes at more or less equal distances parallel to the northern edge of the Acropolis, evidently to erect wooden posts for the support of the north wall of this rectangular structure (post holes B, E, G, c, d, L, M, O, Q ).

In the south, a rectangle of the conglomerate rock was cut out and levelled. In this way, a long rectangular building of circa 20.7 x 6.90m resulted.

In the east, a deep portico was created with a roof of the veranda type leaning on a row of posts, which were less robust and put closer together than the posts of the long walls (portico post holes U, V, W, X, Y). The walls were possibly in pisé (constructed with branches, straw and loam) and it is likely that the roof was thatched, but no evidence remains.

The absence of fragments of baked loam or of sun-dried bricks in the contexts of all these early timber buildings on the Acropolis of Timpone della Motta indicates that they did not burn down, as this would have baked the loam or clay of wall material into conserved substances, which excavators usually find, but are totally absent here. The buildings must then have been taken down by hand.

In her final report, Dr. Stoop mentions finds from inside and outside Temple I that belong to this 7th c. BC structure and also pottery that would fit an earlier structure I.a, but she does not describe the objects individually: some matt-painted and impasto material and cups dating from the late 8th century BC (a fragment from a so-called Thapsos cup) and more fragments from cups dating to the 7th c. BC.