Roman Cistern

Going for about a kilometer along the provincial road that leads from Montaione to Gambassi, you will find a Roman Cistern dating to the 3rd century B.C.

Discovered in the 1960s in Sant'Antonio, the excavation area was named "Il Muraccio" precisely because of the characteristic of the cistern whose walls have been visible since ancient times.

The 32.5 meters long and 4.50 meters wide partially in-ground structure consists of three separate and interconnected tanks with a slight altitude and connected by transverse walls with an opening in the center to allow the passage of water.

By analogy with other cistern of the same period, found in other parts of Tuscany in better conditions, we can assume that it is a barrel vaulted cistern.

The construction technique of this "opus caementicum" masonry unit is made of a dry wall made of a mixture of hydraulic lime mortar combined with small and medium-sized limestone stone with brick fragments.

The cement work was covered by a brick sheath occasionally interrupted by rows of rather squared stones of which the remains at the foot of the wall are still visible. The end part has a different piece of limestone, larger than the central core. The inside has large traces of the original plaster; the rest above-ground is largely destroyed.

The cistern that had to collect the waters from Poggio all'Aglione had a capacity of about 200.000 liters and was supposed to serve as a water reserve for a nearby town or villa, of which it is not easy to establish the exact location, even if some traces of mosaic floors found near the site support its existence.

In 1998 further excavations brought to light a series of terracotta pipes typical of the Greek and Roman period that, housed in a layer of mortar and stone, were supposed to serve some bricks furnaces placed in the near locality of "Pozzolo" where were found remains of ancient bricks.

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