The excavation in via Sant’Apollonia

The excavation carried out in 1994 in Via Sant'Apollonia in Pisa by the Scuola Normale brought to light a relatively...

The excavation carried out in 1994 in Via Sant’Apollonia in Pisa by the Scuola Normale brought to light a relatively large sector of the Etruscan settlement, making it possible to follow the subsequent transformations of the area through the Roman period, the Middle Ages and the modern age.

Most of the collected materials (about 500 boxes of artifacts, from Etruscan times to the early Middle Ages) is still housed at the Scuola Normale, in agreement with the Superintendency.

This collection of materials, and the related contexts of provenance documented in the course of the excavation, has provided an opportunity for SAET both to contribute to the debate on the earliest history of the Pisan settlement and to initiate continuous and fruitful collaborations with the ABAP Superintendency of Pisa, the Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere of the University of Pisa and, recently, with the Museum of Roman Ships in Pisa.

Compositional analyses recently carried out on a late medieval coin at the SNS NEST laboratory open new and promising prospects for internal collaboration.

The SAET laboratory has been increasingly involved in workshops on ancient Pisa, where the results obtained from Via Sant’Apollonia excavation have been presented and discussed.


A three-year thesis, discussed by Giulietta Guerini, an SNS student (a.y. 2018-2019; supervisor: L. Rosselli; co-advisor: G. Adornato), focused on unpublished finds from Via Sant’Apollonia, the study of which was carried out in the SAET premises and is currently being published. In addition, there are all the opportunities for high dissemination, as well as educational activities aimed at Pisan schools (primary and secondary), also conducted in the SAET premises.

The project plans to:

– include on the SAET site a conspicuous number of entries for the materials, both already musealized and unpublished, accompanied by photos and comparisons

– publish contexts and materials from the excavation, both in the SAET archaeological review and in specialized journals

– characterize through an archaeometric analysis both the provenance of some classes of materials and finds attesting the productive activities conducted in the area of via Sant’Apollonia

– promote the development of theses on the materials and contexts of the excavation

– increase the number of seminars and outreach activities aimed at the local community, including workshops for children from primary and secondary schools in the Pisan area.

Supervisors: Gianfranco Adornato, Anna Magnetto.
Coordinators: Alessandro Corretti, Maria Adelaide Vaggioli.
Contributors: SNS students and PhD, UniPI trainees/graduants UniPI, contractors for the analysis of the materials.