Casal de' Pazzi, excavation notes


  • Massimo Ruffo
  • Barbara Saracino Istituto Italiano di Antropologia
  • Gian Luca Zanzi Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali



Forty years after the discovery of the prehistoric site of Casal de’ Pazzi, the protagonist of those “roaring” years has been repeatedly asked to recall the stories, hardships, and frustrations, but also the success of that historic excavation campaign. Indeed, that daring adventure, in an era when the Sovrintenza Archeologica di Roma was making its first attempts to control and protect the territory of Rome, marked an epoch. The importance of the site and its artifacts, highly regarded by the prehistoric official of the time, Anna Paola Anzidei, allowed for extensive excavations of a large portion of the deposit and subsequently established its conservation and protection. The collaboration between institutions then enabled the Capitolina Superintendence of Rome to carry out musealization interventions, which, thanks to the tremendous efforts of some experts in prehistory, transformed the archeological site into a nationally significant museum. In the text we summarize, through a direct and valuable testimony from one of the authors, the reconstruction of the history of the site and the initial research activities. It is a vivid and detailed narrative that reveals Massimo Ruffo’s deep involvement: memories, reflections, observations, self-criticism, and uncertainties are the underlying themes of these valuable notes. At the same time, through the description of methodological strategies and depositional processes, the intention is not only to inform but also to accompany the reader right during the excavation of that time, aiming to make them partake in the issues of the research that allowed us to contemplate today Casal de’ Pazzi’s preserved stretch of fluvial landscape, evidence of our deep past.


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How to Cite

Ruffo, M., Saracino, B., & Zanzi, G. L. (2023). Casal de’ Pazzi, excavation notes. Journal of Mediterranean Earth Sciences, 15.