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The archaeological site of Rusellae
|Elevation||25 m (82 ft)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
The ruins are about 15 kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Vetulonia and 8 kilometres (5 mi) northeast of Grosseto. They are situated on a hill with two summits, the higher of which is 194 metres (636 ft) above sea level. One summit is occupied by a Roman amphitheatre, the other by a tower of uncertain date. The local travertine was extensively used as a building material, as it naturally splits into roughly rectangular blocks.
Rusellae was associated with, but not actually one of, the twelve cities of the Etruscan Confederation. The Romans captured it in 294 BC. In 205 BC, it contributed grain and timber for the fleet of Scipio Africanus. A colony was founded here either by the Triumviri or by Augustus.
The place was deserted in 1138, although still occasionally used. The episcopal see was transferred to Grosseto, which is now the provincial capital.
The area is now under cultivation, and the ruins themselves are now thickly overgrown, although the walls are in places well preserved. They are embanking walls, nearly 3 kilometres (2 mi) in circumference, with a low breastwork in places. The walls consist of somewhat irregular, unworked blocks of travertine often measuring as much as 2.75 by 1.2 metres (9.0 by 3.9 ft). Smaller pieces are inserted in the gaps between blocks. A Roman cistern is visible. Roman remains have also been found 3 kilometres (2 mi) to the south, at hot springs used for public bathing to this day.
The House of the Impluvium, excavated by L. Donati, is an important early example of Italic house-cum-atrium.
Notes and references
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Istia d'Ombrone
- Marina di Grosseto
- Principina a Mare
- Principina Terra
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