The most ancient traces identified at Chiarone date back to the Villanovan
period, to which the remains of a cottage and of other simple annexes can be ascribed. The impasto
pottery that has been recovered, in some cases decorated with engraved geometric patterns or simply painted, can be dated to the second half of the VIIIth
After an unclear period, in which the site was abandoned or, in any case, the archaeological sediments were lost, a new, more substantial occupation can be proved starting from the last decades of the VIIth
century b.C.. The remains of dwellings and wooden structures, found in great numbers but not always clearly defined, show the progressive growth of the settlement during the VIth
century b.C.. In this period, along with impasto pottery, sometimes decorated with impressed patterns or plastic applications, black bucchero
earthenware, probably of Pisan production, also becomes common. Among the finds belonging to this phase we also have a bronze fibula
decorated with engraved lines and circles.
In the Vth
century b.C., at the edge of the older settlement, a new rectangular wooden dwelling with an annex, perhaps open towards the outside, was built; from here comes cippo a clava
At this time the tableware in bucchero disappears and is replaced by new ceramic products of a grey or light brown-orange colour. In an area adjoining the house a small female bronze statue was found; it could be referable to a place of domestic worship.
The desertion of the Archaic
settlements during the Vth
century b.C. was probably due to flooding, like at Tempagnano
and Fossa Nera
; for the same reason we have lost the layers, most of which washed away, belonging to the period when the settlement was inhabited and a muddy river sediment covers the remains of the dwellings.
During the IInd
century b.C., with the Roman colonization, the site was again occupied. Traces of simple wooden structures, arranged around a well, remain from this period; the commitment of the inhabitants towards making life possible again in the plain appears clearly from the presence, on the left bank of the river, of a roadbed of cobblestones that were taken from the river. Among the numerous finds that have been secured black glazed
tableware, mainly of local production, is well attested.
The Roman 'farm', renovated in Augustean
times with the addition of cobblestone walls, was completely dismantled around the middle of the IInd
century a.D., leaving a vast surface, compacted by material from the demolition, for a final settlement attempt that goes on, maybe, until the beginning of the IIIrd
Characteristic of this period is the italic "terra sigillata"
and, starting from the IInd
century a.D., also the African "terra sigillata"
tableware. In the last period, along with agriculture and sheep breeding, fishing must also have played an important role in the economy of the settlement, as the large number of lead weights for nets suggests.
The definitive desertion of the area is a clear symptom of the economic crisis involving both the town and the rural areas, maybe, again, as a consequence of, or at least made more serious by, the territory's fragile ecological balance: the river, abandoned to itself, gained once again the upper hand on man's work.