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Crustumerium
The settlement of Crustumerium is situated on the Marcigliana Vecchia hill in the southeast of the volcanic district of the Monti Sabatini. The area is part of a relief system with rolling hills and serrated edges. The hills rise about 30 to 100 m above the Tiber plain and are divided by many small streams and canals. This hydrographical system has severely eroded the volcanic soil, which resulted in an irregular, hilly landscape with several smaller relief systems, independent of one another. The plateau of Crustumerium, for example, is surrounded by steep cliffs that have an inclination of about 30 to 40 degrees, creating an easily defensible position, except for its south-eastern side.

The soil of the entire settlement area consists of a volcanic bedrock type named Tufo di Sacrofano, after the nearby extinct volcano. In some areas, other types of ‘tuff’ can also be distinguished. The soft bedrock permitted the landscape and subsurface to be easily modified artificially in antiquity, for example for irrigation works, deepened roads, quarries and the digging of tombs and caves – traces of which are often still visible today. Unfortunately, the soft soils have also been subject to massive erosion due to intensive agricultural exploitation in the past; a fact that threatens or has already destroyed part of the archaeological record.The settlement of Crustumerium is situated on the Marcigliana Vecchia hill in the southeast of the volcanic district of the Monti Sabatini. The area is part of a relief system with rolling hills and serrated edges.

The hills rise about 30 to 100 m above the Tiber plain and are divided by many small streams and canals. This hydrographical system has severely eroded the volcanic soil, which resulted in an irregular, hilly landscape with several smaller relief systems, independent of one another.

The plateau of Crustumerium, for example, is surrounded by steep cliffs that have an inclination of about 30 to 40 degrees, creating an easily defensible position, except for its south-eastern side.

The soil of the entire settlement area consists of a volcanic bedrock type named Tufo di Sacrofano, after the nearby extinct volcano. In some areas, other types of ‘tuff’ can also be distinguished. The soft bedrock permitted the landscape and subsurface to be easily modified artificially in antiquity, for example for irrigation works, deepened roads, quarries and the digging of tombs and caves – traces of which are often still visible today.

Unfortunately, the soft soils have also been subject to massive erosion due to intensive agricultural exploitation in the past; a fact that threatens or has already destroyed part of the archaeological record.
 
Soprintendenza Speciale Archeologia
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