Palatine Huts

3d model and reconstruction

Palatine Huts

The excavation of protohistoric dwellings involves finding a set of archaeological traces which only experts are able to interpret. These do not include the remains of foundations and walls, but rather only holes for posts and grooves dug into the natural rocky bank.

For this reason, ever since the first discovery of hut remains in the early 20th century, scholars immediately have felt it was necessary to provide a hypothetical reconstruction, based on archaeological data, of these structures and of the techniques used to build them.

Apart from ‘direct’ archaeological data, i.e. those from excavations, in order to draft these hut models it has been possible to use a set of archaeological data which may be called ‘indirect’, derived from the study of a specific type of cinerary urns, a large amount of which has been found in necropolises dating to the same period as the excavated villages: hut-shaped urns. These were made for the ashes of the deceased, mainly using terracotta, but also bronze, and reproduce, often in a very detailed way, real huts.

Further valuable information can be drawn from observing the techniques still used today to build huts in some parts of the Italian countryside.

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Short history of

Palatine Huts

At the beginning of the 20th century, archaeologists discovered traces of some wooden structures on the southwest side of the crest of the Palatine hill, from which it was possible to identify at least six wooden huts in various forms, built between the 9th and 7th centuries BC.

From the 9th to the middle of the 7th century BC there was a large circular wooden structure (about 77 square meters), with a ditch in front of the entrance. Other huts were also built nearby during the next centuries. Only two of these huts, built after the middle of the 7th century BC, were religiously conserved until the end of the 3rd century BC.

According to ancient writers, this area was the home of Romulus and Remus, and of Faustulus, the shepherd who saved them. In this same area were the wooden house of the first king and the so-called “Roma Quadrata”, the sacred area with the altar on which Romulus is supposed to have performed the sacrifice marking the founding of Rome.

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