Allegrini 2018

In a drywall in Valpolicella, a Roman stele (indicating a source of water ...)

Found during a lesson on restoring stone walls, sponsored by Cantina Valpolicella Negrar

A treasure inside a treasure, and even more, a story inside history with a capital "H". In the dry stone walls in Valpolicella, which here and everywhere in Italy have marked and made the Italian landscape and wine-making profile unique for centuries, so much so that it has merited recognition as UNESCO cultural heritage, an ancient Roman stele has emerged which, even though it had been hidden in the territory for years, probably indicated a source of water. This is an archaeological find of extraordinary importance, especially in an area where there are very few Ancient Roman artifacts left. It was discovered completely by chance, during a practical lesson on how to restore the dry stone walls in Valpolicella, organized by the Salesian Institute San Zeno - Sant'Ambrogio della Valpolicella Marble School, sponsored by Cantina Valpolicella Negrar - School in the Vineyard: the fragment of an epigraph, engraved with the word "Aqua", was among the stones that made up a section of crumbled drywall.
The architect Michele Moserle, coordinator and lecturer of the course explained, “following the preliminary analysis of the University of Verona and the Superintendence, we can assume from the type of inscription that the stele was used to indicate a place where water was found, or that it could indicate the ownership of the source, we will know better when the scholars have finished their analysis”. “The dry stone walls in Valpolicella are centuries old and, if one knows how to read them, they reveal the history of a territory and its people. Once upon a time, everything was used and reused, so the precious Roman stele was also used to compose a piece of dry stone wall”, added Anna Trevisani of the Salesian San Zeno Institute and teacher of the course. She also remarked that the recent recognition to the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage of the construction of dry stone walls has sparked the interest not only of farmers and enthusiasts, but also of young construction workers, who want to increase their expertise.

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