The archaeological excavations and the chance findings of the last century in Marmore and in the area of Piediluco are evidence of the organized lake dwellings and of important religious buildings and sites since the Bronze Age.

Around 1914 some galleries had been excavated near Marmore Falls in order to give more power to the plants which produced carbide thanks to the strength of the water. Among these, there is the Bull Gallery, after a first trait excavated in the compact calcareous rocks, the workers found tuffs and yellow sands: here a great bronze fibula arch and an unturned clay vase was found. Moreover there was a fireplace with fragments of vases and stone works. It is probably a cave used from the middle to the end of the Bronze Age (XVII-X century b. Ch.) for religious purposes.

In Cor delle Fosse, near Marmore, on the edges of one of the great ditches that flows the Velino waters towards the Falls, a great truncated cone vase was found, full of sand and ashes with other objects around there as for example loom and spools. these types of objects, linked to weaving and to spinning lead to the fascinating hypothesis of a water religion linked to the female world. In 1868 during the works on the national road n.30 Terni-Rieti, by the ancient port of “Piediluco Lake” there was by chance discovered in a cavity excavated in the calcareous rock, a terracotta recipient of great dimension, a “dolio” that contained a great quantity of the bronze objects (we suppose more than 400 pounds in weight) : it is the so-called hiding-place of Piediluco”. We certainly aren’t in front of votive offerings, but it would be the presence of a deposit called “Contigliano” in Reatino ( 110 objects made of bronze or fragmentary and 3 ceramic fragments) and a third group of handmade objects belonging to the ancient Velino river area (today preserved in Copenaghen Museum and we don’t know exactly the place of origin).


In the first eighty years of the XX century several recognitions were done and about 30 pro-historic sites were recognized, in many cases they were in a short distance from each other (less than 1 km). Following to such discoveries showed a modification of the only model of the lake basin in existence, during all the proto-historic period, for more basins. In both the Piediluco and Reatino areas they developed lake dwellings in the planed area or, in some cases, at the bottom of mountainside low relieves with the surrounding plain (il Rivo, la Mola, Podere Colle d’Agnano, La Bandita, etc.; this information emerges above all at the time of the final Bronze Age (XI-X century b. Ch.). The settlement located in Rivo (probably contemporary to the evidence of the Piediluco’s hidden-place) is characterized by the presence of mixture fragments on the area of 100 metres in length: some forms decorations that generally belong to the final Bronze Age seem to be associated to some fragments with large engraved motifs that are similar to the vase decorations of the XI century b.Ch. discovered in the Necropolis of the Steelworks.

The finding of two crucibles in two sites, La Mola and La Bandita, testify the presence of local metallurgical activity that confirm the local production of the major part of the objects that pertain to the three hiding-places of the above mentioned. However during the final Bronze Age in the area of Piediluco lake we see the crisis of the settlement system (the crisis had already been in the Reatino during the Bronze Middle Age), maybe due to the consequences of bad climatic conditions and the raising of the lakeside level and with the development of the first Iron Age begins a proto-urban settlement in Terni: in the first Iron Age a long period of setting begins in the important settled area of Maratta Bassa (X-XI century b. Ch.). In the same period the burying of the Steelworks necropolis must be noted and was probably connected to the important settlement area located in the Pentima Hill area.


Shortly after seemed to be the first settling of the present historical centre of Terni: it is a fluvial terrace nearly entirely surrounded by the two courses water of the Nera and the Serra river which formed a natural defence (this is why the Latin form Interamna, “a city between two rivers”). We add, moreover, that during the excavations of the Steelworks necropolis, in November of 1909, there were found near Pentima Hill the finds of a proto-historic settlement of over 200 years older than the above mentioned necropolis and it belongs to the beginning of the Neolithic Age (the second half of the VI millennium b. Ch.). From the Iron Age on, the wide Plain of Terni became progressively free from the predominance of the lake waters, transformed progressively into an enormous expanse of the fertile fields. Such fertility was the result of lake and river sediments accumulated over hundreds of million years. Terni district entered under the power of the Romans at the beginning of the III century b.Ch., immediately after the conquest of Sabina ended in 290 b.Ch. by the consul Curius Dentato who started the works for the creation of the famous Curiano Channel. Near Marmore Falls it is possible to see a Roman bridge of the Augustan Age: it is the Bull Bridge, with a length of about 20 metres and the arch is formed by 16 regular wedges. It is located in the left side of the Nera River which has an oblique position in accordance to the river bed that in the Roman Age must have had a different course.


Some proto-historic finds and many other objects discovered in Marmore come from the different sites in Terni and from neighbouring areas ( belong to a period which goes from the Neolithic Age to the late Old Age) are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Terni.

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Opening of
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from 3.00am to 6.00pm
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Belvedere Inferiore
P.le F. Fatati 6
Terni

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Voc. Cascata 30
Terni

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