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L'area archeologica dei forni fusori di Rondelli - © foto: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana
Historical sites

Archaeological Area of the Furnaces of Rondelli (Follonica)

Furnaces for working of hematite have been uncovered at this ancient Etruscan settlement site

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In Spring 1997, during construction work for a car park, the remains of an Etruscan settlement came to light. Ancient furnaces were uncovered for the working of raw hematite imported from the island of Elba. The settlement was split into two sectors: an industrial area with the metal-working ovens and upporting structures (canopies and platforms to support bellows and tubs for kneading the clay) and an area which has the remains of structures used for activities connected to the furnaces (storage of primary materials, warehouses, etc). At present, the archaeological site is protected by a large glass pyramid. Visitors can tour the ovens, which were situated in the industrial sector of he complex, as well as a tub for kneading the clay. The lower part of the ovens is well-preserved. It consists of a circular pit dug out of the ground and plastered with a layer of clay. The upper part has not been preserved, but it is believed that there was a roof made of the same material. The pit dug out of the earth was probably used for working the clay necessary for the covering and roof of the oven.

This complex of furnaces, which has been dated based on the ceramics found, is datable to the mid-sixth and the late-seventh century B.C, with some races of use up until the end of the fourth century B.C.

Photo: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana
Source: Parco degli Etruschi
Follonica is located at the center of a beautiful namesake gulf, between the promontory of Piombino and Punta Ala and across from Elba Island. Since antiquity, the town has been famous for iron and cast iron production, so much so that its name originates from the world fulloni, the ancient bellows of the melting furnaces. ...