Ancient and Medieval Archaeology
The area’s population dynamics from proto-historic era to the Middle Ages are documented here. During the Etrusco-Roman era, Valdinievole was primarily a transit area in which some stopping places of a sacred nature are evidenced by the bronze statue of Hercules Promachos from the III century B.C., found in 1887 at Castelmartini. Documenting the Roman presence in the foothills of Montalbano are pottery and brick finds from the large archaeological complexes of Villa San Paolo at Pozzarello, of Vaiano, and of Segalare. In the XI and XII centuries, the settlement system of castles dotting the hills overlooking the Padule was defined. The central element of this section is the 3-D model of the (now abandoned) Monsummano castle. It is a reconstruction of the urban fabric of Monsummano Alto in the XIV century, the period in which the castle became an important garrison to defend the border with the Republic of Lucca after falling under Florentine dominion in 1331.