Archaeological surveys conducted in Sabina, about 50 km away from Rome, intended to reconstruct the ancient agricultural and pastoral landscape. They identified interesting remains of roman small family farms at Montenero Sabino and Mompeo (province of Rieti), villages located near Via Salaria (the “salt way”) and the Farfa stream, a tributary of the Tiber River, which in ancient times, both were the main trade routes of central Italy, linking Rome to the Apennines and to the Adriatic coast. There a network of underground channels and tanks, fictile water pipes and pools, at times connected to one another, was found. Many of them are still used today, given the low population growth and the lack of modern industrial development of this area and to its isolation, in spite of its proximity to Rome. Moreover the study area holds a votive stone dedicated to the Sabine-Roman goddess of water Vacuna, a multiform Sabine and Central-Italic goddess with many characteristics and functions, known also as Minerva-Bellona-Victoria, Feronia, Caerere, or as Angerona-Angitia. It was related to an agricultural-pastoral shrine for the cult of water whose anthropological relevance still survives in yearly livestock fairs and in the local worship of the Holy Mary of parturients.
Irrigation, groundwater exploitation and cult of water in the rural settlements of Sabina, Central Italy, in Roman times
A. Di Leo, M. Tallini; Irrigation, groundwater exploitation and cult of water in the rural settlements of Sabina, Central Italy, in Roman times. Water Supply 1 March 2007; 7 (1): 191–199. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/ws.2007.022
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