Gualdo Tadino is mentioned in the Eugubine Tablets. Recent investigations conducted on Colle Mori have made it possible to identify the Umbrian town, which was built on artificial terraces. The dwellings are composed of several rooms, probably on two floors, with wooden walls. These constructions imply a complex urbanization process and intelligent territorial organization. A votive chapel has been found at the top of the hill.
The town dates from the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, and its identification is proved by an Umbrian inscription that mentions the Tarsinati. Necropolises from the same period as the Umbrian town have been identified in the plain below. The Roman Tadinum rose on the plain and was crossed by the ancient Flaminian Way.
The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as is demonstrated by the stone implements found at the Morano locality and along the Feo stream. Metal tools (axes with flat and raised edges, halberds, etc.) in the Bellucci collection at the National Archeological Museum of Perugia provide evidence of man’s presence also during the age of metals, up until the early Bronze Age. An important proto-Villanovian hidden store of objects, composed of violin-bow-shaped fibulas, spiral hairpins, tweezers, needles and other bronze artifacts and a pair of gold discs with a geometric embossed decoration (National Archeological Museum of Perugia) was found in the Valle di San Marzio area, near a trail crossing the Apennine Mountains. By the early Iron Age, the Gualdo Tadino area was permanently settled, in all probability by the Tadinates Umbrians, mentioned several times in the Eugubine Tablets.
The Archaic Colle I Mori Settlement
The vast archaic settlement identified at the Colle I Mori locality in all probability corresponds to the ancient Tadinum cited in the Eugubine Tablets.
The first excavations conducted at the top of the hill in 1935 brought to light the remains of a votive chapel with a rectangular plan, along with Italic-type small bronzes. A well dug into the rock and the remains of a manmade fortification can still be made out.
More recent excavations have made it possible to get a rough idea of the size and characteristics of the ancient settlement. It covered approximately 5 to 6 hectares and was built on artificial terraces. The remains of numerous dwellings have been found. These consisted of three rooms in a rectangular plan, and probably had porches.
The Colle I Mori settlement covered a span from the end of the 6th to the 3rd/2nd cent. BC, and it represents an important element in our knowledge of Italic communities in pre-Roman times. It is also a rare example of proto-urban organization in Umbria.
The tombs in the San Facondino necropolis include a time period from the 7th century BC to the late Imperial age. The wealth of burial objects found in some tombs, including pottery, bronze implements and Attic red-figure vases, are on display at the Villa Giulia National Museum in Rome.
Following the Roman conquest of Umbria, the Gualdo Tadino area was also intensely Romanized. It was affected by the passing of the Flaminian Way (the town is mentioned as Civitas Ptanias in the Itinerario Gerosolomitano) and was very probably divided into centuries (plots of land). The birth of Tadinum as a municipium ascribed to the Clustumina tribe and the development of the town on the plain in all probability took place during an advanced stage of its Romanization. The area of the town has been identified in the Sant’Antonio di Rasina locality. The remains of necropolises and rural villas have been identified both along the Flaminian Way and at the foot of and in the hill areas.
The town was destroyed by the Goths, and soon thereafter came the decisive clash between the Goths and the Byzantines, which brought an end to Gothic rule in Italy and during which Totila was killed and buried in Capras, later identified as Caprara, a village near Gualdo Tadino.