The Department of Civilization and forms of knowledge of the University of Pisa has promoted the excavation of the San Sisto Garden, in the center of the city, to verify the presence of the early medieval Royal Court, mentioned at the beginning of the 11th century, and to reconstruct the history of this portion of the urban space from the Antiquity to the present day.
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The research, directed by professor Federico Cantini and started in 2020, allowed to identify (in September 2021) the remains of a Roman building, that was reused in the early Middle Ages in a structure (whose function is yet to be understood), which probably belongs to the Lombard and Carolingian Royal Court. The latter included the church of San Pietro, remembered as “in Corte Vecchia” in 1027, when the public Court was already abandoned.
Since the end of the 11th century, following the victory of the Pisans over the Tunisian Al-Mahdiya and Zawila, the church of San Sisto has been built in the area, to guard and celebrate the glories of the city. The excavation has led to the identification of the remains of the church cloister which hosted numerous burials between the 12th and 14th centuries. The Florentine conquest of Pisa, at the beginning of the 15th century, led to the destruction of the cloister itself.
After this event the area became a garden and as such it has survived to the present day.
The project is made possible thanks to Project of Excellence financing and to the collaboration with the Pisa Archdiocese and the Municipality.