Daily life

Village activity

Archaeological digs confirm Tremona as a settlement of considerable importance and with a notable array of craft activities, the main one being metalworking. In one of the buildings in the village traces of molten metal, ash, coal, a hearth and a bench that would have supported a set of bellows were found: this was therefore a forge for producing or repairing iron objects. But buckles and high-quality ornaments have also been found in the castrum, as well as a very rare find indeed in such a context – a touchstone, used to gauge the purity of metals.

Textiles and agriculture

The findings at Tremona include around ninety soapstone and terracotta spindle whorls, two loom weights, the remains of a spinning wheel, teeth from carding combs, and thimbles and needles of different sizes and materials. These objects indicate the presence of crafts such as spinning, weaving, sewing and tanning. Meanwhile, the economic model in medieval times was based largely on self-sufficiency. In addition to crafts, crop and animal farming played a very important role in the economy of the village, where rye, wheat, millet, sorghum, chickpeas and lentils were grown.

Table manners

Future digs and new academic research into Tremona’s past will no doubt allow us to create a better, more detailed picture of daily life in this village nestled against the Alps. It will be possible to bring the ancient inhabitants to life and to tell their story – incomplete, but still fascinating – made up of everyday activities and simple things. Starting perhaps with their food, eaten from bowls usually made of wood, and cooked in soapstone receptacles on a fire that was kept burning at all times, providing the only source of heat.