Val Molinac


Val Molinac, crossed by Rio Valletta, is connected to Val di Rabbi through the Tremenesca Pass (2700 m); the Lake of Ortisé (2450 m) sits at the head of this valley.

One of the largest dry-stone structures, MZ001S, is located in Val Molinac.

Val Molinac - MZ001S

The archaeological surveys of the ALPES project led to the identification of several dry-stone structures, in Val Molinac and Val Poré. All these structures have been GPS-recorded, documented and described, but only some of them have been specifically investigated.


The largest compound structure of the Val Molinac, MZ001, is located at 2293 m of elevation, next to a peat-bog, in the area locally known as “Sassel”. This site, composed of three large enclosures and one well-preserved “bait”, covers a total surface of 1800 m2. According to local informants, it was in use until the 1960s.


This compound, initially identified through remote sensing, has not been investigated. Nevertheless, a fragment of ceramic handle, generically attributed to the modern age, has been found on the internal floor of the “bait”. Although the structural complexity of MZ001S and the stratigraphic relationships between its walls suggest a long-term evolution, its origin seems contemporary to the other large “mandrie” of the area.

Val Molinac - MZ002S, MZ007S

Besides MZ001, another enclosure and a “bait” have been investigated in Val Molinac. MZ002S is an enclosure incorporating a small “bait”, and it is located at 2375 m, close to the Lake of Ortisé. A test-pit opened inside the enclosure has provided small fragments of charcoal, radiocarbon-dated between the 15th and the 16th century AD. This confirms the prologued use of this enclosure, which was still seasonally occupied until the secont half of the 20th century.


MZ007S is a collapsed “bait”, badly-preserved, located at 2165 m of elevation. Charcoal fragments dated to the 18th-19th century, associated to scattered finds attributed to the same chronology, have been collected from a test-pit opened inside this structure. In the same test-pit, charcoal fragments (of natural origin) dated to the 7th millennium BC have contributed to date the formation of local soils.