GR·1 Mesocco

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Classification: stela

Material: stone
Size: max. height 71 cm, max. breadth 28 cm, width 6 cm
Condition: unknown
Autopsy by: Corinna Salomon
Date of autopsy: Sep 27 2021

Archaeological culture: La Tène D 1
Date: late 2nd–early 1st century BC
Date derived from: typology

Site: Mesocco (Graubünden, Switzerland)
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 23' 13.18" N, 9° 14' 1.35" E
Find date: 1885
Find circumstances: by chance
Current location: Rätisches Museum (Chur)
Inventory no.: III.C33a

Inscription: GR·1 (]ualaunal/]raṇeni)

Alternative sigla: Whatmough 1933 (PID): 255
Tibiletti Bruno 1981: 19
Solinas 1995: 19
Motta 2000: 12
Morandi 2004: 1

Sources: Piana Agostinetti 2004: 145



Images in Planta 1885: 176 (drawing = Danielsson 1909: 30), Rhŷs 1913: pl. V (photo), Risch 1970: Taf. 4.2 (photo), Risch 1984: 35, Abb. 17 (photo = Risch 1992: 683, Abb. 4.2), Morandi 1991: 210, tav. XXI (photo = Solinas 1995: tav. LXIIIb = Morandi 2004: tav. V.1) and 211, tav. XXII (drawing), Morandi 2004: 525, fig. 8.1 (drawing), Stifter 2020: 28, fig. 19 (photo).

Trapezoid gneiss stela, tapering from 28 cm at the bottom to 20.5 cm at (what is now) the top – Piana Agostinetti 2004: 144 considers the stone complete, but see the inscription page. The stela was found in March 1885 in a field which was being cleared of stones, at a depth of 1 m, near the village Mesocco in the Moesa valley (Misox). Planta 1885: 176 in the original publication gives the find spot as "[u]nter dem Dorfe Misox, unweit von der prächtigen Burgruine gleichen Namens", distinguishing it from the find area "ob dem Dorfe Misox" of some Gallo-Roman graves signalled in the same publication (176 f.). While the graves belong to the late Iron Age grave field at Anzone/Brecca (Della Casa 2000: 83), the find spot of the stela, according to Della Casa 2000: 92, lies in the hamlet Benabbia near the Gorda hill. The latter is the site of a middle and late La Tène settlement; the evidence for a corresponding gravefield to its south-west is so far sparse (see Della Casa 2000: 83–95). Von Planta assumed that the stone covered a grave which would have been found if further excavating had been done at the time, but in light of the modern excavation situation it might be considered whether the stela was moved to its eventual find place from one of the Iron Age grave fields (Anzone/Brecca: late Iron Age; Coop: early Iron Age).

The stela is classified as type D (trapezoid, inscription in vertical lines without stylised antropomorphic frame) by De Marinis & Motta 1991: 206. It is dated to the late 2nd/early 1st century BC by Solinas 1995: 327, no. 19 and Motta 2000: 206, no. 12 following the dating of type D stelae in De Marinis & Motta 1991: 211. The dating to the 3rd century BC given by Piana Agostinetti 2004: 308, 313 (and in consequence Morandi) is based on palaeography; the stela's measurements according to Piana Agostinetti's typology point to the same time frame as given by De Marinis.

Corinna Salomon


Danielsson 1909 Olof August Danielsson, Zu den venetischen und lepontischen Inschriften [= Skrifter utgivna av Kungliga Humanistiska Vetenskaps-Samfundet i Uppsala 13.1], Uppsala – Leipzig: 1909.
Della Casa 2000 Philippe Della Casa, Mesolcina Præhistorica. Mensch und Naturraum in einem Bündner Südalpental vom Mesolithikum bis in römische Zeit [= Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 67], Bonn: Habelt 2000.
De Marinis & Motta 1991 Raffaele C. De Marinis, Filippo Motta, "Una nuova iscrizione lepontica su pietra da Mezzovico (Lugano)", Sibrium 21 (1990–1991), 201–225.