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The Bottaccione Gorge at Gubbio, in central Italy, has been an important source of information about Cretaceous and Paleogene Earth history. At the much younger end of the historical continuum, it is also important for understanding the early history of Gubbio itself, for which the only written, although somewhat ambiguous, evidence comes from the Tavole eugubine, the unique bronze tablets which are a kind of Rosetta Stone for the Umbrian language. The role of the Bottaccione Gorge is debated in the history of Gubbio. The road through the gorge, crossing the Monti di Gubbio, is an important element for explaining the location of the city. One of the first settlements (late Bronze Age) is recognized from archaeological evidence at the top of a morphological fault scarp on the slope of Monte Ingino. In the Iron Age, the city described in the Tavole eugubine developed, in which Okri (fortress), Tota (city), and three sacred gates are mentioned. The locations of Okri, Tota, and the gates are still under study. According to the most likely hypothesis, Tota would have developed in the plain, on the right bank of the Torrente Camignano, while the initial settlement would have been transformed into Okri, to which the sacred gates would belong. Another gate may have been placed at the entrance to the Bottaccione Gorge. When the Eugubini (the people of Gubbio) built the new, post-Roman Gubbio in the twelfth century, they still identified, as the most suitable place for a fortified city, the location above the scarp on the slope of Monte Ingino, and they built two new gates at its lateral ends. The city was likely equipped with a third gate that faced the Bottaccione Gorge. In the thirteenth century, the Bottaccione Aqueduct was built to bring water to the highest point of Gubbio. Thus, two waterways—one natural (Torrente Camignano) and the other artificial—still branch off from Bottaccione to reach Gubbio at two different points that determine the lowest and highest levels of the city.

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