Department of Classics

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Dr. Sveva Savelli presents joint paper at AIA/SCS Annual Meeting

Prof. Sveva Savelli presented a paper (see title and abstract below) jointly with Spencer Pope (McMaster University) and Santo Privitera (Università degli Studi di Salerno) on January 05, 2019, at the 120th Joint Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies in San Diego, CA.

Surveying the Chora of a Greek City: Report from the Metaponto Archaeological Project (2018)Temple of Tavole Palatine near Metaponto, Italy

The chora of the ancient Greek colony of Metaponto is the focus of an archaeological surface survey project conducted by McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) and Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) operating under the auspices of Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio della Basilicata (MiBAC, Italy). The Greek city founded near the end of the seventh century B.C.E., occupied a vast region on the Ionian coast between the Bradano and Cavone Rivers in a territory inhabited by the indigenous Oenotrian population.

The 2018 field season focused on an upland area adjacent to tributaries to the Basento River and identified 42 new sites. These results revealed occupation from the Archaic to the Byzantine period and indicate permanent settlement extended as far as 14 km inland. The new sites identified include domestic settings or farmsteads and tomb sites located on a plateau.

The study of survey material collected in prior seasons revealed exceptional finds from the phases that precede the foundation of the apoikia. The region is already known for the presence of Mycenaean and Italo-Mycenaean pottery in multiple sites along the Ionian coast; these discoveries substantially contributed to the understanding of connectivity between the Aegean and Italy in the Late Bronze Age. One area of particular interest is San Vito di Pisticci, located on a high plateau dominating the inland, where a few examples of Mycenean-style pottery mixed with sub-Apennine Bronze Age material was found. The survey revealed new Mycenaean-style fragments (both open and closed forms) dated between LHIIIB and C. The preliminary analysis of the pottery, presently under chemical and petrographic analysis, seems to prove the co-existence of imported and locally manufactured Mycenaean pottery. The study of these fragments and their decorative patterns increase our understanding of a local production that used technique and decorative Mycenaean motifs and provides insights into the role of San Vito di Pisticci in the Late and Final Bronze Age in Basilicata.

Finds from the Basento-Cavone region continue to reveal organized settlement patterns with villages, farmsteads, sanctuaries, and necropoleis spread across the wide plateaus and the fertile valleys that stemmed from the principal waterways of the chora of Metaponto.