Exploration of the sloping terrace situated on the northern side of the tower hill (Greco property) began in 2008 following the find during a surface survey (undertaken between 2002-2007) of a concentration of material which included fragments of architectural terracottas. The stratigraphic excavation, preceded by geophysical surveys, brought to light an imposing building, constructed around 560 B.C. and destroyed in around 480 B.C., perhaps by an earthquake. The building had a rectangular central section, preceded on the western side by an elongated structure, a sort of pastas, in which there was a pillared monumental opening. Later, before the end of the 4th century B.C., rooms were added to the north and east, yet to be fully investigated.
Built with pisè and brick walls on stone footings, the residential space had a certain symmetry with two small rooms on either side of a large central room (room 1a), with a hearth, destined for banquets. An extraordinary find was that of a double wooden door closing the corridor towards room 2. Made of pine-wood it was over 2 m high and had a large cast-bronze handle and decorative elements including a cast-bronze winged griffon. The southern room (room 2), was multifunctional and led into the ceremonial room. It housed precious materials and most of the banqueting equipment: numerous bronzes including basins of Etrusco-Campanian production, Attic pottery (including twelve cups and a large Black-figure krater), of colonial or local production. To the north was the “inner sanctum” of the house (room 1b) characterised by the presence of structures probably used for food storage, including a brick-lined semicircular pit up against the back wall.
The roof of the main part of the building had Laconian tiles and semicircular cover tiles painted red and brown, cyme with drips and a coffered-geison decorated with a continuous figured frieze, as well as acroterial statues, including an almost completely reassembled sphinx. The iconography of the frieze, of Laconian inspiration, comprised two juxtaposed panels presenting two warriors facing each other in a duel, behind which are a pair of horses, one ridden by a squire. Datable to around the second quarter of the 6th century B.C. it can be attributed to Greek artisans from Taranto, as documented, among other things, by the numerous inscriptions in Laconian-Tarantine dialect, scratched into the cyme coffering. These inscriptions are ordinal numbers relating to the correct positioning of the roof elements. The short north side had a double-pitched roof with cyme recta decorated with a gorgon with radiate crown, below which ran the plaques of the same figured frieze which decorated the long side. The architectural decoration of the front was completed by acroterial statues, to date only documented by non-joining fragments and a disc acroterion.
At the same time as the excavation of the anaktoron, investigations continued in the necropolis area situated west of the building. The latest campaign identified four new burials, bring the total to seven. Of these, four are contemporary with the occupation of the anaktoron, the remaining three post-date the destruction of the building, thus documenting a continuity of settlement on the site until the end of the 5th century B.C.
- Massimo Osanna - Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera
- Donatella Novellis - Università degli Studi del Salento
- Vincenzo Capozzoli - Università di Tuebingen
- Paola Pietanza
- Marco Di Lieto - Università degli Studi della Basilicata – responsabile documentazione grafica
- D. Bruscella
- Tonia Giammatteo - CNR-IMAA
- Barbara Serio - Università degli Studi della Basilicata / Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera
- M. Scalici - .
- Enzo Rizzo - CNR-IMAA, soc. Tomogea
- G. Ferreri - Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera
- Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia di Matera, Università degli Studi della Basilicata
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