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  • Sant'Antonio
  • Sant’Antonio Ferrandina
  • Italy
  • Basilicate
  • Provincia di Matera
  • Ferrandina



  • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

    MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

    ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

    AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

  • AIAC_logo logo

Summary (English)

  • The “FArch – Ferrandina Archeologica” project began in 2018 and is a collaboration between the University of Basilicata, the Archaeological Superintendency of Basilicata, Ferrandina (MT) town council, and local associations. The aim is to reconstruct, after a long period when the research was interrupted, the overall historical-archaeological picture of the territory of this important town in south-eastern Basilicata in which there is evidence of intense occupation periods, particularly between the Iron Age and the end of the Lucanian period (8th – 3rd century B.C.). This is a multidisciplinary project: bibliographical and archive research, study of materials from previous excavations, remote sensing surveys, excavations.

    The 2019 excavations took place on a site situated 2 km south of the modern town of Ferrandina, in the locality of Sant’Antonio Abate, along a slope overlooking the Vella torrent. Here, two structures were identified that belonged to an oil producing installation. Based on the associated finds, it was in use between the 4th and early 3rd century B.C.

    The main structures belonged to a dry-stone built cella olearia, inside which the olive oil was stored. A number of small channels led from here, following the natural slope, into smaller stone separation vats in order to purify the oil and collect the residues, which were then used for making soap or fertilizer. Also present were two grooved press bases, now in Metaponto Museum, and a pressing mechanism with a wooden frame, of which only the impressions remained in the beaten earth floor.

    The press was probably made up of a horizontal beam with mobile counterweights, below which were positioned the ‘fiscoli’ (woven sacks/mats) for the olive pulp. The excavations concentrated on the areas to the east and south of the cella olearia discovered in 2007, where a large open space, constituted by a compact clay floor surface on a make-up of stones and terracotta fragments for drainage, was uncovered. This area was probably used for storing and handling of the products. There were negative traces, such as cuts and more or less regular impressions, probably relating to the housings to hold the bases of the beams for the presses and mobile counterweights. Exceptionally, some very well-preserved remains of Olea Europea stones were found in phase with the 4th century B.C. floor.

    Future analyses will provide more information about the type of cultivar and the origins of the Majatica, the olive typical of Ferrandina. In this sense, the Lucanian olive press in the locality of Sant’Antonio Abate is unique in Magna Graecia, where no pre-Roman structures of this type have been documented to date. Thus, the site is of great significance for the study of oil production in the western Mediterranean.

  • Maria Chiara Monaco, Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Dipartimento di Scienze Umane  
  • Antonio Pecci – DiSU, UNIBAS  


  • Maria Chiara Monaco- Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Dipartimento di Scienze Umane


  • Antonio Pecci – Dottorando di Ricerca DiSU, UNIBAS
  • Fabio Donnici – Ricercatore DiSU, UNIBAS

Research Body

  • Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Dipartimento di Scienze Umane

Funding Body

  • Comune di Ferrandina
  • Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Dipartimento di Scienze Umane


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