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Excavation

  • Elea – Velia
  • Elea – Velia
  • Elea - Velia
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Provincia di Salerno
  • Casal Velino

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Credits

  • 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)

  • Elea – Velia, codice catastale foglio 9, particella 13; area sacra n. 8 (la cd. Terrazza di Zeus) e area sacra n.9

    In 2011 and 2012, the Austrian excavations continued exploration of the sacred areas situated on the ridge at Velia, in particular the so-called terrace of Zeus (sacred area n. 8) and sacred area n. 9 above it.

    There are still problems relating to the dating and function of the large open space known as the terrace of Zeus. The investigations focused on the excavation and analysis of the containing wall at the terrace’s eastern corner. Unfortunately, no diagnostic finds were recovered.

    On the north-eastern side the containing wall was articulated in two sections. The one to the south-east (MK8-1 SE) formed a sub-structure towards the south-west for the great terrace of Zeus, while the stretch to the north-west (MK8-1 NO) functioned as containment for the slope above which, towards the north-east, sanctuary n. 9 was situated. At the point where the two sections of wall met there was a rectangular structure (MK8-2), open towards the south-west. This may have been a large niche flanked by two entrances to the terrace of Zeus and the sanctuary above. The central part of the large open space (about 500 m2), characterized by the presence of numerous pits, was also investigated. Despite the substantial extension of this sector of the excavation, it was difficult to interpret these features and no conclusion was reached. The phase dating to the second half of the 5th century B.C., attested by the well-known inscribed cippi, also remains difficult to define as only evidence for a phase preceding the terrace’s construction has been found. This comprised heavily reworked brick foundations. The use these bricks, so-called veline, dates this phase to no earlier than the 3rd century B.C. Therefore, the great terrace should date to the transition between the 3rd and 2nd century B.C.

    In sacred area n. 9, the excavation identified two rooms on significantly different alignments (room MK9-1 and room MK9-2), heavily altered, perhaps to be interpreted as small cult buildings. Various layers of bricks where also uncovered, perhaps deposits connected with some sort of cult activity. The initial phase of this sanctuary, orientated towards the north-east (room MK9-2), can probably be dated to the 3rd century B.C. In the subsequent phase, another building (MK 9-1) was erected on a higher level. It was at least 11 × 7 m and divided into two rooms, one smaller (3 × 7 m) to the north and a larger one to the south. This sanctuary’s final phase is not easily identifiable due to heavy erosion, but the only evidence, two parallelepiped blocks (US 602/11) and a vertical cut in the rocky outcrop, is homogeneous with the great terrace. It may be possible to reconstruct a room measuring 7.30 × 8.20 m.

  • Verena Gassner - Università di Vienna, Istituto di Archeologia Classica 
  • Dieta Svoboda 

Director

Team

  • Gert Augustin

Research Body

  • Università di Vienna, Istituto di Archeologia Classica

Funding Body

  • FWF P 23275-G021

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