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  • Siris Herakleia
  • Siris Herakleia
  •  
  • Italy
  • Basilicate
  • Provincia di Matera
  • Policoro

Credits

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Monuments

Periods

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Chronology

  • 400 BC - 1 BC

Season

    • Further work has been undertaken on the Hellenistic necropoli. Close to the urban area of the Greek city of Herakleia, a group of 51 burials were found within the large southern necropolis. The burials, dating to between the end of of the 4th century B.C. and the 3rd century B.C., are within "casse" built of sandstone slabs. One tomb is of monumental form and comprises two "casse" placed side by side. Almost all the slabs are re-used and present lateral, grooved post protectors or the remains of mouldings. The scant remains of a gilded bronze funerary crown found within this structure attest that it was robbed in antiquity. Other burials have "casse" with tile coverings or are simple inhumations. In some cases the stone "casse" document the use of family tombs, with infant burials lying above those of male and female adults. The female burials contain small bronze mirrors, occaisionally lead pyxis, black glaze and Gnathian style lekythoi and pelikai. The male burials are distinguished by the presence of iron strigils, sometimes accompanied by bronze funerary crowns or a lead ring with caduceus. The infant tomb groups are comparatively rich, containing figurines, occasional busts of a female deity and miniature vases (lekythoi, unguentaria, cups, baby-feeders). In several burials was found the offering of an obolo, in the form of a bronze or silver coin, placed in the hand, mouth or below the head of the deceased. (Maria Luisa Nava)
    • Excavations in the cemetery area of the Greek colony of Herakleia have revealed two nuclei, each comprising 35 burials. Both date to between the 4th and 2nd centuries B.C. and form part of the city's large southern necropolis. The funerary structures consist of inhumations covered with flat or curved tiles or by semi-curved, overlapping tiles forming a "concertina" covering. The remains of burnt bones were found, placed on one of the burials, relative to an ustrinum. Other structures brick built were "a cappuccina"or "a bottino" (with semicircular tiles placed side by side). Square "casse" built of flat tiles were also present and sandstone "casse" were also common. Cremations were also present, placed in hydria deposited within a "pozzetto" surrounded by semicircular, terracotta well-curbs, or within amphorae. The richest burials are those of infants, containing miniature black glaze vessels and basins (baby feeder, cups, lekythoi, skyphoi, unguentaria). The adult burials contained the same black glaze forms (oenochoi, small jugs or pelike) and lekythoi with Red-figure or reticulate decoration. In two burials there were traces of funerary crowns made of bronze wires terminating in gilded, bronze oak leaves and terracotta corymbs (clusters of flowers). In several burials, including those of infants, a bronze or silver coin had been placed in the deceased's mouth. Few personal ornaments were found (silver earrings, ivory scarabs and bronze rings). Of particular interest is a tomb dating to the 2nd century B.C. which together with the pottery assemblage contained four silver astragals (small decorative mouldings) and what is probably the handle from a fan, embossed with foliate motifs. Two burials contained small bronze mirrors. Occasionally the tomb groups was completed by terracotta figurines of female deities. (Maria Luisa Nava)
    • The development of new residential areas at Policoro has touched on the vast southern necropolis of Herakleia. During the constant monitering of the building sites about 40 burials, dating to between the 4th to 1st centuries B.C., were recovered. They are typical of burials in this area, with the bodies in a supine position in either simple inhumations, " a cappuccina" tombs or stone lined tombs. Sometimes, overlapping imbrices have been placed over the grave to form the characteristic "concertina" covering. A few cremations placed inside plain buff ware vessels were also found. The tomb groups contain a small range of vessel forms, for example the black glaze pelike in tomb 1184 or the plain buff ware lagynos in the later burials. Also present were fragments of over-fired figurines in child burials and small bronze mirrors in some female burials. (Maria Luisa Nava)

Bibliography

    • M.L. Nava, 2002, L`attivitá archeologica in Basilicata nel 2001, Atti del XLI Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2001), Taranto: 717-765.
    • M.L. Nava, 2004, L`attivitá archeologica in Basilicata nel 2003, Atti XLIII Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2003), Taranto: 933-1000, con rapporto di scavo di M. Denti: 956.
    • M.L. Nava, 2003, L`attivitá archeologica in Basilicata nel 2002, in Atti del XLII Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2002), Taranto: 651-717.