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Journal of archaeology and ancient architecture

Tag Archives: Magna Graecia

Alla ricerca di ‘case sacre’ tra Sicilia e Magna Grecia. Per una nuova prospettiva sull’esperienza religiosa nell’Occidente greco, tra ipotesi di lavoro e riflessioni di carattere metodologico

Author: Marco Serino

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Some religious practices in Magna Graecia and Sicily are strictly related to civic associations and they seem to have very peculiar features. Within these phenomena that belong – like the official polyadic cults – to the complex and varied ‘mosaic’ of religious experiences of the Western Greek colonies, it is possible to include also the so-called ‘sacred house’. These ‘ierai oikiai’ were probably used to host meetings of some small communities belonging to phratriai or other similar local civic associations and family clans. Based on these premises, this paper offers a preliminary survey of all the archaeological contexts within the Western Greek colonies that potentially deserve to be reconsidered from a new hermeneutic perspective. A reappraisal of some buildings through spatial, context and functional analysis allows to appreciate the constant occurance of some common elements within the ‘sacred houses’. Renewed archaeological considerations, together with some socio-anthropological, epigraphic and historical data, contribute to support how it is necessary and urgent to rethink again the concept of “sacred space” in the ancient Greek community, which was often wrongly conceived within the canonized limits of the official sanctuaries. Furthermore, the case-study of the ‘sacred houses’ requires an in-depth rethinking on the category of the household ritual activities, usually limited to religious practices carried out on a personal and private level.

 

 

Colonie in festa. Qualche riflessione sugli aspetti archeologici delle feste nelle città della Magna Grecia

Author: V. Parisi

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The paper discusses the theme of festivals in the sanctuaries of Magna Graecia through the analysis of some sample cases, particularly relevant for the convergence of data from both written and archaeological sources, including the iconographical ones related to votive terracottas. Between “lucky” contexts, such as the Heraion of Lakinion in Kroton, and others still much debated, such as the feasts celebrated in Taranto at the tomb of Hyakinthos, the importance of the festive moment emerges as a key element in the colonial religion, which the archaeological documentation can help to reconstruct even in its most tangible aspects.

Ancora qualche nota su arma fulgentia e relativi destinatari tra Italia meridionale ed Etruria

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A new comprehensive study concerning an Etruscan burial site of the late Hellenistic age, in the ancient area of eastern ager Clusinus, carried out by the author in collaboration with Visual Computing Lab of ISTI-CNR (Institute for Computer Science and Technologies of the National Research Council – Pisa, Italy) and the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria in Perugia, offers an opportunity for some reflections on the sidelines of the archaeological context stricto sensu, leading us to evaluate different layers of meaning. In particular, this paper focuses on cross-references and suggestions evoked by an exquisite Phrygian bronze helmet, the most precious item found in the innermost room of the tomb I in Sigliano: an excellent product of the south-Italic (Tarentine?) metallic craftsmanship, whose “exotic” origin raises many questions of a geographical, chronological and semantic nature, and requires to place the object back within the historical setting that generated it.

Ricerche archeologiche all’interno del Castello Aragonese di Taranto. Note preliminari

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gilettiL’attività archeologica condotta all’interno del Castello Aragonese di Taranto ha permesso l’acquisizione di un bagaglio informativo esteso, propedeutico alla comprensione su larga scala delle emergenze rinvenute e alla ricostruzione e datazione delle diverse fasi storiche. Tale attività, inoltre, ha offerto l’occasione per compiere una rilettura critica dei dati archeologici già noti relativi al settore orientale della Città Vecchia. Nonostante la complessa storia edilizia e monumentale dell’area e le pesanti manomissioni connesse allo sviluppo dell’imponente sistema orientale di fortificazione della città post-antica, è possibile iniziare a leggere alcuni elementi del sistema di difesa e di comunicazione della polis greca, identificando limiti e direttrici di attraversamento dell’acropoli. Inoltre, iniziano a emergere consistenti elementi di una cultura poliorcetica avanzata, che attesta l’importanza e la complessità dell’aggiornamento dei sistemi difensivi interni della comunità tarantina. Per la prima volta, infine, è possibile ricostituire alcuni aspetti del complesso paesaggio urbano dell’acropoli.

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The archeological activities in the Castello Aragonese of Taranto allow us to obtain a vast amount of information, necessary to understand the emerged findings, and the reconstruction and datation of the various historical phases. Moreover, these activities gave the possibility for a critical re-reading of the already known archeological facts relating to eastern part of the Old City (Città Vecchia). In spite of the complex building and monumental history of the area, and the serious violations linked to the development of the imposing oriental system of fortification of the post-antique town, it’s possible to begin to read some elements of the defending and comunication system. We are able now to identify the borders and see crossing arteries of the acropolis. Moreover, important elements of an advanced poliorcetic culture are starting to emerge. This confirms the importance and the complexity of the modernization of the interne defense systems of the Tarantine community. Besides, for the first time it is possible to reconstitute some aspects of the complex urban landscape of the acropolis.

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Culti primari e secondari nel santuario urbano di Metaponto

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In case of several major temples located inside the same sanctuary, difficulty arises with regard to the identification of the deity each of them was dedicated to. Although archaeological researches traditionally attempt to refer each temple to a different divinity, many examples of sacred buildings dedicated to the same god or goddess and situated in the same sanctuary can be found throughout the Greek world.

Notwithstanding the widespread presence of Hera cult in Achaean colonies, the analysis of the archaeological, epigraphic and philological documentation concerning Metaponto urban sanctuary seems to indicate that, probably, both temple A and B were consecrated to Apollo, as no conclusive element actually proves the presence of the goddess. In this perspective, the sacred area can be regarded as the place where Apollo – whose cult is testified since the beginning by argoi lithoi distributed in the whole temenos – was worshipped as the principal god and the owner of both the two major temples, while different secondary cults were hosted in other edifices of the sanctuary.

Hestiatoria nella tradizione rituale delle colonie d’Occidente

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This paper was presented at the International Conference Cibo per gli uomini, cibo per gli dei. Archeologia del pasto rituale, Piazza Armerina, 5-8 of May, 2005. This is an updated version.

The ritual collective meal is a widespread practiced aspect in the Greek background and its study concerns not just the exam of ritual practices, in the strict sense of the word, but also architectural structures, intended for the consumption, which were situated within the sanctuaries. In Magna Graecia this tradition finds significant examples, although in different chronological periods, in the extra-urban sanctuary of Aphrodite in Locri, (the so-called “U-shaped Stoà”, in the area of Centocamere, datable around the 6th century) as well as in the sanctuary of Hera Lacinia in Capo Colonna of Crotone (the so-called “H-building”, which dates back to the Hellenistic age). Starting from the examination of these two contexts, the study presents an outline of the documentation pertinent to the ritual meal tradition in Magno-Greek ambits, in order to propose a summing up of the data we have been gathering so far, which might sketch out evidences, reception modalities and possible developments of such a worship-practice in the Greek west.