Large Roman tomb unearthed in south Italian town of Ugento

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Just outside the present-day town centre of Ugento in the province of Lecce, Apulia (southern Italy), during the course of excavations arranged by the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto on private property, evidence has come to light that brings new data for the reconstruction of the history of Ugento: in addition to some wall structures probably dating back to the Middle Ages, a burial of great interest for the study of funerary rituals has emerged.

Large Roman tomb unearthed in south Italian town of Ugento
Credit: Telerama News



“It was a plain pit in which three individuals had been deposited at successive times”, explains the Superintendence. “The grave, probably dating back to the Roman-Republican Age, has yielded 4 coins not yet legible and a grey oil lamp.”

Large Roman tomb unearthed in south Italian town of Ugento
Credit: Telerama News



“Once the skeletons had been removed, four pits came to light inside which the remains of the earlier inhumations and some accompanying objects had been deposited: in particular, a bowl and an undecorated miniature vase, perhaps belonging to the third century BC, as well as an oinochoe (a container for mixing wine) dating back to the Hellenistic period, had been carefully buried inside one of the pits.”

Large Roman tomb unearthed in south Italian town of Ugento
Credit: Telerama News

“The context seems to testify to the reuse of a sepulchral grave by a family group that was used for at least two centuries, from the Messapic age to the time of Roman domination. The skeletons found inside the grave in the next few months will be the subject of an in-depth anthropological study, aimed at clarifying aspects related to the age/sex of the deceased, the living conditions and the presence of any indicators of relationship that can confirm the presence of individuals belonging to the same family group.”

Source: Telerama News [trsl. TANN, August 08, 2019]

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