Settlement from the fourth century BC resurfaces in Cilento, Salerno

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A settlement from the fourth century BC is slowly re-emerging in Cilento, at Caselle town in Pittari located in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy. In July, a team from the University of Salerno, coordinated by Antonia Serritella, conducted the third excavation campaign in the archaeological site of Caselle in Pittari, already identified in the early nineties in the village of Laurelli, by the then Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Salerno.

Settlement from the fourth century BC resurfaces in Cilento, Salerno
Credit: Caselle in Pittari Archaeological Project



The archaeological research, supported by geophysical surveys of the CNR, focused on the settlement on a large plateau, bordered by two waterways.

Settlement from the fourth century BC resurfaces in Cilento, Salerno
Settlement from the fourth century BC resurfaces in Cilento, Salerno
Credit: Caselle in Pittari Archaeological Project



Five large houses, between four hundred and seven hundred square metres in size, and a sixth smaller structure have been identified.

Settlement from the fourth century BC resurfaces in Cilento, Salerno
Credit: Caselle in Pittari Archaeological Project



The buildings are located on a regular road network made up of at least two large north-south roads, intersected perpendicularly by smaller roads. The houses, in an excellent state of preservation, were organized around an open courtyard on which rooms of varying shapes and sizes opened.

Settlement from the fourth century BC resurfaces in Cilento, Salerno
Settlement from the fourth century BC resurfaces in Cilento, Salerno
Credit: Caselle in Pittari Archaeological Project



At the present state of research it is clear that the site was built during the fourth century BC and then abandoned around the end of the next century, probably in relation to the new land use of the valley of Bussento in Roman times and the founding on the coast of the colony of Buxentum.

“The most significant fact that has emerged from the excavation,” declared Antonia Serritella, Director of the Mission, “is undoubtedly the high number of ceramic fragments bearing inscriptions bearing numerals and anthroponyms rendered in both Greek and Oscan, the language spoken by the Lucanians. This information, in addition to informing us about the widespread literacy of the inhabitants of this ancient centre, gives us the image of a mixed community.”

Source: La Repubblica [trsl. TANN, August 11, 2019]

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