Taranto owes its origins to the Spartans who founded it in the 8th century BC with the name Taras (Τάρας). At that time, the Apulian city became one of the most important polis in Magna Graecia, asserting its political superiority over other colonies in the south.

It is precisely from this period of splendor that the discoveries seem to originate, which have surfaced in the Montegranaro neighborhood during the installation of electrical conduits as part of the city’s investments related to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and local and national network reinforcement projects.

Archaeologists and involved institutions, including the National Superintendence for Underwater Cultural Heritage of Taranto, have collaborated in the excavations.

In Via D’Alò Alfieri, experts have uncovered a large square drainage pit, approximately a meter and a half wide and about sixty centimeters deep, containing various fragments of ceramics (painted black, overpainted, fire-painted, and acromatic), votive material, and even an antefix (roof element) with the mythological figure of a Gorgon.

It is not yet possible to precisely date the period when the pit was created; however, from initial analysis, the remains appear to span a period from the late 6th century to the 3rd century BC.

At the same time, in Via Dante, within the courtyard of the Cabrini Professional Institute, three burial pits were found. A valuable discovery that continues to contribute pieces of the civilization that lived in the City of the Two Seas.

Of these graves, one was found empty, while the others contained two skeletons. The first, presumably female, was found with a set of black-painted ceramics and a bronze ring, typical elements of Tarentine Hellenistic tombs from the last decades of the 4th century BC. The second, smaller tomb, contained a young individual without funerary offerings.

The first to get a glimpse of these historical treasures were the students of the institute where the findings were discovered, who had the opportunity to visit the excavation guided by the scholars conducting in-depth analyses.

Currently, the findings have been properly protected and reburied to allow the continuation of electrical cable installation work. Meanwhile, efforts are underway to ensure the preservation of these valuable artifacts.

Once again, our commitment has translated into an intervention to protect heritage and cultural assets, which, in synergy with the parties involved, has allowed the preservation of these significant discoveries.


Sources

Soprintendenza Nazionale per il Patrimonio Culturale Subacqueo


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