A campaign of stratigraphic excavations in the western area of the ancient Greek city of Poseidonia (Roman Paestum) has revealed the existence of two Greek Doric temples.

This discovery sheds new light on the origins and urban development of the polis and provides crucial data for understanding the evolution of Doric architecture in Poseidonia and Magna Graecia.

The first temple, dating back to the early decades of the 5th century BCE, represents an absolute unicum in Doric temple architecture. However, new research suggests that the history of the sanctuary may be even older.

Within the temple structure, 14 fragmentary Doric capitals of similar dimensions to those of the temple have been reused. The typology, however, is different and comparable to the capitals of the “Basilica,” the oldest of the three great temples of Paestum.

These exceptional recent findings demonstrate that this is another temple, of modest dimensions but with architectural characteristics similar to the early great temples of Paestum, and it should be dated to the 6th century BCE.

The recent discoveries confirm that there is still much to be done in Paestum in terms of excavations, research, and also enhancement. After decades of inertia, the Ministry of Culture is driving notable initiatives, stated the Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano.

The new excavations in Paestum are another demonstration of how study and research are key pillars in the management of cultural heritage and fundamental instruments of the protective and enhancement functions that the State is called to perform, emphasized the Director General of Museums, Massimo Osanna.

Excavation work will conclude shortly, and we are already working on creating a new access route that will make this important sanctuary accessible to the public, added the Director of the Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia, Tiziana D’Angelo.

Paestum is located in the southeast of Italy, in the province of Salerno, and 92 kilometers south of Naples. It was founded by Greeks from Sybaris with the name Poseidonia, probably in the late 7th century BCE, with the participation of the Dorians from Trecen. According to Strabo, it was initially founded on the coast and later moved slightly inland, but today its ruins are only 1 kilometer from the coast.


Ministero della Cultura de Italia

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