The Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape for the provinces of Caserta and Benevento announces the remarkable discovery of a pre-Roman necropolis in Amorosi (Benevento), in the Telesina Valley, characterized by a rich collection of burial goods.

The excavations, conducted in accordance with preventive archaeology regulations, were related to the construction of a power plant by Terna Rete Italia Spa, leading to the discovery of an extensive archaeological area located near the Volturno River.

Although the site excavation revealed multiple layers of activity, from prehistory to late antiquity, the best-preserved archaeological evidence pertains to a large burial area, observed between the final phases of the Iron Age and the advanced Orientalizing period (third quarter of the 8th century to the second half/end of the 7th century BCE).

Objects found in the Amorosi site
Objects found in the Amorosi site. Credit: Soprintendenza Archeologia belle arti e paesaggio per le province di Caserta e Benevento

A total of 88 burials were excavated across an approximate area of 13,000 square meters. The contexts align with the so-called “pit-grave culture”, which characterized inner Campania before the emergence of the Samnites.

The burial goods showed gender differences: the men’s tombs contained weapons, while the women’s tombs were richly adorned with bronze decorations such as fibulae, bracelets, pendants, amber elements, and worked bone pieces.

The burial goods also included large quantities of pottery in various shapes, often stacked on top of each other, typically placed at the feet of the deceased in a designated space.

One of the discovered tombs
One of the discovered tombs. Credit: Soprintendenza Archeologia belle arti e paesaggio per le province di Caserta e Benevento

Some burials were distinguished by their exceptional character with the presence of particularly prestigious items, such as a large, richly decorated bronze belt or bronze-plated vessels reminiscent of princely burials observed in Campania during the Orientalizing period.

The most monumental feature, however, consists of two large burial mounds characterized by imposing circles of about 15 meters in diameter, which undoubtedly belonged to members of the elite of the time.

During the excavation phase, the Superintendency of Caserta, in collaboration with Terna Spa and the Municipality of Amorosi, launched a comprehensive research project with the help of various professionals who carried out micro-excavations of the soil inside recovered containers, as well as preliminary restoration of materials, anthropological analysis of the bone remains, and archaeobotanical analysis of the soil in a specifically designated warehouse-laboratory in spaces provided by the Municipality of Amorosi.

The tombs contained a rich grave goods
The tombs contained a rich grave goods. Credit: Soprintendenza Archeologia belle arti e paesaggio per le province di Caserta e Benevento

With support from Terna Spa and the collaboration of the Municipalities of Amorosi and Puglianello, the Superintendency of Caserta will organize communication events and preliminary exhibitions of the excavation results, directing the comprehensive project aimed at studying, restoring, and enhancing the significant archaeological heritage discovered.


Sources

Soprintendenza Archeologia belle arti e paesaggio per le province di Caserta e Benevento (Ministero della Cultura)


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