The Superintendency of Archaeology of the metropolitan city of Reggio Calabria and the province of Vibo Valentia announced the discovery of significant archaeological evidence, belonging to the Roman phases of the city of Vibo Valentia (located in southern Italy), in the S. Aloe district, within the Urban Archaeological Park.

During the seismic retrofitting works of the “P.E. Murmura” school, thirty-two rooms on the ground floor as well as the building’s foundation levels were excavated. Below the floor level, significant earth fillings were brought to light, preserved by the building’s foundation cables, which in some cases kept the area’s archaeological stratigraphy intact.

Thirteen of these rooms were of great interest, as numerous findings and mural artifacts were found in them.

Detail of the uncovered Roman pool at Vibo Valentia
Detail of the uncovered Roman pool at Vibo Valentia. Credit: Soprintendenza ABAP per la città di Reggio Calabria e Vibo Valentia / Ministero della Cultura

The excavations revealed remains of structures attributable to both domus (private residences) and buildings of probable public use, which were part of an important urban sector of the Municipium of Vibo Valentia.

Among these, the structures belonging to a bath complex and, specifically, a large pool, perhaps a natatio, stood out. It was lined with precious colored marbles and inserted within a monumental room decorated with niches, columns, and marble statues, within a layer of debris at ground level.

The most significant objects, recently transferred to the National Archaeological Museum “Vito Capialbi” of Vibo Valentia, come from this chamber, and among them is a valuable marble statue of the goddess Artemis, already included in a museum itinerary inaugurated a few months ago.

The sculpture of Artemis at the site of the discovery, and already exhibited in the museum
The sculpture of Artemis at the site of the discovery, and already exhibited in the museum. Credit: Soprintendenza ABAP per la città di Reggio Calabria e Vibo Valentia / Ministero della Cultura

The investigated stratigraphy, collected materials, and masonry techniques used allow dating the discoveries to a period between the late Republican era (2nd-1st centuries BC) and the Imperial era (2nd-3rd centuries AD).

The findings are located near the domus and thermal buildings, known for the mosaics discovered since the 1970s. The orientation of the structures found within the school aligns with that of the already known structures, likely making them a natural continuation of the public/residential neighborhood already partially investigated.

These discoveries result from the close collaboration between the Superintendency and the Municipal Administration, which has characterized conservation activities in the area for years. A synergy that allowed the works to be carried out without interruptions, reconciling the needs for structural adaptation of the school building with the protection and conservation of the discovered archaeological assets.

Other findings in the thermal complex under the school
Other findings in the thermal complex under the school. Credit: Soprintendenza ABAP per la città di Reggio Calabria e Vibo Valentia / Ministero della Cultura

The results obtained not only enrich the historical and cultural heritage of the city of Vibo Valentia but also represent an important resource for the community and a potential attraction for cultural tourism.



  • Share this article:

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.