28 May 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

New Discoveries at Ancient Greek City of Paestum’s ‘Little Doric Temple’ in Italy

Archaeologists have made a series of extraordinary discoveries that may fundamentally alter the understanding of the past of the ancient city of Magna Graecia thanks to the delicate restoration work done on the Greek temple discovered in 2019 along the walls of the ancient city Poseidonia, present-day Paestum.

Located in the Italian province of Salerno, Paestum was a large ancient Greek city on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Magna Graecia (southern Italy). It is now famous for three Doric-order Greek temples dating from around 550 to 450 BC.

The ruins of another temple were found in 2019 during excavations. More artifacts have been found as a result of the ongoing excavation, including a stone pedestal with steps, colored terracotta roof decorations with lion-shaped dripstones, an extraordinary gorgon, and an impactful representation of Aphrodite.

In addition, an altar with groves in the stones to catch the blood from sacrifices and seven bullheads are present. Votive offerings that have been uncovered depict Eros riding a dolphin and proceeding in the direction of Poseidon, the god who is responsible for the city’s name.

Eros riding a dolphin. Photo: Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia

Findings which, as confirmed by the director Tiziana D’Angelo herself, could “change the known history of ancient Poseidonia”.

Tiziana D’Angelo, the Director of the Paestum archaeological site, told ANSA the dig was set to “change the recorded history of ancient Poseidonia”.

It’s almost like looking through a window into the city’s 500-year history. Founded by Greeks from Sybaris in 600 BC, it was later conquered by Lucanians before becoming a Roman colony.

The new temple is the smaller Doric peripteral temple that we know before the Hellenistic age, the first building in Paestum that fully expresses the Doric canon.

Terracotta bull head. Photo: Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia
Terracotta bull head. Photo: Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia

The ‘little temple’ (tempietto) is a structure that measures 15.6 meters by 7.5 meters and has four columns in front and seven on the sides. It is in the Doric order, like the others, but it is distinguished by the purity of its shapes.

The analysis of the clay decorations allowed the foundation to be dated to the first quarter of the fifth century BC. Some of the most important monumental buildings still standing today were constructed during this time period, including the Temple of Hera, which was constructed between 560 and 520 BC, and the Temple of Athena, which dates back to 500 BC. The Temple of Neptune, on the other hand, was not finished until 460 BC.

Photo: Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia

The little temple is very significant because it partially exemplifies the community’s artistic and cultural autonomy. It further disproves those who have always believed that the colonies limited themselves to copying the works of the motherland.

Cover Photo: Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia

Related Articles

Archaeologists discover one of the largest Phallus Relief Carving of ancient Rome

28 August 2022

28 August 2022

According to an announcement by the region’s local history museum, a large Roman-era relief carving of a phallus has been...

Archaeologists found a noble woman buried beside her ‘husband’ 1,000 years ago with the top of her face hollowed out

4 November 2023

4 November 2023

Archaeologists unearthed the 1,000-year-old remains of a woman with her face and head hollowed out buried next to her husband...

Archaeologists Unearth Carolingian Silver Treasure Hoard

6 May 2021

6 May 2021

A silver treasure hoard from the 9th century AD has been discovered in Poland‘s Osa and Drwęca basin. The hoard...

Bronze Age Treasure Found in Swedish Forests

30 April 2021

30 April 2021

A man who studied the forest to make a map for the orienteering club in western Sweden made an incredible...

“Urartian Royal garbage dump” was found during excavations at Ayanis Castle

3 September 2022

3 September 2022

During the excavations carried out in the Ayanis Castle, which was built by the Urartian King Rusa II on the...

Archaeologists Uncover 8 Graves Dated 6,500 Years Ago in Lausanne, Swiss

30 October 2021

30 October 2021

Archaeologists have unearthed eight prehistoric tombs between 5,500 and 6,500 years old in the Swiss town of Pully. The site...

An 1800-year-old inscription was discovered in Hadrianaupolis indicating the existence of the Asclepius cult

5 September 2022

5 September 2022

An inscription pointing to the existence of the cult of Asclepius was found in the ancient city of Hadrianaupolis, which...

First example of Roman crucifixion in UK discovered in Cambridgeshire village

8 December 2021

8 December 2021

In Cambridgeshire village, the earliest evidence of a Roman crucifixion has been discovered. Archaeologists investigating a previously unknown Roman roadside...

Unexpected finds under the Tel Aviv Suburban

21 August 2021

21 August 2021

In preparation for a planned residential building project in suburban Tel Aviv, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have begun...

Exciting Discovery of oldest English coin in Canada

16 November 2022

16 November 2022

A gold coin found on the south coast of Newfoundland, Canada’s easternmost province, may be the oldest known English coin...

An inscription with the name of the ancient city was found at the excavation site in Gordion, the capital of the Phrygians

8 August 2022

8 August 2022

An inscription bearing the name of the ancient city was found at the excavation site in Gordion, the capital of...

The Catacombs of Commodilla in Rome will open to the public for the first time

21 September 2022

21 September 2022

The fourth-century Catacombs of Commodilla in Rome’s Garbatella district will reopen to the public soon after the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission...

Egypt’s Tanis bronze figurines shed light on ancient commerce

19 July 2021

19 July 2021

A research team told that the newly discovered 3,000-year-old bronze figurines recently unearthed in Tanis, Egypt, can answer questions about...

Ancient shipwreck dating back to the 2nd century BC was discovered off the coast of Croatia

14 September 2021

14 September 2021

A shipwreck dating to the 2nd century BC has been discovered in the shallow waters of the Adriatic Sea near...

Excavation in Larissa finds a Hellenistic era sanctuary

27 November 2021

27 November 2021

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport reported on Friday the discovery of ancient Greek and Hellenistic era structures at...