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SATYRION (Torre di Saturo) Apulia, Italy,

An ancient city on the Ionian coast ca. 12 km SE of Tarentum in the territory of Leporano. The site was associated with the historical problems of the Laconian colonization of Tarentum. In all the sources, it is always named before Tarentum itself (Ant. apd. Strab. 6.278; Ephor. apd. Strab. 6.279; Dion. Hal. 19.1.2; Diod. 8.21) so that it appears to be the oldest Laconian settlement in Puglia. This has recently been confirmed by extensive excavation. It is probable that its name survives from the Ausonian or pre-Iapygean place-name stratum and pertains to the way station associated with traffic in the late Mycenean world (14th-12th c.) preceding the Iapygean or pre-Laconian settlement of the late Bronze Age and of the Iron Age (11th-8th c.). Somewhat after the middle of the 8th c., the arrival of the Spartans on Apulian shores marks the first phase of the Laconian colonization of Tarentum.

Fruitful excavations conducted on the promontory of Torre Saturo, between Porto Saturo and Porto Perone, have brought to light intriguing bits of evidence on the life led in this region. In the National Museum at Tarentum are displayed rich finds of very early local pottery associated with imported Mycenean ware, Iapygean geometric ware, articles coming from a votive depository of the 7th-6th c. B.C. and tomb appointments of the 6th-3d c. B.C.


F. G. Lo Porto, “La stazione protostorica di Porto Perone,” NSc (1963) 280ff; id., “Satyrion-Scavi e ricerche nel luogo del più antico insediamento laconico in Puglia” NSc (1964) 177ff.


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