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VASTOGIRARDI Isernia, Molise, Italy.

At an altitude of 1200 m between Pietrabbondante and the valley of the Sangro river, a village where excavations have partially unearthed a temple of the Samnite type. It is comparable to the nearby temples at Pietrabbondante, Schiavi d'Abruzzo, and Quadri. Only the podium remains, 2.25 m high of finely cut limestone. The elevation of the building has been totally destroyed, but the ruins of the foundations permit a conjecture of the plan (a staircase fitted into the podium, a very deep pronaos, a relatively large cella). Some stone blocks scattered near the podium give useful information about the structure. A polygonal wall encloses the podium and marks off a corridor, as at Pietrabbondante. Within the temple a large stone block (the top of an altar?) decorated on all four sides by a Doric frieze with comic and tragic masks has been discovered.

The temple probably dates to the 2d c. B.C. The fill of the podium shows some traces of a prior building, probably of the 2d c. (fragments of cocciopesto and of First Style wall paintings). Nearby remains of other buildings have been uncovered. The excavations have not yet been published.

J.-P. MOREL

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