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INCORONATA (Pisticci) Basilicata, Italy.

An ancient center near the town, set on a small, elongated hill overlooking the river Basento. The settlement, isolated on every side, may be reached only from the E where it looks out over the sea. It is 6 km from the center of the Greek colony of Metapontion and W of the line of defense of the Achaean colony.

The site is defended not only by its precipitous position but by an irregular stone and earthen agger (ca. 1 m wide). Within the fortification line, on a level stretch that slopes gently upward to the E, are traces of dwellings, rectangular or circular, with plinths of irregular sandstone rocks coming from the Basento river. Scattered here and there throughout the area, they are built of clay mixed with straw and ash and reinforced with tree trunks and branches. Inside the dwellings, Greek pottery mingled with local ware was found. The oldest vases are the proto-Corinthian bulging aryballoi and the pyre-shaped vases with friezes of running dogs. This series of small proto-Corinthian vases is associated with the series in gray clay. The larger vases are represented by locally produced amphorae and by black, painted amphorae, probably imported, and by a series of double-handled Chian orientalizing vases. These have geometric decorations in imitation of the insular and Rhodian techniques. The local ware comprises large decorated vases or imported lapygean ware mingled with large dishes, small sacrificial bowls, and urn-shaped amphorae. The total array of extant pottery suggests coexistence between Greeks and native peoples, beginning in the second half of the 8th c. B.C.

In the lowest levels of the site are ceramic fragments dating to the last years of the Bronze Age or perhaps of the Apennine culture. Even though the levels are often mixed because of a succession of buildings, this much has become clear in the chronology which extends until the end of the 7th c. B.C. Thus far, no other evidence has been found prior to this period. Some vases show traces of graffiti, among the oldest known to date in the area of Metapontion.

The archaic Greek pottery discovered in this site antedates, in very large part, the finds thus far made in the lowest levels at Metapontion. Everything gives the impression of a site which predates the founding of Metapontion, and which was abandoned toward the end of the 7th c. B.C. Antiochos of Syracuse (Strab. 6.1.15) speaks of another site which existed in the area of Metapontion but which was abandoned before Metapontion was founded. Perhaps his words should be reconsidered in this context.


D. Adamesteanu, “Problèmes de la zone archéologique de Métaponte,” RA (1967) 28-29, fig. 35; id., Popoli anellenici in Basilicata (1971) 18-20.


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