In the valley
of the Agri river, remains of a series of small habitation
centers surround and include the modern town. In addition to Armento itself the most important of these centers are Serra Lustrante, Caprarella, and S. Giovanni.
With the exception of the last, which dates from the Hellenistic-Roman period, they date from the second half of
the 8th c. B.C.; to the N of Armento a chamber tomb
has been found, dated by its deposits to the end of the
7th or the beginning of the 6th c. B.C. Besides items of
local manufacture, among which are a bronze cuirass
and iron spits, the tomb contained Greek bronzes (helmet, phiale) and vases (Corinthian aryballos), as well
as vases from Sins and Etruscan bucchero ware.
At Serra Lustrante, remains of habitation from the
second Iron Age have been found as well as a small
Lucanian sanctuary constructed and decorated in the
Greek style. The sanctuary is dated by coins to ca. 330
B.C., and the antefixes and the ex-voto found in the sacellum must date to the same period. The wealth of
bronzes from this sanctuary justifies the attribution of
the Satyr now in the Glyptothek of Munich to this same
provenance, and probably the gold crown of Kritonios in
the same museum came from here. The errors noted in
the inscription on the crown point to the work of a Lucanian artist who studied at Heraklea or at Taranto.
Among those objects found in the sacellum, which dominates the whole sanctuary, are the so-called Sandals of
Herakles, and fragments of a sculptured head. Next to
the sacellum, but still within the sanctuary, was found
a large cistern carved out of the extremely hard earth
and completely covered with resistant plaster. The sanctuary fell into disuse at the beginning of the 3d c. B.C. At
Armento, as at all the other centers dominating the Agri
valley, there is evidence of contact with Siris and Heraklea.
D. Adamesteanu, BdA
“Siris-Heraclea,” Policoro, Dieci anni di autonomia
(1969) 204-7; id., Popoli anellenici
(1971) 66-68; id.,
“Tomba arcaica da Armento,” Atti e Mem. Soc. Magna
11-12 (1970-71) 83, 92; id., “Attività archeologica in Basilicata,” Atti IX Convegno Studi Magna Grecia
(1970) 229-31; id., “Scavi, scoperte e ricerche storichearcheologiche (in Basilicata),” Realtà del Mezzogiorno
8-9 (1971) 843, 857.