ROSSANO DI VAGLIO
archaeological zone in the NE section of the territory
of Vaglio di Basilicata among low hills watered by the
spring of the Madonna di Rossano. The area was already
known in the 19th c. as the site of a temple or sanctuary,
now identified by the discovery of Oscan inscriptions,
written mainly in Greek, as a Sanctuary of Mephitis.
Thus far the excavations have uncovered a large altar
built of blocks cut in the Greek style and bearing quarry
marks in the form of Greek letters, two rooms on the E
side with walls of regularly dressed stones, and a third
room defined by dry walls constructed according to the
same system. The altar occupies the center of a large
area paved with blocks of very hard stone. On the W side,
a door has been found and beside it two semicircular
containers where water from the large spring in the
mountain W of the sanctuary collected after passing
through lion-head spouts. Around the altar a channel
collected the water and carried it towards a drain, which
was repaired more than once during antiquity.
The earliest coins, the oldest ex-voto, and the numerous inscriptions indicate that the sanctuary was founded
between 340 and 330. From this time until the first half
of the 1st c. A.D. the monument was subject to various
transformations, owing especially to a number of landslides caused by the pressure of the water from the spring.
From investigations carried out in the environs, it is
known that the sanctuary, a locus sacer for the area,
stood in the midst of a series of indigenous Lucanian
centers: Serra di Vaglio, Torretta di Pietragalla, Carpina
di Cancellara, Acerenza, Oppido Lucano, Civita di Tricatico, Anzi, and Torre di Satriano. Towards the end of the Republic and the beginning of the 1st c. A.D., the cult of Mephitis was removed from Rossano to Potentia.
No documents exist after the first half of the 1st c. A.D.
X, 2 (1883), 96; G. Fiorelli, NSc
(1881) 123-24; A. Lombardi, Mem.Ist.Corrisp.Arch
(1832) 220-21; M. La Cava, Topografia e Storia di Metaponto
(1891) 8-9; M. Lejune, REL
45 (1967) 194-231;
22, 126 (1968) 281-302; D. Adamesteanu, Atti IX
(1969) 222-27; id. & M. Lejune,
16, 2 (1971) 39-83; M. Lejeune, “Inscriptions
de Rossano di Vaglio 1972,” RendLinc