Italy: Archaeologists discover ancient helmets and temple ruins | News | DW

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Archaeologists in southern Italy have discovered the ruins of what they believe to be a prototemple built by Greek settlers. Italy’s Culture Ministry announced on Tuesday that helmets and a painted wall were discovered in Velia, an important city during the birth of Roman civilization.

Now part of the town of Ascea in the province of Salerno, Velia lies 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Paestum, famous for some of the best preserved ancient Greek temples in the world.

Velia and Paestum were part of what the Romans called Magna Graecia, or “Great Greece”, due to the extraordinary number of Greeks who settled there. They began arriving in the eighth century BCE and would play a major role in spreading Hellenic culture in what would become Ancient Rome.

Archaeologists believe offerings were made to the Temple of Athena after the 6th-century BCE Battle of Alalia off Corsica, where forces from Greece and Carthage were victorious over the Etruscans.

Velia itself was discovered around 540 BC. It is also known as the home of renowned ancient philosophers Parmenides and Zeno.

State Museums Director Massimo Osanna said the area explored in Velia likely contained relics from offerings made to Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom, after a key naval battle in the Tyrrhenian Sea. neighbor.

Although now inland, the ruins were located on what was once an acropolis overlooking the sea.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the finds from the Velia excavations underlined the importance of investing in archaeological research to reveal “important pieces of Mediterranean history”.

es/nm (AP, dpa)

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