Paestum is a continuous discovery. New excavations of the University of Salerno found a late-archaic stone head in the sanctuary of Athena, in the past of Ceres. The fragment shows a peculiarity, the back surface has no finishing touches, which led scholars to believe that it could be a fragment of an architectural slab, probably a metope.
If so, it would be the first to be found in the sanctuary of the warrior goddess. “The discovery of the fragment is the demonstration that in Paestum there is still so much to investigate and to discover about the history of this city,” said the director of the Archaeological Park, Gabriel Zuchtriegel. “Until now the stone sculpture by Paestum is known above all from the sanctuary of Heraion to the mouth of the Sele, but it is said that the picture cannot change in the future, also because we know that the so-called ‘Basilica’ temple probably had sculpted metopes: they must have been a hundred, of which we have no trace so far. The discovery of Salerno’s colleagues reopens the question also for the sanctuary of Athena ”. “Fortunately, not all the sanctuary was excavated in the 1920s and 30s and there are still intact areas to investigate,” said Fausto Longo, director of the School of Specialization in Archaeological Heritage of the University of Salerno. “Also this year, the Salerno research team is excavating the south-east building to which the architectural terracottas exhibited in the Museum were attributed, among the oldest documents from this area of the archaeological area,” he concluded. The excavation can be visited.
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