This site, one of the most important pre-colonial settlements, comprises a village on the plateau of Timpone della Motta, where Strabo placed the ancient Lagaria, founded by the mythical Epeios maker of the Trojan horse, a rich necropolis in the locality of Macchiavate where in the 1960s P. Zancani excavated Enotrian vases and precious bronze personal ornaments (arms, fibulae, belts, diadems, and metal, amber and glass paste necklaces) and an Athenaion on the acropolis (where an inscription with the name of Athena was found).
The sanctuary on the acropolis is constituted by cult and service buildings. The structure denominated V, which replaced the archaic temple X hypothesised by W.M. Stoop in the area of the Byzantine chapel, showed various phases. The first phase is represented by a middle Bronze Age dwelling, cut by later constructions, with an apse facing west. This was followed by a house made of wood and other perishable materials datable to the early Iron Age (the House of the Weavers), with a hearth in the western part, a loom in the central room and to the east a room with an apse. Bronze objects by the hearth, of the same type as those present in the tomb groups of the female burials at Macchiabate, attest that this part of the house also had a cult function, whilst the exterior preserved a domestic role. Finds on the acropolis of Laconian type bronze pendants in the form of young geese on decorated bases (8th century B.C.) attest the first Greek influence in the area. The size of the loom weights from the central room suggests that the loom was very large and therefore used for weaving cloth to be dedicated to the divinity. The vessels found in the house date to the late middle Geometric period (775-725 B.C.). The apsed structure of the house, comparable to several contemporary buildings in Greece, must have been representative of the prestige of the dominant families and constituted a place for cult practices, although it is not possible to know whether it was destined from the start to a divinity or whether it belonged to the local aristocracy who carried out work there linked to the production of cloth to be used for religious purposes. Over this building a new temple was built re-using the post holes from the earlier hut. The imported pottery (cups, jugs and kantharoi of Achaean type) and local wares were linked to the drinking ritual, whilst the openwork kantharoi, the lekythoi with narrow or trilobate spouts, aryballoi and alabastra for oils and perfumed unguents, show the veneration of a goddess linked to weaving and craft activities.
At the beginning of the 6th century B.C. the southern part of the acropolis was covered by a layer of gravel that had been removed from the slopes during construction of the defensive wall surrounding the sanctuary, dated by a few early Corinthian alabastra to 625-590 B.C. A new temple was built on top of this deposit (phase e of Building V) whose structure was then demolished to make way for the Byzantine chapel (10th century A.D.).
The presence in the sanctuary of hydriskai and services of drinking vessels links water to the cult of a goddess who was the patroness of weavers and who was assimilated to the Greek Athena; the relationship seems to be provided by the figure of the hero Epaios, comparable to Hephaiston for his craft-working skills and for his transport of water for the Greek commanders during the Trojan war. (MiBAC)
- Silvana Luppino - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Calabria
- M. Maaskant-Kleibrink - Università di Groningen, Institute of Archaeology
- Groningen Institute of Archaeology, The Netherlands
- No files have been added yet