• Cuma
  • Cuma
  • Kyme
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Naples
  • Pozzuoli


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  • No period data has been added yet


  • 600 BC - 500 BC
  • 200 BC - 80 BC
  • 1 AD - 200 AD


    • In the amphitheatre between Villa Virgiliana, below which stood a Roman tempietto, and the area where the amphitheatre abuts the hill, a first trench revealed three main occupation phases. Evidence for the earliest (Greek or Samnite period), was constituted by a course of parallelepiped yellow tufa blocks, built up against the layers of natural pozzolana, which perhaps functioned as terracing on the hill. It may have been the enclosure of the sanctuary which preceded the tempietto. A number of fragments from painted terracotta architectural decorations (dripstone from a cyma with a ram’s head dating to the mid 6th century B.C.) probably belonged to the sanctuary. In the Republican period a structure was built that was probably part of the Roman tetrastyle temple, with its entrance facing the amphitheatre. In phase three, contemporary with the use of the amphitheatre, the area was used as a necropolis, with tombs of the 1st and 2nd century A.D. Excavation of the southern entrance to the amphitheatre, formed by a barrel vaulted rectilinear corridor, revealed a somewhat unsophisticated construction technique (end of the 2nd-beginning of the 1st century B.C.), the bedrock on which the foundations were to rest had not been levelled. The original pavement was constituted by a beaten and pressed earth surface. As well as the phases of the Augustan period and the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., the new excavation revealed that a substantial restructuring of the whole complex occurred after the last decades of the 2nd century A.D., perhaps necessitated by land slippage. For the moment the chronology is provided by a coin of Crispina Augusta (180-182 A.D.), found below the floor surface. Lastly, a trench uncovered part of the cavea, where only the masonry skeleton of the seats was preserved, not the marble cladding. The seating was interrupted by stairs which provided spectator access to the various sectors.
    • The area above the amphitheatre, next to Villa Virgiliana, revealed the entire opus incertum wall, founded on an earlier course of tufa blocks, that was perhaps the enclosure of the Roman sanctuary. The opus reticulatum structures built into the northern side of Villa Virgiliana belonging to the tetrastyle tempietto, excavated in 1842 and described by Beloch, were also part of the sanctuary. The abandonment of the cult area was marked by the necropolis which was positioned there between the 1st and 2nd century A.D. and remained in use until at least the early medieval period. The exploration of a stretch of the outer ring of the amphitheatre brought to light, still in situ, the tufa blocks that may have supported the velarium. This phase was later obliterated by the enlargement of the structure and the addition of another sector, the maenianum summum, identified in previous excavation campaigns. Of the latter another tract with relative access stairway was uncovered.
    • An archaeological investigation was made of the southern entrance area and the area above the amphitheatre. A new entrance was opened to the monument from the road (via Cuma - Licola, in the town of Bacoli) and excavation of the vaulted entrance corridor was completed. A number of spaces were identified, accessible through doors on both sides of the corridor. These comprised two vomitoria which gave access to the south sector of the ima cavea, a tract of the circular ambulacrum of the arena and a small intermediate space of uncertain use. Excavation of the cavae revealed the seating tiers below a layer of agricultural soil varying in depth between 40 and 80 cm, The seats were robbed of their cladding, and partially and sporadically preserved. In the zone above the amphitheatre, near the Villa Virgiliana, a trench brought to light an imposing terrace wall, with several construction phases from the archaic Greek period to the Roman period. This was probably the structure which to the east contained the terrace of the presumed temple, whose presence, in connection with the topography of the summa cavea of the amphitheatre had already been hypothesised in the 19th century. The archaic wall built up against the terrain, constituted by a curtain of orthostats and an internal fill of large tufa flakes, was abutted by later rebuilds: a second structure with a curtain wall of blocks and emplekton of chippings with transverse bonding, and an opus reticulatum wall of late Republican date, abutted in the imperial period by another in opus vittatum. The Liberty style Villa Virgiliana was constructed over the temple building. A trench placed in correspondence with the eastern wall of the structure ascertained the presence of deep foundations, relating to a wall of the Roman period on which the modern construction rests.
    • Work continued in the south-western part of the amphitheatre at Cumae. It had an ima cavea, delimited to the north by an opus signinum floor linked to two vomitoria at the sides of the southern entrance. Four tiers of seats faced with opus signinum have been identified, with stairs of trachyte blocks. Six tiers of the media cavea were preserved, although very patchy, with masonry facing resting directly on the embankment, with dividing stairways of trachyte slabs between the cunea. Due to the severe razing of the upper part of the embankment the structures of the summa cavea were lost, with the exception of the pilaster foundations of the annular wall crowning the amphitheatre, which it is suggested constituted the back wall of the portico in summa cavea. The excavation of a section of the arena brought to light a beaten earth floor, at the same height as a threshold comprising four elements in limestone and trachyte, situated in correspondence with the south entrance. The high podium wall was probably faced with marble slabs, as suggested by the finds recovered and the presence of regularly distanced holes for clamps The exploration was completed of the spaces east of the corridor leading to the south entrance: a square room and the eastern sector of the annular ambulatory. The identification of a tract of curvilinear wall in opus quasi reticulatum, cut by the insertion of the side rooms, constitutes an important element for the understanding of the sequence of building phases of the monument. In fact, it was clear that in this first phase the podium wall was further back, and that the masonry built ima cavea was added later, creating the annular ambulatory around the perimeter of the arena and inserting, to the side of the entrance corridor, two pairs of symmetrical rooms characterised by _opus vittatum_ walls.


    • M.L. Nava, 2006, L’attività archeologica a Napoli e Caserta nel 2005, in Atti del XLV Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2005), Taranto: 583-661.
    • M.L. Nava 2007, Le attività della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle province di Napoli e Caserta nel 2006, in Atti del XLVI Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2006), Taranto: c.s.
    • S. De Caro 2002, L’attività della Soprintendenza archeologica di Napoli e Caserta nel 2001, in Atti del XLI Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2001), Taranto: 635-675.
    • S. De Caro 2003, L’attività della Soprintendenza archeologica di Napoli e Caserta nel 2002, in Atti del XLII Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 2002), Taranto: 569-621.