Francavilla Marittima (IT)

Every summer since 2009, the Institute of Classical Archaeology of the University of Basel has been conducting a research and training excavation, directed by Prof. Dr. Martin A. Guggisberg, at Francavilla Marittima (CS) in southern Italy. The research is focused on an Iron Age necropolis situated at the margin of the Sibaritide, a coastal plain on the Gulf of Taranto, which owes its name to the Greek colony of Sybaris, founded in about 720 BC.

Francavilla is one of the few Iron Age sites in the region where both the necropolis and the settlement are known and have been partially investigated. According to later Greek authors,  the people who lived in this area during the Iron Age belonged to a cultural group called the Oenotrians. In its material culture, this group is characterised by geometrically decorated pottery and the rite of inhumation in a contracted position.

So far, 27 graves, situated in three different areas of the necropolis, have been excavated by the team from the University of Basel. They attest in manifold ways to the cultural interactions between the native population and the Greek sailors, merchants and settlers, which were already very intensive before the foundation of Sybaris. How this contact with the outside world affected the indigenous culture and why numerous burial plots were abandoned exactly at the time of the foundation of the Greek colony, only 10 kilometres away, are some of the questions that the investigations conducted by the University of Basel are focused on.

Excavation reports (download pdf):


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Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2020 (AntK 64, 2021)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2019 (AntK 63, 2020)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2018 (AntK 62, 2019)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2017 (AntK 61, 2018)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2016 (AntK 60, 2017)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2015 (AntK 59, 2016)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2014 (AntK 58, 2015)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2013 (AntK 57, 2014)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2012 (AntK 56, 2013)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2011 (AntK 55, 2012)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2010 (AntK 54, 2011)
Excavation report Francavilla Marittima 2009 (AntK 53, 2010)