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):
Excavation report 2017 in AntK 61, 2018
Excavation report 2016 in AntK 60, 2017
Excavation report 2015 in AntK 59, 2016
Excavation report 2014 in AntK 58, 2015
Excavation report 2013 in AntK 57, 2014
Excavation report 2012 in AntK 56, 2013
Excavation report 2011 in AntK 55, 2012
Excavation report 2010 in AntK 54, 2011
Excavation report 2009 in AntK 53, 2010