Ancient Lucania: archaeology and heritage

Our research team is associated with a long tradition of research on ancient southern Italy in the University of Paris 1, and is currently extending the dynamics of several archaeological operations carried out on sites in Lucania since the 1970s (Moio della Civitella, Laos, Civita di Tricarico, Pietragalla) by a specific investigation of the whole region. Lucania encompasses Basilicata, northern Calabria and southern Campania and appears in written sources through the constitution of the Lucanian ethnos during the 5th century BC.

Our research team is associated with a long tradition of research on ancient southern Italy in the University of Paris 1, and is currently extending the dynamics of several archaeological operations carried out on sites in Lucania since the 1970s (Moio della Civitella, Laos, Civita di Tricarico, Pietragalla) by a specific investigation of the whole region. Lucania encompasses Basilicata, northern Calabria and southern Campania and appears in written sources through the constitution of the Lucanian ethnos during the 5th century BC.

Fig. 1 – Map of ancient Lucania

Beyond a literary and ethnic approach, we wish to develop an archaeological and heritage approach to pre-Roman Lucania (7th-2nd centuries BC). Over the centuries, this region witnessed the development of original material cultures at the crossroads of Greek, indigenous and Italic worlds. Important transformations began towards the end of the 5th century, with the appearance of fortified settlements, the construction of sanctuaries, the modification of forms of occupation throughout the territory, etc. These constitute the essence of “lucanisation”, in the strict sense of the term, but the region is still marked by multiple local characteristics.

Fig. 2 – Structure of the database

In order to enhance the tradition of French research on Lucania dating back to the 18th century, the archaeological survey is accompanied by a heritage approach. We examine evidence from French travellers to Lucania and the presence of Lucanian objects in Parisian museums, emphasising the contribution of the former to the creation of Parisian collections. Gradually, research was extended to Lucanian collections in other countries (Germany, England, United States, Spain, Brazil). This research is based on two main tools, available to researchers on the Internet: a “Topographical Directory of Archaeological Excavations in Lucania” and an “Inventory of Lucanian Antiquities throughout the World”.

Project website: http://lucanie-antique.pantheonsorbonne.fr

See also in «Current projects»

Chalcolithic lithic industries of Sultana My research focuses on the lithic industries of the Chalcolithic sites of Sultana, thanks to new excavations led by C. Lăzăr, and includes training a Romanian student in lithic technology. Autour du grand tell daté du Gumelnița et fouillé en 1924 (Andrieșescu 1924), se trouvent des sites plats et des cimetières couvrant l’ensemble du Chalcolithique : Boian pour l’étape ancienne et Gumelnița pour l’étape récente. Les sites sont installés dans la grande plaine loessique roumaine, sur la rive droite du Moștistea, affluent du Danube, et aujourd’hui au bord du lac artificiel de Moștistea. Contribution to the monograph on the Varna Necropolis Three bilingual (German, English) volumes dedicated to the necropolis of Varna, Das Varna Gräberfeld, will be published by Philipp von Zabern, in the DAI Eurasian Series, edited by V. Slavčev. I am in charge of the lithics, which I comprehensively reviewed after the recent revision of the funerary inventories. The multidisciplinary approach will combine technological and typological data, in connection with raw material supplies and types of production, as well as the functional analysis carried out by M. Gurova. L. Manolakakis in V. Slavčev, Dir. (2020, à paraître) IRP NORth (2020-2023) The Eastern European model of Neolithization contrasts with that of the West, in terms of modes and chronology. In the central Russian plain, the beginning of the Neolithic is dated between the second half of the 7th and 6th millennia BC, depending on the region considered, and is defined by the emergence of sedentarism and the appearance of ceramic technology. Despite occasional contacts with mixed farming groups, local populations maintained a lifestyle based on hunting, fishing and gathering. It was not until several millennia later that a real production economy was adopted and became widespread in the area (3rd and 2nd millennia BC). Based on the duration and the breakdown of events recorded in the Russian plain, we can follow the history of communities in the process of Neolithization in a very original way.