Archaeology, Roman-era finds discovered in Vibo Valentia


By John

The Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the metropolitan city of Reggio Calabria and the province of Vibo Valentia, in concert with the municipal administration of the capital, communicates the discovery of important archaeological evidence, referable to the phases of Roman occupation of the city of Vibo Valentia, in the S. Aloe district, inside the Urban Archaeological Park. These are the seismic adaptation works that affected the «PE Murmura» school, conducted with the supervision of the Superintendence, under the scientific coordination of the archaeologist official Michele Mazza.
During the excavation operations, which recently concluded, and which involved the foundation levels of the building, thirty-two rooms on the ground floor were explored. Below the floor level, significant earth fills were brought to light, saved by the building's foundation cables, which in some cases kept the archaeological stratigraphy of the area intact. The results are of considerable interest – the superintendency says thirteen of these rooms, which have yielded a large quantity of finds and masonry artefacts.The investigations revealed remains of structures attributable to both domus (private homes) and buildings of probable public use, forming part of an important urban sector of the Municipium of Vibo Valentia. Among these, of particular importance, are the structures pertaining to a spa complex, and specifically, to a large bath tub, perhaps a natatio (swimming pool).
This was covered with precious colored marbles, and inserted inside a monumental environment decorated with niches, columns and marble statues, within a layer of collapse, on the floor level. The most significant finds come from the room, recently transferred to the “Vito Capialbi” National Archaeological Museum in Vibo Valentia, among which stands out a valuable marble statue of the goddess Artemis, already included in a museum itinerary inaugurated a few months ago.
The stratigraphy investigated, the materials collected and the masonry techniques used allow us to dating the discoveries to a period between the late Republican age (2nd-1st century BC) and the imperial one (2nd-3rd century AD).The finds are located near the domus and spa buildings, known for the mosaics discovered starting from the 1970s. The orientation of the structures found inside the school coincides with that of the structures already known, being, probably, a natural continuation of the public/residential neighborhood already partially investigated.
These discoveries – we would like to inform you – are the result of the close collaboration between the Superintendence and the Municipal Administration, which has characterized protection activity in the area for years. A synergy that allowed the work to be carried out without interruptions, managing to reconcile the needs of structural adaptation of the school building with the protection and conservation of the archaeological assets discovered