City and prehistoric port of Vivara relive in 3D

Studies on XVII BC settlement in Gulf of Naples

03 September, 17:34

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, SEPTEMBER 3 - In the XVII century BC, the little island of Vivara, in the gulf of Naples, hosted a settlement and was a key port, according to studies on archaeological excavation work that kicked off in 1975 with archaeologists Massimiliano Marazzi, who leads today the Euromediterranean center for cultural heritage of the Università Suor Orsola Benincasa in Naples. Thanks to modern technology, researchers have been able to rebuild in 3D the civilization that developed on the island, which was still a promontory and part of the island of Procida.

    A very difficult research conducted by Marrazzi and his team: the idea was to bring back to light one of the most interesting prehistoric sites of the Mediterranean. The plan however had to deal with the fact that the island has become significantly lower. Today, many past settlements are 14 meters under sea levels.

    The turning point was achieved thanks to the use of modern technology of three-dimensional underwater detection used for the first time in Naples at the University Suor Orsola Benincasa. The whole settlement could thus be rebuilt. It used to stretch over the whole island and was built across terraces going down till the sea.

    ''On a natural plane dominating the point of Alaca - said Marazzi - came to light the most interesting traces of a town dating back to XVII BC represented by the remains of two large huts (of some four meters of width and eight meters of length) with the interior decoration of ancient local Vivaresi: dozens of bowls and large vases to preserve food, slabs to cook, arrows, blades and stone chisels to hunt and work on leather, utensils and to spin wool''.

    The discoveries were made by Marrazzo and other archaeologists at Università Suor Orsola Benincasa, Germana Pecoraro, Loredana De Simone and Daniela Signoretti, with a group of experts on technological detection coordinated by Leopoldo Repola with the help of students from the university.

    Traces of the trade that made Vivara one of the most important ports at the time also emerged: ''We discovered - continued Marazzi - dozens of fragments of decorated vases from Mycenaean Greece of the XVII century BC, the era of tombs rich in gold and weapons that were discovered at the end of the 1800s by amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. We can thus deduce that Vivara acquired from the central Tyrrhenian coasts and perhaps even Sardinia that copper which, together with tin, represented the most important asset for civilizations at the time as it was essential to produce weapons and bronze utensils''.

    The discoveries are part of new space in the exhibition area ''Terra'', created by the university in cooperation with Università Federico II and the city of Procida. The whole project was presented in Procida on September 7 during a congress dedicated to the theme ''Il progetto TERRA and perspectives of Mediterranean research and cooperation in the sector of cultural heritage and tourism''.

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