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Powerful and majestic: Poseidonia, Paestum – II

“The amphitheater was built with bricks and pillars, some of which collapsed. The spectators could reach their seats through the stairs located on the sides of the building. The main entrance was used by the gladiators to walk up to the center of the arena, while the other two smaller entrances were used for the animals, usually wild boars found in the area. Only half of the amphitheater remains today because the other half is still buried under a road that was built over it in 1829.

The other Greek building that was found in the city is a tomb which dates back to 500 BC, brought to light in 1954. The Greeks built burial sites called ‘necropolis’, usually outside the city walls. The fact that this tomb was built inside the city walls could mean that it was dedicated to a hero. Inside of the tomb the archeologists found nine vases, one made of decorated ceramic and the other eight made of bronze. They are some of the most preserved Greek vases. Once the sealing wax was removed from the bronze vases, the archeologists discovered still soft honey inside. Honey was a symbol of immortality for the Greeks, and that’s why it was offered to heroes.

The third temple is located on the most elevated point of the city, the so-called ‘acropolis’. It is dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom and of military strategy. The temple dates back to about 500 BC and it’s the smallest and least preserved of the three. Just like the other temples, it is built in the Doric order, and the exterior colonnade is 6×13.

Inside the museum you can find perfectly preserved statues, decorative elements of the temples and other small objects.

In 1968 archeologists found another tomb dating back to about 480 BC, just outside the city walls. Inside the tomb they found the skeleton of a man in his forties. It is famous today for its frescoes.

One of the frescoes depicts a man diving into a stream of water, scene which gives the tomb the name ‘Tomb of the Diver’. The painting has a strong symbolic meaning as it represents the moment of death. The columns from which he’s diving could represent the Pillars of Hercules, which for the Greeks symbolized the end of the known world“.

 

Watch the whole reportage

POWERFUL AND MAJESTIC: POSEDONIA, PAESTUM – I

POWERFUL AND MAJESTIC: POSEDONIA, PAESTUM – II

 


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