The Archaeological Park, located north of the modern residential area of Metaponto, is the site that represents the heart of the ancient city. It includes the urban sanctuary,
the agorà, the handicraft district for the production of ceramics and the great north-south road axis on which the urban plant is imposed. Numerous the monuments recovered that have marked the civil and religious life of the polis, from its foundation until the Roman conquest.
In the sacred area are visible the remains of beautiful temples, almost all in Doric style, in front of which are located the remains of altars with decorative elements. The largest is the TEMPLE A, dedicated to HERA (570 BC), a deity to which is recognized an indisputable primacy in all the Achaean colonies of Italy, one of the first of Magna Graecia designed entirely in stone, comparable to the oldest temples of Sicily, for the large number of columns and architectural style.
The TEMPLE B, dedicated to APOLLO LICEO, (6th century BC), like Temple A, has two distinct construction phases and is the first example of the use of half columns with decorative and load-bearing function.
TEMPLE C, dedicated to ATHENA (late 7th century BC), is the oldest still preserved, the only one with a greek marble roof, finely decorated.
TEMPLE D, dedicated to AFRODITE (5th century BC), the only Ionic one, is one of the most important testimonies of the contributions of the eastern Greek world to the architecture of the Greek West, for its elongated and narrow plan and the entablature.
The small TEMPLE E, dedicated to DIONISO (end of the 4th century BC), is placed in the center of the sacred area.
The most significant building of the agora, the THEATRE EKKLESIASTERION (late 7th century BC), the oldest of the Greek world and the only greek theater in the world built in relief, hosted the major popular assemblies of a religious and political.
In a first phase consisted of wooden stands, then was added a circular building with an outer wall blocks, two large entrances and a rectangular orchestra in the center. The structure, with a diameter of 60 meters, housed 8,000 people, with uniform seating radiating from a center, and clearly expresses the concept of equality attributable to the influence of PITAGORA.
In the second half of the 4th century BC, the building was replaced by the theater, which in part also recovers the survey and that, with its particular shape, has been a model for the subsequent Roman architecture.
Behind this area stands an altar dedicated to Zeus, to the south a large portico with the remains of two imposing structures, dedicated to prediction and mystery religiosity.
The suboptimal state of preservation of the structures depends on the continuous looting suffered by the absence in the area of valid building material: the large square blocks of limestone were reused in all historical periods in various locations in the interior, up to Matera.