The Necropolis of Metaponto is structured in a dense network of roads, canals and land limits whose greatest concentrations are in the districts Crucinia and Casa Ricotta,

corresponding to the first crags consisting mainly of deposits of marine origin.

The burial areas are located at the edge of the roads that connected the town with the territory and the particular monumental importance of some of them confirms the existence in the area of important axes of extra-urban connection with the chora, one of which joined the city to the sanctuary of Hera.

So called from the name of the district in which it is located, between the Ionica Highway 106 and the modern residential center, the necropolis Crucinia is particularly interesting for the monumentality of the burials, a sarcophagus with the case and the coverage in squared blocks, destined to the aristocracy of Metaponto between the 7th and the 4th century BC to testify to the prestigious rank of the deceased here are the funeral relics found in the tombs such as prestigious pottery with red figures, mirrors, bronze fibulae and gold earrings.

The prevailing rite practiced for burial was that of inhumation: the deceased was laid in a supine position, according to Greek funerary custom. The aggregation of the tombs in groups with typological affinities suggests the hypothesis that the funerary space was divided into lots and assigned to individual families.

Particularly significant is the complex located in the center of the park and consists of the large trapezoidal chamber tomb with staircase access (dromos) and a group of archaic tombs (7th-6th century BC), now proposed in the area in front of the Museum, the shape of semi-chamber, the structure consists of large blocks of stone and the richness of the funerary equipment (funeral beds, decorative metal elements, tools related to sacrifice and ritual banquet). The most interesting is undoubtedly the large complex, now in the museum park, consisting of 4 burial chambers (2 cenotaphs and 2 belonging to male individuals armed with a sword) bearing on 4 blocks of the tomb the inscription engraved ANT that would allude to the names of the two tyrants (Antileon and Ipparino) creators, around the middle of the 6th century BC, after the death of the tyrant Archelao, the transition of the city to a “democratic" system.

To confirm the presence of a tyrant in Metaponto is precisely the monumental tomb, belonging to this complex, whose occupant would be the tyrant himself, judging by the rich military equipment consists of a bronze armor complete with shield, shin guards and helmet type attic calcidian crest with ram's head. The precious armor was stolen by illegal immigrants and transferred to the American museum of Saint-Louis in Missouri.



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