Ionic capital from the Villanello district
3 sec. BC
Ionic capital in sandstone found by chance together with other squared boulders in Villanello on the left of the Busento just upstream of the confluence with the Crati river. It probably originally was part of the decoration of a chamber tomb - the burial of a character of the Brittian elite, perhaps a warrior - of which nothing else has survived. Fractured at the laying surface and missing a large part of a balustrade, the capital shows surfaces that are widely chipped, abraded and worn. The abacus, smooth and rather raised, has section approximately parallelepiped and has on the waiting surface a central hole of a shallow quadrangular shape (3.5x4x1.2), probably functional to the insertion of a connecting pin with an overhead lintel. Below, the pulvinus reveals a decidedly essential carving and decoration, with the channels of the volutes inflected and with a slightly concave bottom, occupied in the center, on both faces and in correspondence with the attack with the echinus, from a palmette to seven lobes (the two inf. lateral curls towards the inside). The volutes, consisting of 1 winding and ¾ ca., terminate centrally with a full eye, while the echinus, strongly flattened, is marked sup. from a raised rod and occupied in the center by the 'swelling' from which the palmettes stand out. The other two sides of the pulvinus have completely smooth and approximately cylindrical balustrades (the one on the left is discreetly preserved). Still below, the underside of the shaft of the column, integral with the capital itself, is apparently devoid of apophyx.