A masterpiece of the goldsmith's art that flourished in Taranto in the Hellenistic period to meet the luxury needs of a client not only in Greece, the diadem represents a real unicum, composed of separate elements assembled together with engineering expertise. The support consists of two gold plates folded into a channel and joined by a hinge. On it wraps a refined floral composition worked "in the day", with bunches of flowers, berries and leaves of various types held together by a continuous ribbon embellished with enamels of different shades of green, in imitation of a garland. Each partially mobile element is fixed to the support by means of small rings, while the use of colored enamels and semiprecious stones (garnets, carnelians) increases the naturalistic effect of the whole. The diadem was tied behind the nape by means of a fabric ribbon, as indicated by the eyelets at the ends of the sheet, from whose cable come out oak leaves decorated with enamels.
Among the items of equipment referable to the first century. BC, two polychrome terracotta statuettes representing gladiators are distinguished by quality and peculiarity, found respectively in via F. Crispi in 1930 and in via Regina Elena in 1914.
The subject is a particular expression of Roman culture, which flanked and then superimposed on the Greek one in the aforementioned period. In fact, in the Augustan age the amphitheater was built, not surprisingly built in the heart of the city.
The statuettes represent naked men, dressed only in a small kilt, and covered with high greaves and a helmet. In the hands they had to hold the weapons, not preserved, which makes identification more difficult. From the surviving elements it is probable to believe that the gladiators are represented according to the criteria of the Augustan reform and can be identified as a Mirmillone and a Thrace.
The emperor, whose portrait is known from many statues and from the same coin representations, is easily recognized by his triangular face, small and close-set eyes and the typical curl of his "pincer" hair. He is depicted standing, and with his head veiled. This element made it possible to recognize his representation in the functions of pontiff maximum, head of the Roman religion, and therefore to date the portrait after 12 BC. C. year in which he assumed this office. The power of Augustus, in fact, can be defined as a principality rather than an imperium: this term in fact indicated the military command, while Octavian Augustus was a princeps, "a first citizen", who over time assumed the most important offices of the state Roman which, moreover, never ceased to be defined as res publica.
The bowl on a low foot and horizontal handles, of laconic or Spartan production, presents inside the tank a composition of dolphins along the rim and tuna arranged in a radial pattern around a central rosette. The outdoor tub is decorated with birds rendered with an elongated body and long graceful back-facing neck. The figures are made with special paintings, engraved and savings, on a clear engobe.
Together with two other bowls, also decorated with tuna on the internal basin and coming from the same funerary context, it has been attributed to a refined ceramographer who took the conventional name of the Fish Painter from them.
At the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto, in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Salento, a chemical and physical analysis project is currently underway on some of the finds known as Ori di Taranto, with the aim of studying them. the chemical composition and check for any decorations, as well as determine their thickness, to better understand the techniques used to make them.
The study was carried out in situ and with non-destructive techniques, using a portable energy dispersing X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (EDXRF).
Most of the analyzed samples show a similar composition of the alloy (gold, silver and copper, respectively equal to 96.3 +/- 2.0% by weight, 2.8 +/- 1.9% by weight and 0, 9 +/- 0.3% by weight) except nine samples.
The experimental results already obtained offer further research ideas that will be pursued with the continuation of the project.
This very beautiful and refined mosaic was made in the second century AD Using small square tiles placed in place with great accuracy, with a precision not usual at that historical moment.
These are of different materials: obtained from limestone for the black and white color, terracotta for the red and greenish ones, rarer stones and marbles for the green, yellow, purple red, dark red, old pink, gray, brown and pink colors. .
The decoration is inserted in a band that surrounds it on all sides, with a simple braid made with darker shades on the outside which then fade in the internal parts in lighter shades.
In the background enclosed by this border, a rose window stands out with a rather complex central motif with four buds alternating with heart-shaped leaves within a motif identified as a velarium (the canvas cover used in amphitheaters to protect spectators from the sun), which here it is rendered in volume and lightness thanks to a skilful and refined play of shades. The remaining space is filled with geometric shapes (rhombuses and rectangles) connected to each other and with the central motif by very thin linear spirals, peltas and flower elements. Inside the geometric shapes there is the representation of two opposing lotus buds.
The type of elegant and very lively decoration thanks to the prevalence of sinuous lines gives the idea of an embroidery on stone.
The discovery of the Tomb of the Ori begins as a somewhat confused tale. In 1928 the first indications came to the superintendent of Puglia Quintino Quagliati thanks to a sketch of the plan and a prospectus. The place of discovery was the road to Cerignola, parallel to the route of the Appia Traiana. At that time, the archaeologist did not see the tomb, which had already been covered during the work of laying the sewer, but the description of the dromos, the three cells and the monumental façade hinted at its importance. In 1935 the publication of the materials caused a sensation and a sort of archaeological legend was born.
The name OPAKA SABALEIDA written with dotted characters on the hinge of the shell-shaped case and an adolescent tooth made the hypothesis - the legend - affirm the hypothesis - the legend - of the Canosian princess who died as a teenager and deposited with her wealth on a bed of asbestos. In addition to the figure of Opaka, history was accompanied by the figure of Busa who had welcomed the survivors of Canne.
In 1991, new urbanization works brought to light the tomb and it was possible to reconstruct the dynamics of the 1928 intervention. fragments of armor, a sword with a wooden sheath, a spear point, the strigil. The chronology between the end of the 4th and the 3rd century BC confirms the relevance of the hypogeum to the princely elite of the city.
The Zeus of Ugento, made by Greek artisans in a center of Hellenic culture, reproduces the iconography of the supreme divinity of the Greeks but was intended for an indigenous sanctuary. This is not surprising, since the Messapi of present-day Salento, already in the archaic era, worshiped a divinity whose attributes make it the local equivalent of Zeus. It is the Zis Batas or Batias whose name, starting from the sixth century BC, is graffitied on the walls of the Porcinara Cave in the bay of Leuca, an emporium sanctuary frequented by natives and Greeks: a Zeus "Thunderbolt", this is probably the meaning of the epithet Batas, which associates him with Zeus Kataibates to whom the Tarantini, as we learn from the sources, sacrificed to atone for the atrocities committed in the wars against the Messapians, who presided over atmospheric phenomena, dispensing fruitfulness with the rains and protecting the sailors.
Other works on display