Temple of the Palatine Tables
The remains of the monument are located in the archaeological area of Metaponto, more precisely on the last undulation of the Givoni, ancient coastal strips, near the right bank of the Bradano river, built on the remains of an ancient Neolithic village, along the prehistoric road from Siris . -Heraclea, about 3 km from the ancient city of Metaponto. The temple, restored in 1961, was initially attributed to the cult of the goddess Athena, then a votive dedication to the goddess Hera was found on the fragment of a vase, found during the archaeological excavations of 1926. Until the 19th century, the Palatine Tables were also locally defined as "Mensole Palatine" or "Palatine Columns", probably in memory of the battles against the Saracens of the Paladins of France. The temple was also called "School of Pythagoras", in memory of the great philosopher Pythagoras. In the Middle Ages it was still called "Mensae Imperatoris", probably in memory of Emperor Otto II who, in the expedition against the Saracens in 982, camped in Metaponto. The remains of the temple are composed of 15 columns with 20 grooves and Doric capitals . Of the 15 columns, 10 are on the northern side and 5 on the southern side. Originally there were 32 columns, since the temple had a peripteral shape with 12 columns on the long sides and 6 on the short sides. The temple is very degraded, as it was built with local limestone (called mazzarro) .Near the temple were found, from the excavations of 1926, numerous remains of the ancient terracotta decoration, statuettes, ceramics and other pieces of columns exhibited at the Archaeological Museum national team of Metaponto.
Photo credit: Nunzia Armento