1st Edition

Ancient Sacred Sites in the Gulf of Naples The Sanctuary of Athena at Punta Campanella

By Luca Di Franco Copyright 2024
    106 Pages 79 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The geographical position between the gulfs of Naples and Salerno made pre-Roman Sorrento a fundamental point of passage. Around the inhabited centre, sacred sites or scattered settlements developed, including the sanctuary of Athena on the extreme tip of the peninsula near Punta Campanella. This book explores the historical development of the sanctuary from the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD. Drawing on partly unpublished archaeological documentation and literary sources, the book provides useful elements for understanding the site and its relationship with the surrounding area. Sorrento and the Greek presence in the Gulf of Naples are linked to the sanctuary installation, perhaps first dedicated to the Sirens but surely after to Athena. Judging from literary sources, it was one of the best-known places of worship in ancient Italy. It was only in the 1980s that the discovery of an Oscan inscription with a dedication to Minerva made it possible to hypothesise the presence of a sanctuary near the Medieval tower at Punta Campanella. The analysis of the archaeological documentation known until now, the study of the new archaeological plans and the material culture (ceramics) from the site make it possible to better understand the development and the importance of the sanctuary. This book, therefore, defines the historical and territorial development of the sanctuary of Athena, reconstructing the history of the territory of ancient Surrentum and, above all, its most important sanctuary. The book will be of particular interest to archaeologists, ancient historians and historians of religion.

    1. Introduction   2. History of the excavations and the research   3. The Sorrentine Peninsula based on archaeological sources   4. Access to the sanctuary: the Via Minervia   5. Punta Campanella: the archaeological record   6. Analysis of the context: the sanctuary of Athena   7. Chronological phases and clues to the nature of the cult   8. Conclusions


    Luca Di Franco is an archaeologist official of the Italian Ministry of Culture.