Sunday, July 31, 2011

Egnazia


Egnazia dates from the 13th century BC, but it only flourished between the 5th century BC until end of the Roman era, when its position between Peucetia (Bari province) and Messapia (the Salento) made it a vital link along the Via Appia serving Rome. The only remains now, are the foundation stones of houses and backeries, roads and graves.

The amphitheater shown above, is an open elliptical building. Its wall used to be plastered and painted. The remains of this structure consists in the upper paved walkway. To enter the building there were two symmetric pairs of entrances (one of these was the monumental entry) and the interior was made of clay. The use of the building dates back to the 1st century BC, is disputed. It could have been used as market place or for entertainment and performances in honeur of the oriental divinities worshipped in the near shrine.

I was quite impressed by the beautiful piece of pavement of the Via Traiana. The so-called ampitheater, however looks like a great place to keep sheep.


With the advent of the Via Traiana, Egnazia became Hellenised as ideas and influences crept up the coast from Brindisi until everyone was wearing Greek fashions and copying Greek designs and habits.
The excavation has a huge museum, but although the collection contains some beautiful objects, is relative quite small. You can find some pictures here!


The site is easy to miss along the road so look out for the above sign.

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