Paestum: new excavations to investigate the House of the Priests

New excavations at Paestum Archaeological Park. The House of the Priests in front of the Temple of Neptune is being investigated.

Excavations have begun at one of the most enigmatic buildings in the archaeological area of Paestum, namely the House of the Priests, a structure located in front of the Temple of Neptune whose function remains uncertain.

Since its discovery, the building has attracted great interest from archaeologists because of its privileged position in relation to the great Greek temple to which it must have been connected in connection with the rituals that took place in the southern sanctuary. Scholars, probably conditioned by the more modern relationship between sacred place and canonical house, have assumed it was a private room, a dwelling intended for the staff of the sanctuaries, such as priestesses and priests. Through the excavations, the Paestum Archaeological Park aims to shed light on the building’s function and, more generally, on the sacred context in which it is located.

“The history of this building is long and complex. Its location, central to the southern sanctuary, stimulates our attention, so much so that we have included the excavation in the larger program of archaeological research in the city of Poseidonia-Paestum. Similar to what we are doing in the Greek residential blocks to reconstruct daily life in the ancient Magna-Greek polis, with the excavation we want to fill a major gap in our knowledge about the sacred area and the rituals that took place in the shadow of the temples,” said Park Director Gabriel Zuchtriegel.

The excavation, which has just begun, was made possible in part by a fundraiser, organized by Barbara Guerra and Albert Sapere, creators and curators of the LSDM International Culinary Congress, who organized a dinner in Paestum last July with three internationally renowned chefs.

“The Park has achieved excellent results in terms of fundraising in 3 years € 300,000.00 has been raised between donations and sponsorships. These sums have been used for important activities to support the protection and enhancement of the museum and the archaeological area of Paestum, such as restorations and scholarships for researchers. ”The excavation of the ’House of the Priests’ is one of many positive examples that demonstrates the fruitful success of public-private collaboration," the director added.

It will be possible to visit the site every day, Monday through Friday, between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.; for the occasion, specialized Park staff will update visitors on the ongoing investigations.

Source: release

Paestum: new excavations to investigate the House of the Priests
Paestum: new excavations to investigate the House of the Priests

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