Issue P971 of 15 Nov. 1997


Although we know a lot about those Ancient Greeks who lived in the cities we do not know much about those who lived in the countryside. Therefore any excavation of a countryside site can provide us with a wealth of information.

In the late 1970s an international team of Archaeologists excavated the countryside around the Greek colony of Metaponto in Basilicata, South Italy. Metaponto was an Achaean (Peloponnesian) colony established in the mid-7th c. BC. The first settlers had to fight long wars with both the natives and other Greeks to secure a piece of land in the area.

Some of the new settlers lived in the countryside and excavations in Metaponto proved that they were not slaves but the same people as those who lived in the city of Metaponto. In other words they were free farmers.

One of the excavators, Prof. Joseph Coleman Carter, can be contacted at:
Metaponto 1 at the Univ. of Texas
Metaponto 2 at the Univ. of Texas
GIS: Excavations at Metaponto

Reconstruction of a farm house from the Metoponto area
Metaponto Farm House

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