Ancient Lucania

Department of Classical archaeology
Department of Art history and Archaeology

The research team was created in 2012 thanks to a generous grant of the Research Council of the City of Paris. Our project is to study pre-Roman Lucania, an ancient region of the Italian peninsula, which corresponds to modern Basilicata and parts of Campania and Calabria. The region was inhabited by various populations throughout the first millennium BC before the Roman conquest. The region has been extensively explored by travelers since the end of the 18th c., and then by archaeologists, especially since the creation of the local Soprintendenza della Basilicata in 1964. Since then, French archaeologists have had a special relationship with ancient Lucania, with a series of excavations across the region, from the Tyrrhenian Cost to the Gulf of Tarento, including our own excavation at Pietragalla. The aims of the project are twofold: creating a Gazetteer of Lucanian archaeological sites, gathering the material for a complete reappraisal of the pre-Roman period in matter of settlement patterns, cult places and necropoleis developing an Inventory of Lucanian antiquities across the world, by listing all objects with a known provenance from Lucania in museums and collections, in order to trace the trade of antiquities since the early 19th c. One of the major achievement of the project team is the organisation of the international congress “La Lucanie entre deux mers: Archéologie et patrimoine”, held in Paris in November 2015, whose proceedings are now published (Naples, 2019)

The Research Group has developed a database, which is continuously expanding, but which is already available online ( as part of our commitment to open access. The Ancient Lucania Database is made out of four main interrelated parts: -A Repository of archival and bibliographical records (2696 references), – A Gazetteer of archaeological sites (468 sites) – An Inventory of Lucanian antiquities (2233 objects) – A Directory of travellers, antiquarians, collectors and art dealers (142 people). These parts are linked with each other by relationships that express the dependencies and requirements between the collected data, including a module of webmapping for locating sites or antiquities. The database conceptual model embodies the close relations that exist between the different parts of the project, tightly combining a regional archaeological perspective to a cultural heritage approach. Efforts should now be made to enhance this database: – entries should be verified and made ready for publication – the FileMaker database should be made available through a more user-friendly interface/website, possibly by porting it to a more open and sustainable PHP-MySQL core architecture. We would be glad to welcome either scholars in the field of Classical archaeology to work on the Lucanian data, or scholars from computer sciences to develop the tools (DB and WebGIS) used by archaeologists as part of an open access policy.

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