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Ancient Hellenic mosaic in ‘the Hall of Dragons and Dolphins’

Ancient Hellenic mosaic discovered in ‘the Hall of Dragons and Dolphins’

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Archaeology students excavating in ancient Kaulonia, in the southern Italian region of Calabria, have uncovered an ancient Hellenic Mosaic depicting dragons and dolphins.

The dig, which first began in 1998, took place near the town of Monasterace led by archaeologist Francesco Cuteri and involving students from Italian universities and by the University of Bahía Blanca, Argentina, in what Cuteri has dubbed a ‘major find’.

The mosaic is an important pre-Christian artefact which is of Greek origin and is the largest ever Hellenic mosaic of Magna Grecia (an area of southern Italy), measuring about 30 square metres.  It depicts dragons and dolphins and dates back to some time between 323 BC and 146 BC. The finding adds to a discovery made last year of another mosaic depicting a dragon, dolphin, rosette and six panels with floral motifs.

Cuteri said the work is ongoing and it is expected that more discoveries will be made. We are confident....we can find at least two other panels," he said, adding the new area has been dubbed 'the hall of dragons and dolphins'.

Magna Graecia (literally meaning "Great Greece") is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers. The colonists, who began arriving in the 8th century BC, brought with them their Hellenic civilization, which was to leave a lasting imprint in Italy, particularly on the culture of ancient Rome.

By April Holloway

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