Etruscan temple of Punta della Vipera (the name comes from the village) is located in Santa Marinella town.  The building is adjacent to the railroad tracks and near the residence of the Ocean Lawn. The temple dates back to 540-530 B.C. and together with the other little temple near to Marangone torrent  (VI century B.C.) was undoubtedly related to etruscan Castellina of Marangone, a fortified hill of about 130m in height already inhabited in the Bronze Age (1100 B.C.). Certainly, the temple was first noticed by G. Torraca in 1777 when he performed the first official excavation of Castellina behalf of the Papal States, but any testimony are now entirely lost.    Certainly a part of the building was destroyed during the passage of the railroad in 1859 and what was found during the excavation certainly fell into the hands of the workers as a souvenir.














The  Journal of the first excavation was made in 1964 by the archaeologist M. Torrelli, the area of the temple covers about 500 square meters, the archaic temple was composed of a temenos (enclosure walls) Heavy duty square plan and was within the temple to a single cell with two or four columns of wood covered with clay, and the vestibule (area between the cell and columns) and the porch were of earthenware. In addition to the temenos today remains the sacred well, the bothros (cut on stone connected to a well) and square-shaped part of the altar, carved by local volcanic stone, molded base with perfectly oriented to the north. The presence of the two wells used to dispose of ex-voto suggest that the first archaic cult was connected with the deities of the underworld (chthonic worship) which is very common for the first Etruscan (VIII-VI century B.C.). The temple was dedicated to the goddess Menerva (Greece Athena) who had healing powers and was renovated two and purifiers Sometimes, after the first year that the 384 B.C. Dionysius of Syracuse plundered the temples of Pyrgi and certainly this, it is evident from the fact that for the reconstruction of the terracotta decorations were used the same molds that were used to rebuild the temple B Pyrgi, the second is to be considered relevant to the founding of the nearby Roman colony of Castrum Novum in 264 B.C. The temple was the religious function until at least the second century B.C., after he fell into gradual disuse, until its demolition in the first century A.D. to make room for a Roman villa. The villa was built in part on the foundations of the temple and the building material of the temple was used to fill the mesh walls of the villa. Excavations has recovered part of the gable clay, a votive filled with coins, utensils and crockery used as anthropomorphic exvoto. Interesting are also some votive terracotta figurines depicting the god Aplu lyre (sounding the lyre), this is the greek god Apollo, only that for the Etruscans has always been connected with death. It is not clear why he was in the temple of Menerva, it is certain that in many depictions of the two deities are represented together. Perhaps Aplu has a value of paraedro (mating with a minor deity) for Menerva or perhaps relate to the chthonic cult was always in the temple. All the material is kept at the National Archaeological Museum of Civitavecchia .

Important is the finding of a lamella of lead in the original size of about 3x12cm with inscriptions on both sides so bustofredica.This plate (kept at the Museum of Villa Giulia ) presents a series of precepts on how to perform a rite, and dating from the fifth century BC Then it was part of the rituals pertaining to the first temple, the archaic.   The dating is also evident from the letters used, because a small portion of letters of the alphabet is recent (sixth century B.C.), while the other letters as  and   are archaic alphabet (VI-V century B.C.) to mean precisely the transition period between the late sixth and early fifth century B.C. He was trying a translation of the plate, but it is still unclear, the word appearing in the balance, we assumed an astronomical reference, but this hypothesis must be rejected. In fact, at the time of writing this constellation Reed did not exist and was part of the constellation Scorpius, and only in the 'year 80 BC the Romans broke away the claws of the scorpion to make it officially the constellation of the scales. From fragments left after the excavation, which is still present, we can reconstruct the entire life time of the temple. In fact you can see a number of pottery fragments as sealed dolii, loom weights, related to the Roman villa (II-I century B.C.) and some rare piece of cup calcidese import Greek, typical in Etruria from 550 B.C
 

 

 



Rollover Button Generator by Free-Buttons.org v2.0