La Sapienza - Università di Roma

logo de La Sapienza per la stampa


The archaeological excavations at the site of Pyrgi now boast a live webcam that will allow all interested parties to observe the dig in real time, thanks to a project implemented by Sapienza University, the CNR National Institute of Crystallography, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the Lazio Region.

Pyrgi is not only one of the most important sanctuary and maritime ports of ancient Caere, but also one of Sapienza’s first great university excavations. The port and sanctuary of Pyrgi, which are located near Santa Severa, just south of Rome, played a key role in the history of the ancient Mediterranean. Caere, present-day Cerveteri, was one of the most important Etruscan cities and became wealthy through its control of maritime traffic control. Geographically, it was the first landing port for those sailing the Tyrrhenian from the South.

The Sanctuary of Pyrgi is one of the few mentioned by ancient literary sources and is related to crucial historical events determining the political and economic balance of the Mediterranean area. Three inscribed gold plates, one of the most important discoveries of Italian archaeology, were discovered at the sanctuary.

Current excavations, which are underway in the area between the sanctuary and the port, are contributing to a better understanding of Pyrgi's urban structure (viability, cadastral division, neighbourhood organisation), possible defensive systems (evoked by the same Greek name "Pyrgoi" - the towers) and the relationship with the "Maritime Colony" founded by Romans in 273 BC.

Excavations at Pyrgi begain in 1957 as an on site-school that has trained generations of Italian and foreign archaeologists.