Prehistory

The Gaudo culture.

The fertile plain around Paestum has long attracted
settlement, and numerous prehistoric finds have been made.

On the second floor of the museum a some of the best of these are displayed. The finest are those from the Gaudo culture.

In 1943, the invading Allied armies decided to put an aerodrome a kilometre north of Paestum, near the village of Gaudo.
The work soon cut through some prehistoric burials. At the at first they were ignored, but  then a young British officer,  Lt John Brinson carried out some excavations, and rescued what has become the prime site of the Eneolithic,  that is the late Neolithic to early Bronze Age in Southern Italy, dating to about 4000 BC.

The site was a cemetery where most of the burials  consisted of a pit with two rooms about either side of the central shaft  where the burials were made. This is a reconstruction of one of the  burial pits with two skeletons and some pots

 

One of the urns from Gaudo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pots, all double pots connected by a single handle are also found in the prehistory section on the second floor of the museum at Paestum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are  sometimes called ‘askoi’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another pot with a side handle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This exotic pot  with a lid is  similar to those found in the Villanovan culture and belongs to the earliest Iron Age of Italy. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another fine Villanovan pot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The neolithic finds from Paestum are unexpectedly rich!

 

On to the story of How Paestum was discovered. 

 

23rd November 2014

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