Although archival documents signaled the presence of an ancient settlement on the plateau of Castiglione di Paludi as early as the eighteenth century, it was only in 1927 that the Honorary Inspector of Antiquities Giacinto Ippolito informed the Superintendent, Edward Galli, of the presence of relevant archaeological remains requiring an intervention, planned in 1932 but never realized.

As a result of looters’ illegal excavations along a stretch of the walls, it was decided in 1949 to begin a series of regular systematic surveys, coordinated by Giuseppe Procopio (1950-1956), local archaeological inspector. These surveys led to the discovery of the impressive city walls, the public area, with its characteristic building known as the "theater", and of the so-called "Long Wall" terracing. All these monuments enabled Procopio to identify Castiglione as a fortified settlement dated between the IV and the end of the III century BC.

A sample excavation conducted in front of the main access to the settlement, the "East Gate", revealed sacred elements: a votive deposit of terra cotta objects depicting female figures, a small clay model of a temple, and coins referable to the Brettian ethnos.

Structures made of blocks were documented on the southern plateau and a cave – already known from the report made by Vincenzo Padula (1870-1880) – was just partially explored for reasons of safety. A cave "so long that no one has yet seen the bottom. It's called the Grotto of Castiglione. There, a bronze human body and an arm were found. In the vicinities there are two streams, St. Martin and St. Elijah. The ruins of Castiglione are above the cave".

Finally, on the nearby Piana Agretto, Procopio brought to light the necropolis that revealed burials contemporary to the Hellenistic village and a more considerable number of graves referable to an Oenotrian community of the the early Iron Age (IX-VIII century BC).

With the exception of a very short sample excavation conducted in 1973 at the East Gate, systematic investigations were later directed by Pier Giovanni Guzzo and Maurizio Paoletti between 1978 and 1980, in order to define the spatial and chronological extension of the town. Their investigations also tracked and documented the site’s previous excavations.

From 1981 until 1995 the excavations of the Superintendence explored the area known as the "North Settlement", revealing a number of buildings with several rooms.

Between 2005 and 2006, the University of Rome "La Sapienza" (Prof. Enzo Lippolis) held a general review of the data, a survey on the plateaus and a new metrical survey carried out with a 3D laser scanner.

In 2008 the Superintendence conducted the last intervention to be undertaken on the site, focused mainly on the restoration of the walls.


Donatella Novellis

  • 1870-1880

    Castiglione: first mention of the ruins; Vincenzo Padula, local historian.
  • 1927

    Inspection and first detailed report on the site; Sir Giacinto Ippolito, Honorary Inspector of Antiquities and Art.
  • 1947-1949

    Unauthorized excavations; Pasquale Madeo, bricklayer from Paludi.
  • 1950-1956Walls, Northern plateau, “theatre” and nearby buildings; Piana Agretto, necropolis

    Archaeological excavations; Inspector Giuseppe Procopio.
  • 1973Eastern Gate

    Archaeological sample excavation; P.G. Guzzo, Archaeological Superintendence for the Province of Cosenza.
  • 1978-1980“Theatre” area, Eastern Gate with the so called “Triglyphs sample excavation”

    Archaeological sample excavations; P.G. Guzzo and Maurizio Paoletti (University of Cosenza).
  • 1981-1995Northern Settlement

    Archaeological excavation; Silvana Luppino (Archaeological Superintendence) with Adolfo Tosti.
  • 2005-2006Plateaus, walls and East Gate

    General data review, new research and metric survey with 3D laser scanner; European project CIRTER-PON, “Sapienza”, University of Rome (Enzo Lippolis) and the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Calabria.
  • 2008Walls, eastern stretch

    Archeological excavation; Silvana Luppino (Archaeological Superintendence) with Adolfo Tosti.

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