mythical city of the south Pontine
Did it ever exist?
In many Latin texts there is a reference to a mythical city by the name of Amyclae, which some claim rose in an unspecified place between Terracina and Fondi, passing through Sperlonga. No one knows exactly where this phantom city was located, more cited than told, since all the writings that give it a semblance of reality speak of a city on the plain and, at least for what is visible, to date, there is none. trace.
AMYCLAE: WHO SAYS HAVE FOUND IT
In February 2007, however, the study published the previous year by two university researchers, Lorenzo Quilici and Stefania Quilici Gigli, he and the University of Naples her, was relaunched by a thematic magazine, for which the remains were analyzed in the field of a fortified pre-Roman city that rises behind Fondi, the Roman Fundi founded later on the plain, whose etymological root releases this city from any hypothesis of twinning with the one that rose a little higher up. In the study, the connection between the fortified city and Amyclae is timidly risky, were it not for the fact that the word Amyclae was inserted nonchalantly in the official title of the research which obviously opened the door to the national relaunch of the news.
The traced walls rise on Monte Pianara, a limestone hill that reaches 300 m in height and is described by the two scholars as “mostly barren and strongly steep”, with slopes inclined between 25 ° and 30 °. The two researchers carried out a thorough inspection of the Pianara site, documenting step by step all the sides of what appears to be a polygonal fortification within which there was probably a town whose origins and history remain unknown to us.
The fortification, for the purposes of the study, was divided into 46 observation segments in such a way as to carry out a meticulous reconnaissance work. Fragments of tiles, amphorae, doli, crockery have been found and found, and these fragments of recovered pottery have allowed us to date the invoice (V-IV century BC) thanks to the comparison with other finds of similar shape characterized in other areas of Italy . In this area, the two Quilici themselves admit that it is difficult to hazard objective hypotheses on the Roman and pre-Roman presence due to the scarce archaeological reconnaissance activity.
Pre-Roman walls found on Mount Pianara. Two researchers hypothesize to be part of the fortification of the mythical city of Amyclae [Source: Lacittàdifondi.it]
Also mentioned in the study is the flourishing current agricultural activity, very prolific in the foundations, which is “more entrepreneurial and devastating, as it is prepared with mechanical means that open new tracks and level reliefs, giving a new form, even cadastral, to the places “. In fact,on the hill adjacent to that of Pianara, the two researchers write that it was no longer possible “Recognize any remains, while the old aerial surveys documented not a few structures [ancient, editor’s note]”.
At the end of their research, Lorenzo Quilici and Stefania Quilici Gigli add that “[…] on Mount Pianara we recognized a large city, which emerged at that time, albeit not yet in the most ancient phase, dominating the great plain, on the passes and on the vast lakes open to the sea. Perhaps the city on Mount Pianara could be identified precisely with Amyclae, which became legendary with its abandonment at the time of the development of the Roman city of Fondi.”. This propensity to entrust the foundations of the national announcement of the discovery of Amyclae to probability, conflicts with no little stridency with the appropriately scientific attitude adopted during the reconnaissance of the Pianara site.
Parts of the built-up area inside the fortification at the Pianara site, behind Fondi [Source: Lacittàdifondi.it]
The study, however, remains an excellent work on the basis of a city which, if not Amyclae, could be studied as the polygonal walled city of the Ausoni Mountains.
History is written and rewritten only thanks to the precious work of archaeologists, all the specific scientific studies and research in general, all preparatory steps to the discovery of that was really the genesis of each local tradition.
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