CATALOGO_ZEUSsenza marchi.indd


CATALOGO_ZEUSsenza marchi.indd
tioned contribute and inspires to further
studies, to new researches and above all
that could increase the sensibility in the
defense of the cultural goods, to protect
the patrimony and the to valuate the
Sindaco di Ugento
Assessore alla Cultura
of Pietro RODOLFO
It is possible to visit Salento through the
eyes of the mythic hero Enea who spoke
woods of haulm oak, eucalyptus and
ageless oak trees taking turns with aro-
“Humilemque videmus Italiam” (we
see the low shore of Italy). You could
matic plants, Indian fig-trees and scented agavi.
catch a glimpse of its modest heights
that decrease softly towards a dear indigo sea, that brings life to beaches of
There are no mountains. And the eyes
would sweep over far horizons running into the ancient architectures of
yellow, gracious shores, high rives that
breaking down weave a network of rock
the stone here and there: dry walls are
simple or complex, linear or winding or
on the coast.
One can journey in Salento like the
arranged in intricate patterns, assaulted
by myrtle, by the branches of the haulm
geographers and travellers of the 14th
century did as they especially praised
that “ beautiful, vague and plentiful
oak and of the thorny oak tree and
turned into the dwellings of reptiles and
insects, chased by the intense industrial
land”. One could then spot the rough
farming; the pinion, small pyramids of
plains beaten by the wind where the
cotica Corsica enables the stunted looking plants survive, stretches of centuries
old olive trees with their gnarled trunks,
stone laid closed to the gates of the crop
land, that silently told to the shepherds
not to use those grounds for the pasture
entangled and figuratively marked by
architectonic solutions, fortified together with the outhouse attached to it, noble
or functional. And then the Menhir, the
Dolmen and the Specchie.
The mountains are missing. And so are
the rivers. That’s why the eyes would
of their herds; the farms of the various
the strict layer of ungrateful rock, most
hard rock; fertile cloaks of tamed soils,
one over to crops, most strikingly represented by the fruitful wine yards, authentic flag of the wise and caring work
of the peasant and yonder, aboriginal
sweep over a landscape of rocky layers
and calcareous banks. A miser landscape
of soil and dryness, where the waters
nel”, a mixture of races and tribes, of
traditions and cultures, of beliefs and
rain, where do not staunch, find a place
in the bowels of the soil, creating tanks
religions. And how could not one find
the signs of this crucible in the popu-
from which people have drawn water for
centuries through the digging of deep
wells. A landscape where the nature has
lar rite of tarantismo, that since as far
as the Middle ages has egged women
bitten by the tarantula to go on pilgrim-
been hard and where only the climate
and the stubbornness of man has made
age on 29th June to the well of the small
church of San Paolo in Galatina, where
it possible to produce the good products
that for centuries has been made thanks
the wild dance to the sound of pizzica
tarantata, and the coloured ribbons tied
to the noble soil.
But Salento is not only the land of sun
and sea, of red dry soil and sirocco
around the wrist, eliminate the deadly
Or in the sword dance, that original folk
winds. Salento is most of all of history
dance which one can admire from the
and a meeting point of cultures. It is a
transmission of stimulus and messages,
of fascination of myths and signs of ancient civilizations.
“Placed as it is, located in the Italian
sunset of the 15th of August to the dawn
of the 16th in front of the sanctuary of
san Rocco in Torrepaduli, a part of Ruffano.
Or in the pizzica di core, the type of
peninsula, closest to the Balkans, with
a view of the channel through which
the Ionic sea insinuates to create the
long and narrow Adriatic sea, the spur
of Italy, stretched out towards the seas
pizzica tarantata which represents the
feeling of love, eroticism and passion
in the courting rite between a man and
a woman: a woman begins to dance to
the frantic rhythm of tambourines and
of Levante and towards the Suez chan-
violins, waving a red scarf, the colour
of love, with which she then invites to
dance a man pointed out by the whim.
Bored with the companion, she invites
another and another one and once again
to her pleasure, giving the scarf only to
the man able to steal her heart, falling in
with every desire and fantasy of hers.
Or in the Grecìa salentina, that singular
territory where the griko is still alive,
similar to modern Greek and where you
could still witness, to just a couple of
years ago, the religious catholic functions of the Greek rite.
History and culture, but also delightful art: Salento is an enchanting shrine
of artistic and architectonic beauty. It
is a land incredibly rich of testimonies
which ranges from the Palaeolithic settlements to the signs of the Greek colonization, from the signs of the Roman
rule to the Byzantine settlement, from
the signs of feudality to the Norman
territorial organization, from the signs
of economic Spring of the renaissance
era to the splendour of the baroque re-
precocity of the Liberty style.
Lecce particularly offers an unforgettable picture, the historic centre retains
numerous wonders: from the famous basilica di Santa Croce, where the Baroque
of Lecce comes to its full expression,
passing through piazza Sant’Oronzo
with the statue of the homonymous Santo Prottetore to the roman amphitheatre,
that testifies the vitality of the Antica
Lupiae. And then Piazza Duomo, correctly considered one of the most beautiful of Italy, in which the baroque exuberance links to the warm luminosity of
the Lecce stone which in starry summer
evenings, assumes a magic atmosphere.
Not to forget the splendid coast towns.
Otranto, for example, an Adriatic pearl
with a coast touched by most pure waters, an enchanting castle and a cathedral
among the largest of Salento, enriched
by a mosaic floor from the 12th century.
The Ionic beauty Gallipoli, also protected by a castle and rich of churches and
chapels that makes the historical centre
highly picturesque. And then Ugento,
ligiousness, from refined Rococo to the
dawns and yellow sunsets, of hot sun
and blue sea, of architectural and land-
a paradise for seaside tourism, antique
Mess apian centre, Roman municipium,
victim of Saracens and the Turks with
its castle, cathedral, Mess apian walls,
museum of archaeology that preserves
the famous “Zeus of Ugento”, considered one of the masterpieces of the
Magna Grecian bronze period.
And at last, the delights of the inland
parts: among which Galatina, a dynamic centre that conserves the main Apulia
late gothic pictorial in the church Santa
Caterina, dating back to the 1420, with
the history of Christ, of the virgin and of
the homonymous saint; between Lecce
and Santa Maria di Leuca, there are testimonies of the antique Mess apian, the
people of the two seas, kings of these
lands before the Roman conquer: the
awesome Megalithic walls at Nardò,
Cavallino and especially Muro Leccese. Salento is thus a continuous circle
of nature, culture, history and art. It is
a wise mixture of communal identities
linked to the landscapes of struggle and
labour. It is the incredible land of pink
scape wonders, of history and traditions,
of hospitality and warm-heartedness, of
intense scents and flavours, that make
you dream.
Francesco D’ANDRIA
Cavallino 2002
defines a hierarchy of built-up areas of
which Ugento is an undoubtable point
of reference.
As far back as in the Ironage, there
The Messapian Zeus statue found together with the painted tomb, rich with
bronze plates and ceramic figures, are
just some of the clues to the remarkable
reality of the settled Ugento in the Archaic age.
The slow proceeding of the investigation and intense research of sites close
to Ugento, like the Fani farm in Salve,
would have been a village of huts in the
zone that today corresponds to the historical centre.
Despite much destruction of the area,
features of the ancient fortifications
from the Hellenistic age still remain,
and these present an impressionable
development in length, approximately
4900 metres long and that extends over
an area of 145 hectares.
It is even harder to appreciate the extension of the Archaic villages of which the
importance is ensured precisely by the
findings of Zeus and the bronze tomb.
These are concentrated on the highest
points of the settled area, partly corresponding to the historical centre.
In that stage Ugento could present an
“proto-urban” arrangement similar to
the one conserved by Cavallino and
In the Archaic Messapian established
system, it is possible to recognise three
greater centres:
Oria in the north, Cavallino in the centre
and Ugento in the south. Around these
dominant centres smaller villages are
spread in appropriate positions in order
to control the territory.
Like the other major Messapian installations , Ugento hade a connection to
the sea. The landing-place of the San
Giovanni tower, probably dating from
the Hellenistic age, was situated on a
vast area along the coast.
In corrisondence to the coast tower,
Ugento has left traces of an Archaic
activity (fragments of vases made of a
mixture of local production, Ionic cups
and commercial amphora).
di Roberto MARUCCIA
lence the “sites in a cave”, they do not
represent stable settlements; they rather
connect to functions of cultural charac-
The appearance of Prehistoric Apulia
and in particular the most southern parts
of Salento present light evolutional differences compared to the sites in Gargano and in the Bari area.
The appropriations depend on the territory and the Pleistocene landscape
outlining a valid choice of camp, coming from the fact that Ugento is close
to the mountain ranges of Calaturo and
The most noted settlement of this territory, the district Focone, tells us of
an evolution in the litho epigravettiano
industries, from which the most ancient
examples are found at Cipolliane and
Taurisano, these foretell the later ones
of Romanelli.
The Eneolithic facies of Salento known
as “ Zinzulusa” equal other settlements,
like Grotta della Trinità of Ruffano,
Grotta delle Veneri of Parabita, Grotta
dei Cervi of Porto Badisco and the first
stage of Grotta Cappuccini of Galatone.
Although we can document in preva-
ter, for example, Grotta cod. Don Carrillo and probably the Grotta Artanisis
as well, both of them situated at the foot
of Sera delle Fontane.
The Bronze Age showed a typological
difference in how the settlements were
constructed; they tended to be arranged
more and more along the coast. This
marked a profound change also in the
material culture, which became evident
in the settlements, both in length as in
width , besides the presence of fortification structures, the most representative
examples being: Roca Vecchia and Torre
The following locations represent the
principal coastal and per coastal settlements of the Ugento territory: Terenzano, Le Pazze, Mammalie, Artanisi and
Madonna del Casale that persevere at
the foot of the mountain ranges of Calaturo and Fontane.
In the recent and final stage of the
Bronze Age the cave settlements were
abandoned, instead defence appeared
on naturally higher ground, arranged in
strategic positions in order to control the
territory. This prevail the vicinity to the
sea with big gully and water sources.
Ugento 22 December 1961
“ The pickax stopped, it had struck the
rock… it’s not difficult that this should
happen here, in this country that rests
its foundation on the chalky bed. How
much work to build a veranda… and we
have still only taken away a meter of
earth, and its not even any good for the
land; it’s full of small shards so we took
it to the outskirts of the town and made
two large heaps of it.
And now too the rock… it seems to be
stone however, a square stone, regular,
curious! I call the others, it’s too big to
be able to move by myself… the effort
of three people is just about enough to
remove it, then to great amazement a
hole opens underneath this block… as
big as the cover that protected it… how
strange!! I go down into the rocky opening.. no one would believe me were there
not other persons there with me to testify to it…but… there is something hidden
inside!! NU PUPU………IL PUPO…..”
ered one of the masterpieces of Magna
Grecia’s bronze sculptures began like
The statue, known by the name of “Poseidon of Ugento”, was discovered during the digging for the foundations of a
veranda that Mister Luigi Corsano was
building in front of his house… certainly not thinking of bringing to light
something extraordinary, of inestimable
value, of indefinable beauty, from a hollow covered with a stone that would reveal itself to be a Doric capital decorated with rosettes in relief that the statue
surmounted in antiquity.
At the moment of discovery “il pupo”,
the name by which the work was designated immediately from the beginning,
turned out to be lame and missing its
right hand… it was not beautiful, and
also gave off a foul smell, stinking and
disgusting, due to the organic wastes
that the nearby dwellings heaped on to
the place where it was found and which
had evidently polluted the piece as well,
so that it was carefully undertaken to re-
The fascinating story of what is consid60