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The Faldetta Archaeological Collection is housed in the Palazzina del Belvedere on the Brindisi seafront. The building, born at the beginning of the 20th century as a final arrangement for the Virgilian staircase, is located a few steps from the Roman Columns and from what is claimed to be the house where the poet Virgil died in 19 BC. The panoramic terrace, known as "del Belvedere" overlooks the port, which was the scene of the battle between Caesar and Pompey during the siege of Brindisi in 49 BC.

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As ordinarily happens with private archaeological collections, unfortunately all data relating to the provenance and context of origin of the finds has been lost, so that the identification of the factories and the very dating of the individual objects are to be considered generic and are based on stylistic or formal evaluations . However, it is possible to believe that the 363 finds are essentially of Apulian origin.

The collection has been subjected to protection pursuant to Law 1 June 1939 n. 1089, with Ministerial Decree of 18 October 1978 proposed by the Archaeological Superintendency of Puglia.

The finds conserved there cover a chronological arc that goes from the end of the Recent Bronze Age, with the Mycenaean stirrup jar belonging to TE IIIB, to the Middle Ages.

The most conspicuous nucleus is made up of terracotta vases and clay figurines, but there are also finds in other materials such as bronze, glass and vitreous paste.

Among the imported ceramics there are piriform and globular aryballoi and Corinthian alabastra, datable between the 7th and 6th centuries. B.C. abundantly attested throughout the Mediterranean basin and in central-southern Italy. The decorative motifs are typical of Corinthian pottery: zoomorphic friezes with real or fantastic animals, combat scenes and mythological representations.

In addition to the Corinthian imports there are 10 examples of Attic black-figure pottery, mainly lekythoi with scenes of Dionysian combat and processions. Attic black-figure pottery was considered a truly prestigious item by the local elites, so much so that attempts at imitation failed to supplant imports which dominated the market due to their superiority thanks to the particular and imitable pink color of the clay.

Typical of the archaic Magna Graecia contexts are the Ionic cups, widespread with the affirmation of the custom of the symposium which favored the flourishing of this vascular typology, so as to be made in the colonial context and to become qualitatively equal to the original models. Examples of locally produced Ionic type cups B1 and B2 are kept inside the building.

The fulcrum of the collection is the Italiot ceramic with red figures, the specimens of which almost all belong to the Apulian production. In addition to the different vascular forms, there are 6 bell-shaped craters in the building. Of particular note is the crater with the depiction of a theatrical scene, attributed to the painter of Tarporley, an Apulian potter active between the end of the 5th century BC. C. and the beginning of the 4th century BC. C. Typical of this personality is the representation of figurative scenes with a theatrical mask, but what makes the specimen preserved in the building rare and peculiar is the presence of two female theatrical masks in the same scene. Pertaining to the circle of the Tarporley painter (perhaps the follower of the "Long Overfalls Group") and connected to the world of theatre, is the crater with the scene from Aeschylus' Oresteia. In the representation there is Orestes chased by one of the Erinyes, and Apollo. The latter, perhaps due to an afterthought by the ceramist, is represented with a spear instead of the typical laurel branch, thus losing the typical attributes of the god and resulting in a simple standing figure.


The collection also includes ceramic vases with overpainted black paint, cd. in the style of Gnathia, decorated with vegetal and zoomorphic motifs and plastic elements such as pods and handles with Herculean knot in imitation of metal vascular models.

Being surrounded by important Messapic centres, there is an abundant presence in the collection of indigenous ceramics, achrome and geometric and sub-geometric. The characteristic shape of this class is the trozzella, whose name derives from the cylindrical element positioned on the handles, called "trozza" in the local dialect.

Next to the lamps of various types (from the Apulian type with black paint to the African type) there are examples of coroplastics. The latter initially spread in the Taranto area, then in the colonial sphere, from a Greek matrix which over time developed into an autonomous and independent style, later giving rise to the birth of new workshops in the Apulian world such as Canosa, Ruvo and Egnazia . Unfortunately, the lack of data on provenance does not allow us to determine the area of production of the clay statuettes.

A display case is dedicated to bronze fibulae dating back to between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. C. and other Roman metal objects such as a mirror, surgical tweezers, rings and a steelyard.

The exhibition closes with blown glass containers, glass paste and terracotta sculptures and statuettes of Indian origin.

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