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Eritrea, new discoveries at the Adulis archaeological site

Eritrea, nuove scoperte nel sito archeologico di Adulis
Eritrea, nuove scoperte nel sito archeologico di Adulis

A new phase of the Italian archaeological mission in Adulis, an ancient port city and the most important archaeological site in Eritrea, has come to an end. The latest excavation operations, as led by the project’s scientific director, Prof. Serena Massa of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, lasted several weeks and brought to light new ceramic artefacts of great historical significance. Thanks to those new discoveries, it will be possible to study the early beginnings of the settlement, which can even be placed in a period between 1500 and 500 B.C., far earlier than the rest of the emerged city, in which the well-known early Christian basilicas stand out.

The mission, conducted by the Cattolica in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Milan, the Research Centre on the Eastern Desert (CeRDO) in Varese and the Commission for Culture and Sport in Eritrea, has been operational in the country since 2011, thanks in part to the contribution of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS – Khartoum Office) and Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation funds reserved for archaeological missions. The project is one of the largest areas of Italian-Eritrean collaboration in the cultural sector, with great potential for expansion, having for the moment only brought to light a minimal part of the 40 hectares of submerged heritage of the emporium city, with the goal of making Adulis, an ancient crossroads of Aksumite, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine trade in the Horn of Africa, the first archaeological park in sub-Saharan Africa.


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