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Heritage and Culture
The sacred area of Griso Laboccetta

The only sacred area in the ancient Rhegion (Reggio) was certainly the sanctuary located and called Griso Laboccetta. So called after the owner of the land on which it was construced. It was in antiquity found where today we can see three blocks of via Tripepi, via Aschenez, via Palamolla and via 24 Maggio.
In this vast area the most important Greek sanctuary in Reggio has been found.

The first archaeological finds in this area date back to the end of the 1800 when, during some digging work, a large number of terracotta articles came to light. In 1883, between the property of Taraschi and Barilla, the first deposit. Since then many statues came to light, many of which representing female gods, offers, animals (small pigs, doves, foxes, hens) and female statues of various sizes in addition to hundreds of small vases in a multitude of forms. The most interesting find however found in the area was a painted low relief in terracotta, the now famous “Lastra Griso Laboccetta” that shows two young ladies in archaic style in movement. This plaque, dating back to the last quarter of the 6th century BC was part of the decoration of a sacred building.

The fact that a sanctuary occupied this position even back in archaic periods is further confirmed by the discovery of decorative architectural elements found during the excavation.
Primarily the excavations made by de Franciscis that in 1959-1960 brought to light the foundations of a group of small archaic temples as well as a large number of figurines.
Unfortunately we are unable to reconstruct the monuments that occupied this vast area as the excavations made during the 19th century were quite superficial and those following the earthquake of 1908 found the topographical situation much changed. Only on the edge of via Torrione can we see the foundations of a temple (small sacred building) datable, following a building analysis, to the 6th century BC which presents traces of rebuilding with square blocks of sandstone which are from the 4th century BC.

The only thing that you can confirm for certain is that the life of the sanctuary continued through to the archaic era (7th century BC) and through the Hellenistic Greek and Roman period, remaining a hugely important point of reference in the history of the polis calcidese (inhabitants of Rhegion), as the abbundant quantity of material found in the various deposits in the area in which they have been found confirms.Based on the examination of the remains of the gifts left to the gods you can also deduce that the sanctury was probably dedicated to a cult of the god Demetra and her daughter Kore – Persefone, a cult which is characterised by the plurality of the aspects and the ritual practices which were linked to the various cycles of female life.

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