ICCROM Mora Samples Collection
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Ascea: MRA-ITA-Vel003

Type Sample Item

Sample ID


Sample Material Type

Mural painting

Sample Sub-type


Dimensions (cm)



weight value (g)
all fragments together

Other info about sample identity

Old ID Reference: "Velia III [...] nel riempimento in mattoni crudi"

Geographic Location



Italy (ITA)
Parco Archeologico Elea-Velia

Historical note about the site/monument

Elea-Velia is an archaeological site located in the area of Salerno, in southern Italy. It was originally a Greek settlement as part of the Magna Grecia and became Roman after. The city was founded in the second half of the 6th century BCE from the Greek native to Phocaea, an Ionic Greek city of the western coast of Anatolia. At that time, the Greek fled due to the Persian pressure from south and headed towards the western side of the Mediterranean. After being defeated from the Etruscan-Carthaginian coalition in the battle of Alalia, Corsica (541-535 BCE), they moved towards the southern Italic peninsula and founded a new settlement called Elea at the time. During the Greek phase, the city engaged in a solid network of economical contacts and its convoluted social-political organization. The place was culturally lively and was interested by the creation of the Eleatic philosophical school that included prominent personalities like Parmenides, his pupil Zeno and Melisso of Samos. In the 5th century BCE, Elea went through the threatens of the Lucan, an Italic population aiming to expand in the whereabout and that already in the city of Posidonia (Paestum). Even so, the Elean managed to resist the Lucan strength. Following the inclusion of the Magna Grecia in the Roman realms, the city was attributed a new name, Velia, and was quite participative to the national politics, social and cultural occurrences. Indeed, they supplied ships for the Punic wars (3rd-2nd century BCE) and priestesses for the cult of Ceres. Additionally, Velia was a military basis of the Roman navy under Brutus (44 BCE) and Octavianus (38 BCE). This last event occurred after gaining the status of Roman municipality, nonetheless maintaining Greek language and the right of independent coining. Velia kept its importance as a commercial centre, aristocratic residency till the end of the 1st century, but the silting up of harbours and the later construction of via Popilia to join the north and the south of the peninsula, Velia lost its privileges and got increasingly neglected. As a result, the city diminished in importance and richness [1]. Later, the settlement changed name several times and several possessors handed on it, till being abandoned completely in the mid-17th century. The site consists of five main areas: one of each cardinal coordinate (northern, southern, western and eastern district) and the acropolis, that are under study [2].

Further reading:
[1] Greco, Giovanna and Krinzinger, Fritz (1994). Velia. Studi e ricerche. Modena: F. C. Panini. ISBN: 8876863087.
[2] Cicala, Luigi (2013). Il Quartiere occidentale di Elea-Velia. In: Mélanges de l'École française de Rome - Antiquité, 125-1. DOI: 10.4000/mefra.1300.