Naples - Underwater geo-archaeological surveys at Castel dell'Ovo

Head: Mario Negri

From the myth of the siren Parthenope to the foundation of Palaepolis: to the origins of Magna Graecia
Year 2018

The project focused on the detection and scientific and popular dissemination of submerged anthropogenic structures, identified on the western side of Castel dell'Ovo (Naples). The primary objective of the research is to give back to the city of Naples an unknown portion of its territory, in relation to which it is also expected to contribute to the creation of tourism and employment opportunities.

The study has thrown light on one of the most "mysterious" areas of Neapolitan historiography and archaeology. The importance of the research relates firstly to the almost total absence of specific studies on the submerged part of the area (also from a geological point of view), and secondly, to the need for a complete revision of the bibliographic data (both as regards the sources and as regards the history of the studies), backing up the results obtained from the work carried out at sea.

This project aims to rewrite a new profile of the Neapolitan coastline, in the light of the underwater survey of tunnels cut into the tuff, identified in February 2016, and documented with funding from the IULM. This new profile led to the discovery that these galleries are part of a defensive system linked to the first landing of the colony of Palaepolis (mid-7th century BC) and as a natural consequence, a reinterpretation of the sources and mythology concerning the foundation of Palaepolis and the myth of the siren Parthenope.