Von Mehren’s impressive volume provides one means of gauging the progress that has been made in studies of ancient cemeteries in the region surrounding the Gulf of Naples. The author has undertaken the daunting task of publishing funerary data that had been recovered decades earlier, during a period when physical anthropology in Italy remained a research area largely separated from mainstream classical archaeology. The information available to von Mehren had been collected during a four month “rescue project” in 1967–1968 at the Località De Santis I, after which the field notes and artifacts were held in storage. The area excavated was approximately 25 x 26 m “located in Picentino, the western cemetery” of Pontecagnano’s “three large areas home to more than 10,000 tombs” (9). In 1985, Ingrid Strøm arranged for these warehoused materials to be restored to Naples and then studied by a small team of Danish students. The resulting publication is a beautifully presented collection of data relating to the grave goods from “sixty-two tombs, of which six are empty” (9). The Orientalizing period (defined herein as 725–550 BCE) is represented by 50 of the 56 tombs found with grave goods, and the “last six tombs are Lucanian and can be dated to the 4th and 3rd centuries BC” (9).
American Journal of Archaeology
Archaeological Institute of America
Becker, M. J. (2020). Book Review of The Orientalizing and Lucanian Tombs from Loc. De Santis I at Pontecagnano, by Margit von Mehren. American Journal of Archaeology, 124(3) http://dx.doi.org/10.3764/ajaonline1243.Becker