Contrada Diana Archaeological Park

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The Contrada Diana Archaeological Park is an area located to the east of the historical center of Lipari. It was officially established in 1971, but archaeological research began in 1948 by the archaeologists Luigi Bernabò Brea and Madeleine Cavalier. Over the years a Greek necropolis, some remains of the city walls and two thermal buildings have been found.

History of the Diana Archaeological Park

The Contrada Diana Archaeological Park is an archaeological area located on a flat area east of the historical center of Lipari. It takes its name from the street where the first finds were made, which is now Via Guglielmo Marconi. In this part of Lipari there was a settlement of the late Neolithic and early Metal Age, on which the Greek necropolis and later the Roman necropolis were built. The first excavations were carried out in 1948 by the archaeologists Luigi Bernabò Brea and Madeleine Cavalier. At that time, more than 2,500 tombs and parts of the surrounding wall came to light. In 1971 the Contrada Diana Archaeological Park was officially born.

The Necropolis of Contrada Diana

The first site to be studied in the Diana Archaeological Park is a large Greek necropolis dating back to the 6th century B.C., later used by the Romans until the 2nd century A.D. Excavations here have unearthed nearly 3,000 tombs, all oriented north-south and stacked in several orders. The burial rite used by both Greeks and Romans was mixed and included both inhumation and cremation, with a clear predominance of the former over the latter. The tombs contained grave goods such as vases, terracotta figurines and jewelry, all of which are now on display in the Archaeological Museum of Lipari. Walking along via Guglielmo Marconi it is possible to see the remains of funerary monuments from the Roman Imperial period.

The city walls

The archaeological excavations carried out in the area of the Park of Diana have brought to light the remains of two different city walls. The first dates back to the foundation of the ancient Greek city of Lipara. Parallel to these walls, the inhabitants of Lipari built a second line of fortifications in the 1st century B.C. during the civil war of 36 B.C. between Sextus Pompey and Octavian. In the park of Contrada Diana you can see the reconstruction of the Greek fortification of the first half of the 4th century BC. The remaining part is only a section of about 50 meters, because many blocks were used in the 12th century AD for the construction of the Cathedral of Lipari. Inside the walls you can see the rooms of the Roman dwellings, built in the 2nd century AD.

The spas of the Contrada Diana Park

Also part of the Diana Archaeological Park is the thermal complex in Via Mons. Bernardino Re. The remains unearthed suggest that it was a public building of the imperial age. The following can be seen: some parts of the floor mosaics, the drainage channels, the remains of a horseshoe shaped basin, the frigidarium and some adjacent rooms interpreted as tepidarium and calidarium. A short distance away, in via Franza, another small thermal building was discovered. It consisted of three rooms, each with a cocciopesto floor.

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