Officials said Tuesday that archaeologists in southern Italy uncovered ancient warrior helmets and the ruins of a painted brick wall at a site that could have been a forerunner of a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.
According to the cultural ministry, during the recently completed excavation at Velia, scholars discovered a pair of good-condition helmets, the remnants of a house, vases with the Greek inscription for “sacred,” and metal pieces of what could have been weapons.
Massimo Osanna, the director of the State Museums, who previously took over excavations at Pompeii, Italy’s most famous excavated site, said the area explored at Velia most likely contained relics of offerings made to Athena, the mythological Greek goddess of war and wisdom, after an important naval battle in the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea.
Greek soldiers defeated Etruscan forces and their Carthaginian allies in the 6th-century B.C. naval battle of Alalia.
Velia, a part of Magna Graecia, is known for being the birthplace of Parmenides and Zeno, as well as an ancient Greek school of philosophy.