Excavations by the Archaeological Soprintendenza for Molise and the Università degli Studi del Molise have brought to light 18 Byzantine tombs in the neighborhood of Marinelle Vecchie, just outside Campomarino on the coast of Molise. Such a discovery is so far unique in the area. Lombard presence is known in the region, but there is little other evidence for Byzantine activity in the 6th century.
Among the finds were amphorae and marbles with connections to Palestine, North Africa, Egypt and the opposite shore of the Adriatic, along with a Christian inscription dated to the 6th century CE. It is only the third such inscription known from Molise, according to Gianfranco De Benedittis of the Università degli Studi del Molise in Campobasso. The two previous date to the 4th and 5th centuries.
Work will continue with the hopes of locating a settlement connected with the necropolis. The excavation began a year ago, after a six-year study of the area with ground-penetrating radar, and was sponsored by the Regional Assessor for Culture Sandro Arco and the town of Campomarino.
(Via Il Tempo, Primapaginamolise.it, Termoli Online, Yahoo! News and Il Sannio Quotidiano)