October 10, 2015

"Scavi e vino: Qualche ricordo di archeologia e di Buccino" by R. Ross Holloway

Scavi e vino by R. Ross Holloway
Scavi e vino: Qualche ricordo di archeologia e di Buccino (Excavations and wine: Some Memories of Archaeology and Buccino) by R. Ross Holloway. Torino, Martate Edizioni, 2015.

Preface by Giuseppe Arduino (Italian to English text) 
Robert Ross Holloway, an archaeologist well known for his numerous excavations in Sicily and Magna Grecia and also outside the field of archaeology, has concentrated in this brief account the “Memories” of his archaeological campaigns of excavations at Buccino (Volcei), made in the period between 1968 and 1974, years particularly significant for the area of Campania-Lucania and Volcei. We must remember that in 1968 there occurred at Paestum the sensational discovery of the so-called “Tomb of the Diver” by my distinguished professor Mario Napoli. 
At that time I was a student in high school already possessed by an limitless passion for archaeology. I was attracted by the excavations of the archaic necropolis at the Campo sportivo, which took place in 1967 and started again in 1970 by the good natured professor Venturino Panebianco, then director of the Provincial Museums of the Salernitano. I was honored to make his acquaintance a decade later, when he assigned me the study of the 13 burials of the Campo sportivo. This study had been partially published in the volume Volcei of the late lamented prof. Vittorio Bracco.
Gregory Daugherty, Eunice Whittlesey, George Parker and R. Ross Holloway
Tufariello, 1971
Though the excavations of the “Campo sportivo” had been fruitful, the necropolis had never been completely explored. In addition, the enigma of the megalithic walls of San Mauro remained unsolved so that Grieco, who was very much influenced by the readings of Lacava and Canale Parola, incorrectly called them “Pelasgic walls”. This definition was accepted with reserve by Antonio Marzullo on the occasion of his on-the-spot investigation in San Mauro in 1931. The excavations of Ross Holloway ascertained the fact that at San Mauro, the area of which was already frequented in the Early Neolithic, a sanctuary was built in the III-II century B.C. dedicated to the water divinity, a cult known elsewhere in the italic "chora."  It suffered destruction probably at the hands of the rebels led by Spartacus on the way to Foro d’Annio, where according to Sallustius they sowed death and destruction. Between the end of the Republic and the early Roman Empire, the terrace was reused for different purposes. The investigations of Ross Holloway also extended to the other side of the Buccino valley, not too far from the confluence of the rivers Bianco-Tanagro, in the areas of Sant’Antonio and Tufariello. In these areas he had brought to light a prehistoric necropolis similar to the one of Gaudo in Paestum, and a fortified village of the Early Bronze Age. We must also remember the investigations by professor Stephen L. Dyson of Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut) who discovered the rural villas in the ager Volceianus.
Catheryn Cheal and Gregory Daugherty, Tufariello, 1971
I remember when, in the summer of 1974 professor Ross Holloway arrived in Buccino, with his inseparable red Renault 4 together with Giuseppe Leuci, director of the Institute of Paleontology of the University of Naples and a young, polite and quiet Claudio Tessaro. They all were going to San Mauro, were I went too with Armando Di Leonardo, a friend of Leuci's. There after I established a correspondence with that agreeable and learned American archaeologist, as the first letter he sent me on 22 October 1974 proves. I would like to point out that he has always fulfilled all my requests with kindness and precision and I am very grateful to him for his excellent review of my book.
R. Ross Holloway, Tufariello
In his Buccinesi Memories the Author recalls his close collaborators praising each of them for their ability and the responsibility they undertook in the archaeological investigation. He also recalls an amusing episode when the architect Julian Witthlesey, while sitting on an hydrogen bottle, was calmly smoking a cigarette. Above all he remembers when on 20 July 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon. A municipal delegation brought him from Tufariello to Buccino to celebrate him for this triumph.
Obviously wine has nothing to do with excavations, except when presses or wine amphoras are discovered, but Ross Holloway can still remember the delicious wine of “Zio Rosario”, an old peasant of Pareti. Let’s not forget that, in the excavations here, there was discovered a villa of the II-I century B.C. It had architectural elements worthy of its affluent landlord. In fact, there were olive presses and a depot for the olive oil. This is evidence of a tradition consolidated over centuries.