Visitors to Terina Archaeological Park will be captured by the charm of an until recently mysterious ancient city, which has only recently begun to disclose itself to scholars and tourists alike.
Terina was a colony of Crotone
A lot of authors have written about Terina. We know that it was a colony of Crotone, which could thus secure its outlet onto the Tyrrhenian Sea. We also know that Sybaris, later named Thurii, tried to bring it under its commercial and political influence. Finally, we know that after the Bruttians, it changed rulers several times, until it came under Roman rule. It was its loyalty to Rome that led to its destruction by Hannibal in the late 3rd century BC.
Terina thus disappeared from history.
For a very long time nobody knew any more where the city had been built. Then, following some chance discoveries, archaeological research began to increasingly focus on the present-day area. Some significant remains of dwellings allow today’s visitors to see once a thriving city destroyed by the fury of war.
Let’s imagine the last hours of a living and active polis. Let’s look at the remaining dwellings, warehouses, once crowded streets.
Terina’s wealth is testified by the artefacts kept in the Archaeological Museum of Lamezia Terme
In the Archaeological Museum of Lamezia Terme the finds from past and still ongoing excavation campaigns are collected and displayed.
Three coin treasures open the Magna Graecia section: the first is dedicated to the numerous finds from prehistoric times, and the third one are coins from the Middle Ages.
These coin treasures are valuable for many different reasons
First of all, they testify to the importance of trade in this area. The first one is also the oldest coin treasure in Magna Graecia, featuring also incuse coins from Sybaris, testifying to its strong economic supremacy; the second treasure from Curinga, within the same area, shows the prevalence of Crotone; finally, the coins in the third treasure testify to the independence of Terina.
Visiting the Terina Archaeological Park and looking around at the rich surrounding plain reaching down to the sea –where the harbour once stood, later obliterated by changes in the coastline – can help understand the important strategic position enjoyed by the cities of Magna Graecia. By trading not only their own produce but also large amounts of goods being shipped from the Ionian Sea to the southern Tyrrhenian Sea they would acquire enormous wealth.