Ancient city of Buca

Archeology · Termoli

Later numerous archaeological finds, it is discovered the existence of a underwater site in the sea part between the Sinarca Tower and the Coastal Tower of Petacciato. In this area, better known as “Aspro”, there is the ancient city of Buca.

The first systematic on-site studies date back to 1975 when arch. and prof. Luigi Marino, started a research within the activities set up by the Restoration Institute. The results allowed to locate two large submerged “spots”, of triangular form, separated by a “canal” and two barriers parallel to the coast. In the late 1970s, prof. Filippo di Donato, using some infrared aerial photographs taken on the north coast of Termoli, communicated the existence of a submerged city appropriate to the phenomenon of bradyseism. Another analysis was started in the 1990s by prof. Piergiorgio Data and from these researches were produced video images by dr. Sergio Cipolla that aired on national and local television networks. The exploration has covered a total area of approx. 1000 sqm. and has located remains of perimeter walls of varying height, from a few centimeters to 4 meters; different brick or limestone walls; three platforms of quadrangular constructions; a clay building; various slabs of different sizes; a doric column and other different materials. According to prof. Data, the submersion of the coastline may have been caused by by a landslide or an earthquake, and it was the ancient oppidum frentano of Buca, an important maritime port in Augusto’s time, cited by Strabone, Tolomeo, Plinio e Mela, suddenly mysteriously disappeared from the geographic maps. All this could be evidenced by the finding, in Porticone (Termoli), of a necropolis dating from the Frentano just far 2 km from the coast, whose excavations were started in 1978 by the Archaeological Superintendence for Architectural Heritage and Historical Molise. The tombs, over a hundred, can be located around the second half of the 6th century BC. There seems to have been a break in the area’s occupation in the 5th century BC, a frequentation that appears to reappear at the end of the same century, between the second half of the 4th and the 3rd centuries BC, when the area had not function of necropolis. Some discovered elements near the necropolis suggest that, between the 2nd and the 1st centuries. b.C., a brick furnace has been activated. Other proofs refer about the existence of a paved road that, starting from the beach, goes in the sea. The north coast of Termoli is also rich of clay, in which, in the last few years, fresh water springs emerged near the shore. Since 2010, sea research continues with the Atlantide Project. These researches allowed the recuperation of two parts of big Roman anchor. These finds are a clear testimony of the attendance of the coastal area and the its importance for maritime traffic in the Roman and pre-Roman times.

The history of the ancient city of Buca was studied by Dr. Lucia Checchia author of the book “Un patrimonio sommerso”.


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