Not too far from the Ionic coast, near to Policoro, is where
one will find the Heraclea Archaeological
It was founded by Taranto and Thourioi during 433 BC on the
ruins of the much older Siris. Heraclea assumed an important
political role by hosting reunions of populations belonging
to the Italiota league during 374 BC.
With the beginning of clashes between Rome and Taranto, Heraclea
was stage for one of the proverbial victories of Pirro against
the Romans, namely the Battle of Heraclea (280 BC), where
Pirro was victorious thanks to him utilising animals, more
precisely war elephants.
During 272 BC, it became a confederate city of the Roman Republic.
The Tavole di Heraclea (bronze tablets inscribed in Greek)
date back to this period and are one of the main documents
which deepen our knowledge of Magna Greek.
During 215 BC, Heraclea was conquered by the Carthaginian
General Hannibal, but it soon returned under the influence
After the Social Wars, it became a municipality in ’89
BC. In 72 BC it was devastated by the Servile War experience,
led by Spartaco.
It progressively lost its importance during the Imperial era.
A visit to the Archaeological Site
Here one can find the foundations of the Athena Temple, Demetra
Temple, acropolises, tracks or walls and Necropolises.
The major finds from Heraclea are preserved in the Siritide
Place of interest
The Heraclea Archaeological Park; Athena Temple; Demetra
Temple, Siritide Acropolises, National Museum.