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Saving the important archaeological site of Pantanello in Southern Italy

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

Dr Joseph Carter is one of the most prolific and respected classical archaeologists in the world.   This past summer he called us with a problem:  the important site of Pantanello was in danger of being destroyed!   Dr Carter had poured love, sweat and tears, as well as countless hours and millions of dollars in developing Pantanello into what it is today.  This site has unveiled a myriad of artifacts that have told unbelievable stories and facts about the farm lands close to Metaponto, one of the most powerful cities of Magna Graecia located in the modern-day province of Matera in Basilicata. 

Dr Carter was obviously shocked and heartbroken, but also ready to fight back to save a site that has been widely considered of incredible importance for the entire human kind.  Unfortunately, he was unable to attend a very important symposium that was taking place at Pantanello, where people from different areas of Italy were getting together to discuss the future of the site.  That’s when we enter the story; We stepped in to help Dr Carter craft a very-last minute, simple, yet very compelling video message that could travel to Pantanello instead of him and move everyone into action.  

Watch the video, entirely in Italian, which will help you practice your listening and comprehension skills and also give you a glimpse of the incredible work that Dr Carter has done throughout the years. 

We worked closely with Dr Carter to make sure the message was loud and clear.  We knew that despite of the obvious cultural and historic benefits of preserving such an important archaeological site, we needed  to vocalize concrete reasons why it made more sense for the region to further develop Pantanello and other archaeological sites, rather than taking the industrialized route that has been adopted in nearby cities such as Taranto.  It was about making a case for Pantanello’s existence based on the cultural and economic benefit of the entire region, including the production of jobs for the folks who live in Basilicata.   

You may be happy to know that Dr Carter’s message was heard.  A few days later he started telling us about the impact that the video story was having and a few months later he gave us the awesome news, that after an intense period of debates, it had been decided that Pantanello would remain Pantanello!   It was a great moment for archaeology! It was also a great moment for everyone in the South of Italy who envisions their region as one of the most important spaces in the world for tourism, education, art, farming and cultural & historical celebration; elements that have already helped Matera become the cultural capital of Europe in 2019, with all the jobs, exposure and opportunities that has already generated.   

We commend the tenacity of Dr Carter and everyone involved in making such a historic decision happen.  We also give Dr Carter our most sincere thanks for devoting his life into helping the rest of us understand where we come from and how we got here. 

Wondering what's next?

Check out the editorial post of this newsletter where we discuss the future of ITAL and Tiramisu For Two and how you can stay in touch with us after this last public newsletter...  


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