V. 2 (2023)
Scienze dell’Antichità

I tempietti miniaturistici plumbei della nave romana di Comacchio (Fe): nuove ipotesi in relazione al culto nei mari e la navigazione antica

Università di Ferrara

Pubblicato 01-12-2023

Parole chiave

  • Miniature temples in the ancient world,
  • Ancient seafaring religion,
  • Shipwreck of Comacchio,
  • Archaeology of Religion,
  • Lead temples of Valle Ponti


The six lead miniature temples found in the cargo of the shipwreck of Valle Ponti, located at Comacchio (province of Ferrara, Italy) and dated to the last quarter of the first century BC, have often been interpreted as a unicum in the Roman world. The main objective of the study is the contextualization of this category of objects within the cult in the seas, which is still waiting to be addressed in a complete and exhaustive way. Through the written sources and the iconographic and archaeological comparisons with similar artifacts and votive statuettes representing the same deities present in the ship of Valle Ponti new interpretative perspectives have been opened on the reasons behind the production of the lead temples, their use and the scope for which they may have been produced. Some symbolic elements and the deities represented seem to provide important clues about the ritual and religiosity on the wreck. In this perspective, the maritime-related cult in the classical world has been deepened, in an attempt to understand the meaning, the function and the position of the small temples inside the ship of Valle Ponti, by confronting the ancient primary sources with other worship-related objects found in mediterranean shipwrecks.