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S. Cataldo
October 15th, 1963

The region is in the plains of the Sacco River approximately three kilometres from Supino. Found was a large mosaic, numerous coins and various sculptures.
It is essential to do more excavations in the area.

With the discovery of a mosaic of exceptional and artistic value, little doubt remains now in Supino that Ecetra, an ancient and heroic city, razed to the ground by the Romans for punishment, rose from the vast basin of the Sacco River, in the Privito area, approximately three kilometres from the centre of town. Two young amateur archeologists discovered this large mosaic yesterday. Although excavations have just begun, the site currently measures two metres by two metres. This discovery adds to the infinite number of other precious ruins, small statues, amphorae and various other objects already found in the nearby ancient graveyard at Privito.

Amazingly the mosaic was found unusually close to the surface not more than 30 or 40 centimetres deep. Already hundreds of curious people have come to the Cona del Popolo area to see the discovery. The terrain, in the immediate area of the mosaic was a meadow that was never worked. Many years ago, a farmer had tried to dig into the earth but easily gave up as he found it impossible to do. So the land laid undisturbed until now.

During the pre-war period, there were several farmers in the surrounding countryside of Supino that had unearthed many artistic amphorae and other ancient artifacts while farming their land. The farmers hastened to make these artifacts disappear for fear of further searches and seizures of the land by the government.

Among the artifacts found were coins, lots of them, a little bit everywhere and of a variety of different ages: from as early as the fourth century B.C. to the late Roman Empire.

The first suspicions that these various findings were the ruins of Ecetra, began to arise when the parish priest of Saint Mary, Father Egidio Schietroma, compared the ancient coins with the ones reproduced at the Institute of the History of the Arts. He realized that the copper and other alloy coins were similar to those of incomparable Etruscan art. It is now known that the Volsci people once lived in the surrounding area even before the establishment of Rome, and the Volsci had multiple contacts, not only commercial, but social as well with the Etruscans assimilating the Etruscan culture into their own. To this day little has remained unchanged as a result of this assimilation.

As a result of the discovery of the mosaic's, a missing small bronze statue that was found by a local townsperson years earlier reappeared and was sent to a variety of ancient art scholars to get an opinion of its possible origin.

Doctor Belloni, curator of the Museum of Arts of the Sforza's Castle of Milan, affirmed that, without any doubt, the bronze statuette must date back to the eras between the third and fourth century and that is was the work of local artisans.

These various ancient findings, which are now preserved at the local police station or in the parish church of Saint Mary, aroused the curiosity of two young men, Roberto D'Arolfi, a nineteen year old student in his fifth year of accountancy in Anagni and Ernesto Carbonelli, a twenty-five year old electrician from Colleferro (originally from Supino). The two of them, one Sunday morning, armed with a pike and a shovel, began to dig in the meadow that belonged to the parish church of Saint Benedict, taken care of by a local, Cataldo Corsi, near some old ruins. What these two young men found proved their suspicions right. In the shadow of two very old oak trees, came forth a mosaic depicting the god Neptune armed with his trident guiding a foursome of aquatic horses. The mosaic, black on white, is so well defined that it leaves you speechless.

The two young men realized that what they had discovered was more than they could have imagined, they halted the excavations and hurried to alert the carabinieri. Now we are waiting for the curators of the Belle Arte to continue the excavations with the necessary precautions to unearth the mosaic in it's entirety and in its' original state.

It has been suggested, that in this area where the mosaic was found once existed a temple of an ancient god with an offering fountain nearby. The remains of a nearby ancient aqueduct and the discovery of the coins from all the different eras also support's the possible existence of an ancient temple. Father Egidio Schietroma, who has completed many insightful studies on the area, is sure that in the era following the destruction of the city of Ecetra, Romans nobles had constructed their villas on the ruins of the Volsci strong holds.

From here has derived the necessity to excavate more extensively not only to unveil the remains of these ancient ruins, but also, most importantly, to ascertain that this may actually be the ancient remains of the city of Ecetra. Which supports the testimony of the historian Tito Livio that the city of Ecetra was in the vicinity of Ferentino. Naturally, the decision is now up to the municipal administration of Supino to continue the necessary excavation of the site. By continuing the excavation, hopefully it can be confirmed that this is the site of the remains of the ancient city of Ecetra, and can be declared a national tourist attraction. At the very least to obtain government finances for the construction of a small museum to conserve the ancient relics that have been found up until now. In both ways, the discovery of this ancient mosaic will benefit this small Ciociaro center.

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