Multi-Analytical Techniques Employed to Study Italian Church Murals

May 16, 2022 111

BY: Reginald Davey

The Sotterra church at Paola was rediscovered whilst building work was being performed on the Madonna del Carmine church in 1874. Thought to be of Byzantine origin, the site contains several historically important religious murals from that time period. Archaeological evidence has indicated that the site underwent several changes before it was abandoned, probably in the 16th century.

The church is located underground (Sotterra means “under the earth”) and the arrival of Normans in Calabria heralded a time of significant change for the church. It is thought that these changes were carried out by Benedictine monks, with the coexistence of wall paintings from both time periods providing evidence for this.

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