An Italo-Eritrean mission found remains of two Paleochristian churches, dating back to the second half of the fourth century, and it is estimated that in the Horn of Africa Christianity would have spread a few decades after the Decree of Costantino, 313 AD, made the practice of faith free. It is a discovery that aroused interest even within the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archeology, which recently joined the group of athletes already involved in the research. The reconstruction of the two churches and other finds will be exhibited next November in a show at the Castiglioni Museum in Varese. The Italo-Eritrean archaeological mission began with its work in 2011 and has already brought to light the ancient port of Adulis in Eritrea, on the shores of the Red Sea. An important seaport considering that that city communicated the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea, comparable to the route of the spices or the silk.
It disappeared in the late 7th century AD, after a catastrophic flood caused by the collapse of a barrier of a water basin in the mountains beyond the city, Adulis, like Pompeii, kept underneath the earth constructions and remains.
The excavations saw a series of finds, including coins and turtle objects.
“But in that area you could look for another 30 years,” said Marco Castiglioni, who manages the Varese museum. A new mission of the Italo-Eritrean team, led by the brothers Alfredo and Angelo Castiglioni (researchers, archaeologists, ethnologists and filmmakers) is planned for next January and February. Thanks to the donations of the Castiglioni brothers the museum was born in Varese, which is composed of archaeologists from the Catholic University of Milan and the Eastern University of Nápoli; and by architects of the Polytechnic of Milan, in charge of the restoration of monuments.
The scientific leader of the mission is Professor Serena Massa, from the Catholic University of Milan.
The exhibition at the Museo Castiglioni will open on November 7. The strong point will be the reconstruction of the two churches, on the occasion of what emerged from the excavations. There will also be many other relics from the Horn of Africa. (ANSA).