ICA's involvement at Metaponto began in June 1974 at a single site in the chora located about three kilometers from the ancient city on a sun-baked, windswept hilltop. Over the course of 15 years of intensive exploration this site, Pantanello, became a primary source of information for the general area, incorporating a late Neolithic settlement on its summit, a Roman tile factory on its slope, and at its foot a Greek rural sanctuary centered on a spring.
Many of the excavations undertaken by ICA in subsequent years were salvage projects: the small rural necropolis at Saldone (1976), the rural sanctuary at Sant'Angelo Vecchio (1978-1979), the farmhouses at Ponte Fabrizio, San Biagio, and Sant'Angelo Grieco (1980-1981), the great Pantanello Necropolis (1982-1986) located a half-kilometer from the sanctuary complex, and the rural necropoleis at Pizzica (1999). These projects were undertaken, like the programmed excavation of the protohistoric hilltop settlement at Incoronata (1977-1978), with a regular concession from the Ministero dei Beni Culturali
and the close cooperation of the Soprintendenza Archeologica della Basilicata
. During all of these years, from 1974 to the present, the Region of Basilicata has been a gracious and generous host. In 2000 the Centro di Agroarcheologia
was established by ICA and the Region at Pantanello (see Centro