THE MOSAIC OF THE DRAGON
The mosaic of the dragon, currently at the Archaeological Museum of Monasterace and exposed for a long time at the National Museum of Reggio Calabria, was found in one of the most luxurious residences of ancient Kaulon, the so-called House of the Dragon.
It is a polychrome mosaic depicting a sea dragon and it is placed on the threshold of a large dining room, its floor decorated with a mosaic framed by a pattern formed by sea waves, still in situ.
The subject was chosen for its apotropaic value and depicted in attack position, as a defense against evil forces that could disturb the joyful atmosphere of the banquet. It has recently been proposed the identification with a ketos, which in literary sources is described as a sea monster with crested canine head, proud and terrible look, saw-toothed mouth and crested serpentiform body.
THE THERMAL COMPLEX
A section of the Archaeological Museum of Monasterace is dedicated to the thermal complex of the Hellenistic period discovered within the Archaeological Park, here are exposed the personal ablutions tanks retrieved in the circular bath within the complex itself. To complete the presentation of the important building there are posters of various rooms and particularly the one with a rectangular pool and polychrome mosaic floor decorated in the center with coffers framed by a band of front-faced animal figures: dragons, dolphins, hippocampus.
THE DORIC TEMPLE SANCTUARY AND EX VOTO
Of particular importance are both the Doric temple, of which the various phases of construction are shown, and the ex votos, mostly made of bronze, among which stands out the foil in Achaean alphabet, object of study of its discoverers (Parra-Ampolo).
THE UNDERWATER COMPLEX
The tour carries on with the presentation of underwater finds with bases and upper scapes of Ionic columns dated to the beginning of the fifth century B.C., from the necropolis areas and the spaces dedicated to artisanal manufacture of ceramics and metal casting; these last documented by the findings not only of fusion slag, but also of tools (pliers) and other iron tools which constitute the only known documentation for Greek metallurgy in Calabria.
On display are vases of various shapes for different everyday uses, female terracotta figurines, jewelry and silver coins.
In the courtyard facing the entrance to the Museum are displayed ancient anchors made of stone, iron and bronze, dating back to different periods, found in the sea.
Inside the Archaeological Museum of Monasterace there is a section dedicated to the first contacts between Greeks and the indigenous people (IX-VIIII century BC.) evident on the area thanks to the discovery of the necropolis of contrada Bavolungi in the municipality of Stilo, and the first establishment of the Achaean city (first half of the seventh century B.C.).
THE FIND OF “BRETTI”
Equally interesting are the exhibits related to the phase of occupation of the city by the Italic population of the Bretti, from the excavations in the necropolis and in the ceramic district, found at the edge of the ancient residential area.
The visit to the Archaeological Museum of Monasterace continues with a section dedicated to the rooms intended for banquet and symposium: here you can see the famous mosaic with the sea dragon, dated to the late third century. B.C.; found at the so-called House of the Dragon, it was recently restored.
Finally, there is a “reconstruction” of the inner courtyard with colonnade typical of the Greek house of the Hellenistic period.