Matera is one of the oldest cities in the world whose territory contains evidence of human habitation from the Paleolithic and without interruption to the present day. It represents an extraordinary page written by man attr
averso millennia of history.
Matera is the city of the Sassi, the original urban core, developed from the natural caves carved into the rock and then shaped into increasingly complex structures within two large natural amphitheaters that are Caveoso and Sasso Barisan.
In 1993, UNESCO declared Sassi di Matera a World Heritage Site
The Sassi of Matera are the 6th site in Italy in chronological order, the first in the south.
On the occasion of this inscription, for the first time UNESCO uses the criteria and reasons for the concept of Cultural Landscape, which later will be used to justify the inclusion of other sites in the world.
The unique architecture of the Sassi of Matera tells the man's ability to fit the environment and the natural environment, using masterfully simple features such as the constant temperature of the excavated areas, the same as the limestone bedrock for the construction of housing outside ground and the use of the slopes for the control of water and meteoric phenomena.
The architectural structure is composed of two systems, that you immediately visible achieved with successive layers of houses, courts, ballotoi, palaces, churches, roads, gardens and orchards, and the inner and invisible at first sight consisting of tanks, neviere, caves and tunnels systems of water control systems essential to the life and wealth of the community.
The Sassi of Matera are located on one of the sides of a canyon carved by the river over time Gravina. On the other side lies the Natural Archaeological Park of the Rock Churches of Matera, where the landscape is the original context of the sites, which developed over time with the urban settlements only on the opposite side of the Sassi.
The park houses the oldest settlements in the territory. These include the Cave of Bats whose Palaeolithic finds are kept at the National Museum Ridola Matera, the Neolithic villages of Murgecchia, Murgia Timone and Trasanello. (Http://www.basilicatanet.com/ita/web/index.asp?nav=matera)