The temple dedicated to the goddess Mephites, located in Asanto's Valley, near Avellino were attributed a variety of capacities to her, including those of healing. It is one of the most important archaeological finds relating to 'medical-folk between the 5th century BC and the1st century A.D. Sick people in order to heal were supposed to sleep with some snakes inside the temple: this practice was a medical procedure widespread in that period. The goddess Mephite was mentioned by many writers including the Latin Virgil, who thought the Mephites's temple was located in a transition zone to the Hades . This zone was known as a holy ground, which in Latin was called "Ampsanctus" and now is called Ansanto. Remains of the temple can be found inside the Irpinian Museum near the Provincial Library of Avellino, where you can find numerous statues of the goddess, some prayers for a speedy recovery and coins from different locations, including some from Anatolia and from Greece. All these foundings make us understand that the temple was really important in the whole Mediterranean zone.
Beside the worship of Mephite, many people worshiped the goddess of fertility and prosperity, known as Cybele. Her temple was located in neighboring Montevergine's mountain, near Avellino. The pictures exposed in "Irpinian Museum" summarize the history of Mephite's temple and the remaining findings.
In this necklace is represented the image of the goddess.
Museum where are located the remains of the temple
-Fulvio Sellitto, Andrea Massaro, Sandro Strumia, Roberto Ziccardi. "Medicina e sanità in Irpinia", IGF Publishing Editore, Napoli 2014