traNsversal ARCHAEOLOGY IN SicilY

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Sicily, July 6-12, 2019
Post 10th IALE World Congress Excursions
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‘Transversal Archaeology in Sicily’ is the post congress program by Gianluigi Pirrera for SIEP - IALE (Società Italiana Ecologia del Paesaggio) in cooperation with Kòrai - Territorio, Sviluppo e Cultura. The post congress excursion will take place after the 10th IALE World Congress.

The annual international and scientific appointment of the International Association for Landscape Ecology this year features the theme “Nature and society facing the Anthropocene: challenges and perspectives for Landscape Ecology”. It will take place in Milan (July 1-5, 2019). The organization gives participants the opportunity to continue their staying in Italy and take part to a rich and varied program of scientific initiatives and excursions in some regions of Italy.

The post congress excursion program in Sicily will take place from 6th to 12th of July (also extensible up to July, 15th) and will be focused on the on-site analysis of some archeological sites in Sicily.

‘Transversality’ in archaeology concerns the epochs and the landscape. Through the visit of some archaeological sites, this tour promotes the objectives of the Ancient Transversal Road in Sicily. According to the ancient journals of the archaeologist Paolo Orsi, it goes from Camarina to Mozia. 

Accompanied by the geoarchaeologist Francesca Mercadante, we will visit megalithic, palaeontological and archaeoastronomic sites, underground dolmen sites, geo and archaeological parks, Unesco archaeological sites, under hydrogeological risk sites and Natura 2000 areas.

In the 6 days tour, in addition to the welcome day in Palermo, the participants will be able to analyze the motivations and the effects of the Anthropocene, related to the hydrogeological risk, to the ancient communication routes and to the mutations causing the loss of the ancient landscape in some of the Sicilian Archaeological sites.

For each stage there will also be a site specialist (the archaeologists Roberta Di Rosa, Enrico Giannitrapani, Giuseppe Labisi, Serena Raffiotta) for deepening.

 

See the program

Book your Post-Congress Experience in Sicily

Contact: korai@korai.it                   

TRANSVERSAL ARCHAEOLOGY IN SICILY

STAGES

 

STAGES OF TRANSVERSAL ARCHAEOLOGY IN SICILY

 

DAY 1

Palermo. Optional: "Antonio Salinas" Regional Archaeological Museum and/or "Gemmellaro" Paleontological - Geological Museum.

DAY 2

Pietra Tara. Oriented Nature Reserve of Capo Gallo.

Oriented Nature Reserve of Pellegrino Mount.

DAY 3

Archaeological park of Segesta. Mothya and the saltpans. Archaeological Museum of Marsala.

DAY 4

Cusa Quarries. Valle dei Templi Archaeological park and Garden of Kolhymbethra. Enna. Pergusa special Reserve.

DAY 5

Hennaion. Lombardo Castle. Rocca di Cerere. Archaeological park of Morgantina. Museum of Aidone. Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina.

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DAY 6

Archaeological park of Camarina,

Archaeological park of Cava d’Ispica,

Necropolis of Pantalica.

 

DAY 7

Transfer included to Catania or ‘extra days’.

DAY 8-9-10

It is available an extra 3 days extension. Visit to

- the UNESCO sites of the Arab Norman Palermo and Cathedral

Churches of Cefalù and Monreale, included their amazing contexts.

DAY 1
DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 3
DAY 4
DAY 4
DAY 5
DAY 5
DAY 6
DAY 6

DAY BY DAY PROGRAM

 
 

DAY 1 - PALERMO, CROSSROAD OF CULTURES

SATURDAY, JULY 6, 2019

  • Start of work: presentation of the excursion program by Francesca Mercadante and Gianluigi Pirrera.

  • Multi-ethnic welcome dinner in the heart of Ballarò, Palermo

Recommended extra program:

  • Guided tour at "Antonio Salinas" Archaeological Museum.

  • Guided tour at: "Gemmellaro" Paleontological - Geological Museum.

Optional: 

  • Botanic Garden guided tour.

  • Palermo guided tour to discover the treasures of the city.

"SALINAS" REGIONAL ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM 

The Museum is housed in the former House of the Fathers of the Congregation of San Filippo Neri, built in the 17th century: the monumental complex includes the church of Sant'Ignazio and the Oratory of San Filippo Neri. It has one of the richest archaeological collections in Italy, evidence of Sicilian history in all its phases, from prehistory to the Middle Ages. Inside archaeological findings and artifacts of the peoples that made the history of the island are preserved: Phoenicians, Punic, Greeks, Romans and Byzantines ones. Artifacts of other peoples, such as the Egyptians and the Etruscans, are kept as well. A section of the museum is dedicated to the findings found during the underwater excavations: materials that were part of the cargo of ships, stone anchors, lead logs, oil lamps, amphorae and inscriptions ranging from the culture of the Punic to that of the Romans.

PALERMO, MOSAIC OF CULTURES

The richness and the beauty of Palermo (Panòrmos means ‘harbor in every side’) lies in its thousand souls, outcome of dominations, of arrivals and departures, of welcome and exchange. All this kind of contamination is testified by its landscape, its language, its monuments, its cuisine and its urban fabric. The stratified and syncretic richness of this city, founded by the Phoenicians, then conquered by Romans, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese, Spagnoli, Savoia, Austrians and Bourbons, is readable in art, architecture, food and traditions. Its monuments, churches, palaces, villas and gardens tell a thousand-year history of beauty and contradictions.

BALLARO' MARKET IN THE ALBERGHERIA NEIGHBORHOOD

Palermo, a multi-ethnic mosaic, expresses its beauty in the meeting of cultures: an example of it is Ballarò, the oldest of the four historical markets, with a dynamic and colorful character, animated by the stalls, in an area rich in particularly important and suggestive monuments and churches. In recent years the market has been enriched by the presence of foreign communities, which have integrated their commercial activities to those of Palermitans, learning from them the technique of selling the abbanniata, the typical call to attract passers-by.

"GEMMELLARO" PALEONTOLOGICAL&GEOLOGICAL  MUSEUM

It was founded in 1861 by Gaetano Giorgio Gemmellaro. It contains collections that can be compared to the British Museum ones. The Enzo Burgio Hall hosts collections illustrating the geological history of Sicily, including very rare samples of rocks from the island of Ferdinandea, during the brief period of surfacing in 1831. The Man's Room contains the testimonies of the first human presence in Sicily such as the fossil remains of Thea, a woman who lived in the Upper Paleolithic, whose skeleton was found in San Teodoro Grotto, in Acquedolci. The Hall of the Elephants contains numerous artifacts related to the dwarf elephants that populated Sicily during the Middle-upper Pleistocene, including a complete specimen of Palaeoloxodon mnaidriensis. In the Hall of the crystals there are notable examples of calcite, aragonite, celestine, gypsum, rock salt and sulfur crystals, most of them dredged to the Messinian (so-called chalky-sulfifera series), when the connections between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean were interrupted and the latter became a large salt lake.

 

DAY 2 - A JOURNEY THROUGH NATURE RESERVES

THE NORTH-WESTERN COAST OF PALERMO

The north-western coast of Palermo is characterized by characteristic seaside villages: Acquasanta and Arenella, rich in production facilities, art nouveau villas and stories related to the therapeutic use of water and sea air and the Florio family; Vergine Maria dominated by the Tonnara; Mondello, with its beach, prehistoric remains in the caves and Art Nouveau architecture; Sferracavallo.

SFERRACAVALLO

Questa borgata marinara di Palermo ​era un villaggio di pescatori sorto attorno a la Calandria, tonnara di impianto 400entesco, attorno ad un'insenatura dal mare azzurro cristallino, nel tratto di costa tra Punta Matese e Punta di Barcarello. Nei pressi, un tempo sorgevano delle torri di guardia, una del XV ed una del XVI secolo, che facevano parte del sistema di avviso delle Torri costiere della Sicilia.

Il toponimo Sferracavallo trae origine dall'asperità della strada che collegava la borgata a Palermo e che per le sue scabre selci e la sua pessima qualità costringeva a far «sferrare i cavalli» che trainavano i barconi usati nelle tonnare, per tirarli a secco e ricoverarli nei magazzini adiacenti.

Su questo litorale, caratterizzato da affascinanti grotte e profondi fondali, è ancora viva l’antica cultura dei pescatori. 

La borgata è rinomata per i suoi locali dove gustare ottime portate a base di pesce fresco.

SFERRACAVALLO

This seaside village of Palermo was a fisherman village rose around the Calandria, a tonnara of 400-year-old plant, around a crystalline blue sea inlet, in the stretch of coast between Punta Matese and Punta di Barcarello. Nearby, once stood guard towers, one of the 15th and one of the 16th century, which were part of the warning system of the coastal towers of Sicily. Sferracavallo toponym (unleash the horses) originates from the roughness of the road that connected the village to Palermo. Due to its rough flints and its poor quality it forced to "unleash the horses" that pulled the boats used in the tuna fishery, to pull them dry and admit in adjacent warehouses. On this coast, characterized by fascinating caves and deep waters, the ancient culture of fishermen is still alive. The village is renowned for its premises where you can taste excellent fresh fish-filled dishes.

SUNDAY, JULY 7, 2019

  • Light trekking in the Oriented Reserve of Capo Gallo: from Punta Barcarello to the megalithic site of Pietra Tara. Beach.

  • Typical Sicilian fish-filled lunch in the characteristic sea village of Sferracavallo.

  • Visit to the Cave-Sanctuary of St. Rosalia on the Oriented Nature Reserve of Pellegrino Mount and route on the Goethe Path.

Optional:

  • Visit to the St. Rosalia Gorgo (in 1952 the American professor Hutchinson theorized the concept of biodiversity) and / or the contemporary installation of the Cretan unicursal Labyrinth.

  • Visit to the extraordinary North Belvedere with its archaeological findings and to the World War II anti-aircraft posts.

  • At sunset, tasting of the bitter Santuzza, delicious liqueur made with the herbs that grow on the path of Santa Rosalia between the Sanctuary of Monte Pellegrino and the hermitage of Quisquina.

PIETRA TARA

The site with megaliths of Pietra Tara was discovered in 2004, opening up horizons never known to Sicilian historiography. Located on the northern slopes of Capo Gallo, in the last strip of land on the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is set on the western sea routes (Iberian and Maghreb),and shows till intact constructions. Divided into two zones (High and Low, for a size of about 6000 square meters), it presents a proto-urban structure divided into sectors. The proto-urban structure winds around the great megaliths/menhirs with huts, anthropomorphic monoliths, cultuals areas, funerary hypogea.

CAPO GALLO RESERVE

The reserve covers almost 586 hectares and consists essentially of Monte Gallo, a carbonate massif, formed tens of millions of years ago between the Mesozoic and the Middle Eocene. Monte Gallo ends in a promontory, called Capo Gallo, marked by its characteristic lighthouse.

PELLEGRINO MOUNT

“The most beautiful promontory in the world", as Goethe called it, is part of a reserve of over 1000 hectares. The mountain is a carbonatic massif with sheer cliffs, interrupted by the splendid Porco valley and by the numerous caves of marine origin, places of ancient human settlements. An authentic kingdom of biodiversity inhabited by about 1000 species of plants (25 orchids), many of which are endemic, half of the species of mammals present in Sicily, reptiles, arthropods, nesting and migratory birds of exceptional importance in Sicily.

 

DAY 3 - AMONG TEMPLES, ISLES AND SALINE

MUSEO GIUSEPPE WHITAKER

Nel 1902, “Pip Whitaker” acquistò l’Isola, riconoscendone lo straordinario valore ambientale ed archeologico. “Pip” esplorò Mozia portando alla luce ampi tratti di mura, le porte urbiche e diverse parti dei monumenti maggiori che costellavano l’isola, dal Kothon al Santuario del Cappiddazzu, al Tofet. 45 ettari di resti archeologici testimoni della presenza dei Fenici nella Sicilia occidentale, al centro del Mediterraneo, sepolti sotto una basso strato di terreno agricolo formatosi in secoli di abbandono. Raccolse nella Palazzina sull’isola una ricchissima collezione di reperti, alcuni provenienti dalla vicina Lilibeo o dalla prospiciente Birgi, sulla terraferma con cui Mozia era collegata da una strada, oggi sommersa. Il piccolo, ma prezioso Museo, ampliato nel 2001, contiene la statua dell’Auriga di Mozia, opera di stile arcaico-ionico, risalente al V° sec. a.C., che domina, in solitudine, la sala con il lucernario, proprio di fronte l’ingresso, che era il cortile di casa Whitaker.

GIUSEPPE WHITAKER MUSEUM

In 1902, "Pip Whitaker" bought the island recognizing its extraordinary environmental and archaeological value. "Pip" explored Mozia revealing large tracts of walls, urban gates and several parts of the major monuments that dotted the island, from the Kothon to the Sanctuary of Cappiddazzu, to the Tofet. 45 hectares of archaeological remains testify the presence of the Phoenicians in western Sicily, in the middle of the Mediterranean, whose traces are buried under a low layer of agricultural land formed in centuries of neglect. In the Palazzina on the island, Joseph kept a very rich collection of findings, some coming from Lilibeo or from the facing Birgi, on the mainland with which Mozia was connected by a now submerged road. The small but precious Museum, enlarged in 2001, contains the statue of Auriga di Mozia, an archaic-Ionic style sculpture dating back to the 5th century BC, which dominates in solitude the hall with the skylight, just opposite the entrance, that was the backyard of the Whitaker house.

LILIBEO REGIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF BAGLIO ANSELMI, MARSALA

The Museum is located in Capo Boeo, Marsala and houses a specimen of Punic ship and, since December 2015, the Roman ship has been brought into the small port of Marausa.

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2019

  • Visit to the Segesta Archaeological Park.

  • Light trekking in the Oriented Reserve of Salt Pans of Trapani and Paceco (RAMSAR area of international relevance).

  • Visit to the archaeological site of Motya and Giuseppe Whitaker Archaeological Museum.
  • Visit to the Lilibeo Regional Archaeological Museum of Baglio Anselmi in Marsala
  • At sunset dinner overlooking the Stagnone Lagoon.

PARCO ARCHEOLOGICO DI SEGESTA

Il sito (Elimo/Sikano) fu edificato sul fianco del Monte Barbaro, nel Bronzo medio. La visita al tempio dorico (V sec. a.C.) e al teatro, posizionato in cima ad un colle che guarda il tramonto, in ottime condizioni di conservazione, si estende alla zona medievale col vecchio quartiere e le mura di cinta, al castello, alla chiesa normanna e alla moschea, sino al sistema fortificato di Porta di Valle.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK OF SEGESTA

The site (Elimo/Sikano) was set on the side of Mount Barbaro, in the Middle Bronze Age. The visit to the Doric temple (5th century BC) and to the theater, in excellent conditions of conservation and set on top of a hill overlooking the sunset, will be followed by the visit to the medieval quarter with the castle, to the remains of the Norman church, to the mosque, and to the fortified defensive system of Porta di Valle.

ORIENTED RESERVE OF SALT PANS OF TRAPANI AND PACECO

The salt pans between Trapani and Marsala are a rare testimony of a humid, productive environment in the strict respect of nature. The architecture of the salt pans covers the pre-reserve area of ​​the Oriented Nature Reserve of the Islands of Stagnone. It consists of various orders of tanks with their own specific function, connected by wooden gates and canals. They constitute one of the most original and fascinating landscapes of the Sicilian land. The salt pans can produce up to ten thousand tons of whole sea salt every year. This area is strongly linked to the migratory flows of African birds, with rare halophytes plants such as the Cynomorium coccineum.

MOZIA

From the end of the 12th century BC, Mozia was an emporium for Phoenician merchants-navigators. The Phoenician name was Mtw or Hmtw, as shown by the monetary legends; whereas the Greek name, Motye, Μοτύη, is cited by Thucydides. After the battle of Himera, fought between the Greeks and the Punics in 480 BC, it represented the most western bulwark of the Punic people along with Solunto and Panormus. The site is testified by a settlement of the end of the 8th century BC, preceded by a sporadic and rather modest protohistoric phase. After the battle of the Egadi Islands in 241 BC, the whole Sicily passed under the dominion of Rome, with the exception of Syracuse; Mozia was abandoned, there are very few traces of new acquaintance, with individual Roman villas.

 

DAY 4 - GREEK COLONIES IN THE SOUTH WEST

KOLYMBETHRA GARDEN

It is an archaeological site of great naturalistic and landscape importance, in a small valley in the heart of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, managed by the Italian Environment Fund (FAI website). It is characterized by the citrus grove area, that of the almond-olive grove, a third area rich in plants typical of the Mediterranean scrub, an area with riparian vegetation, hydrophilous plants such as common reed or castor and an area with rock vegetation such as the dwarf palm, the common gorse and the caper. Inside the Garden there are the "Feaci Aqueducts" dating back to the fifth century. B.C. (the only hypogea to be visited in the Valley of the Temples, along a path that develops underground for about 185 metres)

TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2019

  • Light trekking to the ZSC of the Cusa Quarries (part of the Archaeological Parck of Selinunte and Cusa Quarries).

  • Visit to the Valle dei Templi, UNESCO site, and of the  Kolhymbethra Garden.

  • Dinner at the Lake in the Special Reserve of Pergusa. 

ZONA SPECIALE DI CONSERVAZIONE DELLE CAVE DI CUSA

In the territory of Campobello di Mazara (TP), sstands the archaeological area of ​​the Cave di Cusa: unique in the archaeological panorama of the Mediterranean, evidence of the ancient Greek-Megalese civilization of the 7th century BC The calcarenitic stone quarries, formerly known as Ramuxara or Damus-ara (hot quarry), still present themselves today as open-air quarries, totally immersed in the green of intensive cultivation and are an integral part of the Archaeological Park of Selinunte and Cave di Cusa, (the largest archaeological area in Europe). The large blocks of sandstone tuff extracted in the Cusa Quarries were used to build the Selinuntian temples, a notable example of the ancient Doric architectural order. The blocks, already marked and carved to become part of columns and architraves, suggest to visitors the whole work process that, centuries ago, engaged slaves and craftsmen in a hard work of extraction and transport.

VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES

It is one of the largest, representative and best preserved archaeological sites of classical Greek civilization, inserted in 1998 in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The polis, who gave to the city the same name of Ἀκράγας (Akragas) of the river of bathing the territory (i.e. Ἀκράγας, Akragas), was founded in 581 BC by some inhabitants of Gela, originating from the islands of Rhodes and Crete. It was one of the main cities of the ancient world, an important urban center both economically and politically. The settlement was protected in the sixth century by a defensive system, consisting of a circuit of walls based on the topographical features of the place, consisting of the plateau on the side of hills that dominated the coast, of which the "valley of the temples" occupied the margin south.

PERGUSA LAKE

The only natural lake now present in Sicily, a few kilometers from Enna, is of modest dimensions but of great geological, faunal and cultural importance. The first Special Nature Reserve of the Sicilian Region was established here, while the European Union classified it as SIC (Site of Community Interest).

 

DAY 5 - A JOURNEY THROUGH THE LAND OF CERERE