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Centuripe


 

Cent-30

Project direction: The Enna Superintendency B.B. C.C. A.A.

Field director: Giacomo Biondi (CNR-IBAM)

Participating bodies: CNR-IBAM, Centuripe town council, SiciliaAntica Association

Site location: Centuripe (Enna)

Date of activity: 2009 – 2012

Brief description: The modern town of Centuripe (Enna) stands on the same site as the ancient settlement, on a massif (730 m a.s.l.) overlooking the valleys of the rivers Simeto, Dittaino, and Salso, along the ancient route linking Catania to the northern coast of Sicily via Enna.

The town, founded by the Sicels in the 8th century B.C., soon came into contact with the Chalcidian colonies on the eastern coast of Sicily. It saw a period of prosperity between the 3rd and 1st centuries B.C. when Cicero described it as “totius Siciliae multo maxima et locupletissima”. Many private and public monuments dating to the 2nd-3rd century A.D. are preserved, which together with those at Taormina, Catania and Syracuse constitute the most substantial evidence of Roman construction techniques in Sicily. The ancient centre was continuously occupied until the 13th century, when it was destroyed Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and re-founded over three hundred years later. In fact, the present urban layout of narrow streets made for animal-drawn traffic dates to the 16th century.

The surrounding territory is being studied by IBAM-CNR Catania, which between 2009 and 2012, under the direction of the Enna Superintendency B.B. C.C. A.A. and in collaboration with other bodies (town council, local museum, SiciliaAntica Association), has also excavated within the territory and at the edges of the modern town, in correspondence with the ancient settlement and funerary buildings of imperial date.

Site typology and date: town and necropolis of the Hellenistic and imperial periods

 

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