Priolo - Gargallo
Director: IBAM CNR
Project leader: Daniele Malfitana
Participating bodies: CNR – IBAM (Giuseppe Cacciaguerra; Antonino Mazzaglia; Licia Cutroni; Giuseppe Scardozzi; Giovanni Fragalà; Giovanni Leucci; Lara De Giorgi; Samuele Barone; Annarita Di Mauro).
Date of activity: 2009 - 2017
The research project, launched in 2009, aims to study the territory of Priolo Gargallo, located immediately north of Syracuse, with specific surveys conducted on the Hellenistic and Roman settlements of Specchi-Aguglia and Ponte Diddino and the funerary monument called Guglia d'Agosta.
It is a territory with a rich cultural heritage, so far studied discontinuously and often extemporaneous. The area today hosts a vast petrochemical and manufacturing pole that has modified a portion of the territory and has caused the destruction of archaeological and monumental evidences. However, it still has a strong cultural and landscape value witnessed by sites such as Thapsos, Manomozza, Guglia d’Agosta, San Foca and Castelluccio di Climiti.
Research has involved archaeologists, topographers, historians, architects, geologists, geophysics and computer scientists with a view to multidisciplinarity in the area of archaeological research and the exploitation of the territory. The investigations were carried out by integrating different research methods and addressing specific research topics through the study of written and cartographic sources, archaeological survey of the territory, the analysis and the architectural rilief of the monuments, the study of the historical-aerial photos, remote sensing, geophysic survey of sites and monuments and geological analysis of the territory.
The territorial survey, therefore, was aimed at verifying the already known evidences in archaeological literature and the acquisition of new data for the reconstruction of landscapes and settlement dynamics during the period between the Roman and Medieval times. In the case of Guglia d’Agosta, the research has allowed to identify the funerary typology, to outline the topographical context on which the funeral structure was built and to confirm the presence of at least one roadway. In addition, structures relevant to the settlement have been identified and the surface occupied by the dwelling has been reconstructed.
The territorial survey, therefore, was aimed to verify the already known evidences in archaeological literature and the acquisition of new data for the reconstruction of landscapes and settlement dynamics during the period between the Roman and Medieval times. In the case of Guglia d’Agosta, the research has allowed to identify the funerary typology, to outline the topographical context on which the funeral structure was built and to confirm the presence of at least one roadway.
Secondly, the project has created tools for enhancing and exploiting the archaeological and cultural heritage of the territory through a Web-GIS platform.
Reconstruction of the transformations of the countryside of Priolo Gargallo has confirmed some trends already documented in the neighboring territories, while new important data have been highlighted here for the first time, enabling a clear picture of the dynamics of settlement and the organization of the territory in Roman and medieval Sicily. The achieved results also allow for the first time forms and times of transformation of Siracusa's campaigns, of which the present territory of Priolo Gargallo was part.
Site typology and date: Territory, settlements and funerary monuments of Hellenistic, Roman and Medieval times
Student participants: Yes. The activities are opened to students and scholars of the Master Degree Program in Archaeology at the University of Catania (Course of "Methodologies, Material Culture and Crafts in the Classical World").