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Survey Priolo



Project leader: IBAM-CNR

Field director: Daniele Malfitana (CNR-IBAM)

Participating bodies: CNR-IBAM (Giuseppe Cacciaguerra; Licia Cutroni; Annarita Di Mauro; Giovanni Fragalà; Giovanni Leucci; Nicola Masini; Giuseppe Scardozzi).

Date of activity: 2009 onwards

Brief description: The object of the research project is the territory of Priolo Gargallo, a particularly varied context rich in ancient remains but to date only discontinuous and improvised research has been undertaken here. A vast petrochemical and manufacturing plant has occupied a portion of the territory irreparably changing it and destroying numerous archaeological and monumental remains. However, a notable cultural and landscape heritage remains, as attested by sites such as Thapsos, Manomozza, San Foca and the Monti Climiti.

Therefore, the territorial investigation aims to check the evidence already known from archaeological publications and acquire new data for the reconstruction of the landscapes and settlement dynamics in the Roman and medieval periods. In the second place, the project aims to propose and provide tools for the enhancement and fruition of the territory’s archaeological and cultural heritage (Web-GIS). 

Archaeologists, topographers, historians, architects, geologists, geophysicists, and computer technicians take part in this multidisciplinary project. The research involves the study of the written sources, maps, archaeological survey, analysis and architectural survey of the monuments, the interpretation of historical aerial photographs, a campaign of aerial photography, geophysical survey of a number of sites and monuments, and the geological analysis of the territory.

The reconstruction of the changes in the landscape in the territory of Priolo Gargallo confirmed a number of trends already documented in neighbouring territories, while important new data was documented, thus providing a clearer picture of settlement dynamics and the territorial organisation of Roman and medieval Sicily. So far, the results have made it possible to understand for the first time the form and periods of the transformation of the Syracusan countryside, of which the present territory of Priolo Gargallo was a part.

Site typology and date: Roman and medieval

Student participants: Yes

Archaeology students from the course in “Methodologies, material culture and craft working production in the classical world” at Catania University take part in the activities.

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