Archaeology and Mythology in Trapani Where the sky is streaked with strong colors which strike one with red, turquoise and golden vigour, where the wind shapes the soft dune and the heights of azure clay and golden sandstone; where the sea still resounds with the din of mythical battles, there is Trapani, the most “african” stretch of Sicily.
Segesta Selinunte , Cusa Quarries Mozia Lilibeo Roman Houses Marettimo Archaeological Sites in Trapani
Segesta The town was founded in the pre-Hellenic period by the Elymians and was rhe eternal enemy of Selinus. The Temple was built in the 5° century, and is a peripteral doric hexastyle. The temple was built to confer prestige on a local cult. It is one of the most perfect and best preserved examples of Doric art. The Doric Temple V sec. a.c.
Segesta The Theatre V sec. a.c. The town was dominated by the Theatre founded in the 5° century and was rebuilt in the Hellenistic period. The stands for the spectators, with a diameter of 63 metres, are still in good condition, while only the lower structures of the stage remain. The view that one gets sitting in stands is vast, which is most effective in determining in the spectator the catharsis which was the aim of Greek theatre.
Selinunte, Cave di Cusa Selinus is considered to be one of the most important archaeological areas in the Mediterranean and in deed in the whole of Europe. It was founded in the 7° century by settlers from Megara Hiblaea. Over the centurie Selinus had grown, becoming the biggest town of Ellenistic Sicily, above all because of its colossal temples, the only ones in Sicily to be decoreted with sculptures. Archaeological Area VII sec. a.c.
Selinunte, Cave di Cusa Eastern temples are lettered E, F, G, since it is not known who they were dedicated to. On the Acropolis there are various towers and gates and 6 temples. Of particular importance is temple C, the biggest one in the Acropolis.
Selinunte, Cave di Cusa Metopes of Temples VI sec. a.c. The Temple “with the little metopes” has yielded 6 metopes, which are the most ancient sculpture from Selinus, since they go back to the first years of the 6° century.
Selinunte, Cave di Cusa The great bases of columns immersed in the greenery of a big park evoke the grandiosity of the Selinus Temples. Silvery olive trees going away as far as the eye can see surround the big bases of columns abandoned here for over two thousand years.Some are still attached to the rock, some are ready to be transported to Selinus. Bases of columns Cusa Quarries
Mozia Lilibeo An ancient legend has it that Hercules was once robbed of his herds. After searching for them for a long time in vain, he had the good fortune to be helped by a women named Motya, who pointed out to him a cave in which the animals were hidden. Out of gratitude, hercules decided to found a town in the woman’s honour and named it after her. Historians have handed dowm the story of a towm founded in the 7° century B.C. on an island of no more than 40 hectares (about 100 acres) which, thanks to its very favorable position on trading routes one of the most phoenician colonies in the Mediterranean.
Mozia Lilibeo Joseph Whitaker bought the islet and carried out diggings. The item which is absolutely most netresting is a statue of singular beauty portraying a young men. It is in white marble coming from Asia minor and is 1.81 cm high. It is certainly a 5° century Greek original. However, all the items founded are interesting: steles, balm containers, jewels, instruments and utensils of daily life, pottery, etc.. There stands out in particular an earthenware giant that with its fearful smile seems to sum up all the mystery of the legendary Phoenician people.
Mozia Lilibeo The town was surrounded by high walls with two gates in it which today are still well preserved. It was an important naval base, and hence a “kothon” had also been built there, that is to say a dry dock for the repair of ship which after the one Carthage, is the only one to have been found in the westen Mediterranean. Kothon Dry Dock to repair ship VIII sec a.c.
Mozia Lilibeo Tophet Sanctuary VIII sec. a.c. Among the most interesting areas uncovered is the “tophet”, a sanctuary inside which there is a cemetery where there were placed the remain of human sacrifices offered to cruel phoenician divinities like Baal Hammon, who demanded the sacrifice of first-born males.
Roman Houses Marettimo Marettimo farthest of Egadi islands has rappresented an important seaport for different mediterranean people, who traded across the sea. The first inhabitants of the island were Phoenician people. Marettimo had an important rule in to the battles between Romans and Carthagians.
Roman Houses VIII sec. a.c. Around the 1° century d.c., Marettimo was roman garrison. Even today the mountain overlooking the village is called “Case Roamne” and preserves the remains of a large building in opus reticulatum. Cenral elements is a church of 11° century d.c. within which was found an immersion baptismal font dating to the proto byzantine era (6° - 7° century d.c.). Roman Houses Marettimo
Other archaeological sites to discover Partanna Stretto Area Salemi Underwater Archeology Archaeological Park of Lilibeo
Partanna Stretto Area The archeological site of Stretto Partanna comprises the remains of an important prehistoric human settlement of the Sicilian Neolithic. The remains of the neolithics ditches system are preserved inside. The site is equipped for the enjoyment of the visitors and at the same time the archeological excavations are carried out inside. The ditch has been found in such an altered context, or more precisely the portions which survived to the destruction, witnessing the original complex system. After the finding, the Soprintendenza BB.CC.AA. of Trapani, has carried out some excavation campaigns which have made possible the recovery of the rocky handiwork and to study the great amount of material recovered inside the filling.
Partanna Stretto Area Both the existence of this complex structural system and the finds of Stretto witness the presence in the settlement, during the Neolithic Age, of a complex and advanced society endowed with a differentiated and specialized productive structure able to realize great works in the territory and devoted to agriculture and to cultural exchanges. Within the area there is also a wide rocky necropolis with many graves excavated into the calcarenitic sidewalls of the hill dating back to the Bronze Age. Other similar necropolis complexes can be found in the neighbouring districts and all over the municipal territory, which findings cover a wide ark of time of the Sicilian Prehistory.
Salemi “Mokarta” According to the testimony of Diodorus Siculus, Timaeus Tauromenium and Cluverio, the town of Salemi lies on Halicyae, area of influence Elima, according to Cicero, along with Centuripe, Hales, Segesta and Panormus was one of five cities "Liberae et immunes" of Sicily. Mokarta, in prehistoric times, was a large village with its cemetery. Initial investigations, carried out in the seventies, have revealed a necropolis, consisting of around a hundred tombs carved into the rock. A further and more small cemetery was also found in the south-west of the hill, on top of which are still visible remains of the Arab-Norman, investigated and little known, yet shrouded in mystery.
Salemi “Mokarta” The excavations began in 1994 and repeatedly brought to light the housing. The cabins all have so far dug a circular shape, with a characteristic that makes them but so far only to type in Sicily. Very impressive was the discovery of the skeleton of a young woman with a vase in his hands that probably was crushed by the collapse as he was running away. It is hoped that the excavations will resume as soon as possible and that we take action to ensure that this site is accessible and usable by everyone because it possesses all the characteristics to be rightly regarded as one of the most significant archaeological sites in the province of Trapani.
Salemi “Polizo” Monte Polizzo is a commanding hill-top site in the Trapani province of western Sicily, some 6 km. northwest of the town of Salemi, the excavation's base. The excavations in the native and Punic hill-top site at Monte Polizzo aim to make a contribution towards rectifying this bias and are part of a similar and wider trend in Mediterranean studies. Are exploring Monte Polizzo's cultural development and interaction with neighbouring Phoenicio-Punic, Greek, and native sites.
Salemi “Polizo” Excavations at Monte Polizzo have so far resulted in the identification of five phases of activity, from the Bronze Age to modern times. Its best known remains are found on the acropolis' summit, where we have discovered a round building, built around 550 BC and identified as a hut shrine. Outside building we have found a stele, one, possibly two, altars, enclosure walls, and a partially paved area. Human teeth and part of a jaw of an adolescent aged 12-14 years were found hereabouts, in what may possibly be a disturbed grave connected with the nearby cult.
Archaeology Park of Lilibeo The remains of Lilibeo are located in the urban center of Marsala and, together with the neighbor island of Mozia, are a jewel of Phoenician-Punic in the West. Since 2002, is currently implementing the Archaeological Park of Marsala; current team of archaeologists working within this expanse of green in the middle of the city, noting each day breakthrough discovery. The area was completely abandoned during the Middle Ages, but even today, taking a walk inside, it is impossible not to step on pieces of ancient pottery, or for more fans to miss boundary walls leaving the ground.
Archaeology Park of Lilibeo Over the years the excavations have unearthed a large building equipped with a spacious, distributed around an tetrastyle atrium and a peristyle. The insula is bordered by roads partially paved. The excavation of the 2000s, has brought to light walls, marble-paved, specimens of significant interest as the marble statue of Aphrodite Callipigia II century. AD, the eardrum in stone with a Latin inscription, ornaments such as pins, coins, etc.. Excavations in progress (2007) had discovered the route of decumano maximum, the main arterial road of ancient Lilibeo. The marble statue of Aphrodite Callipigia is headless and lacking half of her right arm covering her breasts modestly More than half of his left arm, holding the himation, about half of the right leg and part of the left leg.
Underwater Archaeology The characters of underwater archaeology in this part of Sicily are derived from the characteristics of territory that had and has great strategic importance being placed in extreme part of west of Sicily, near one of the steps required of the routes connecting the two sides of North and South island. Is where we spent most of the routes connecting Europe to Africa. Another feature is the situation of almost total conservation of places and backdrops.
Underwater Archaeology Research is, therefore, easily practiced without any conditions, even the presence of a wild contributes to better understanding of the dynamics of topographical and historical. And several recent discoveries have convinced the authorities to establish underwater archaeological parks and to continue still minimal exploration of the seabed.