Ancient Topography Research in the Territory of Rodì-Milici (Messina): Preliminary Results

Caterina Ingoglia, Giuseppe Scardozzi


The paper concerns a research project carried out since 2011 by the Department of Sciences on the Antiquity of the University of Messina and the Institute for Archaeological and Monumental Heritage of the Italian National Research Council. The project is aimed at the reconstruction of the ancient topography of the territory of the modern village of Rodì-Milici, in the Province of Messina.
The first campaign of systematic archaeological and topographical surveys, using a differential GPS system and a Laser Scanner, were performed in the hills to the west and south-west of the two villages, in particular on the large plateau between Monte Ciappa, to the north, and Pizzo Cocuzza, to the south. The investigated area was identified by L. Bernabò Brea, at the beginning of the 1950s, with the site of the ancient city of Longane. It had a strategic location for the control of the valleys of the Patrì and Mazzarrà rivers (respectively to the east and west of the investigated area) which constituted important routes of connection and traffic between the Tyrrhenian coast, the Monti Peloritani area and the Ionian coast of Sicily.
The recent research, in integration with previous studies, acquired new data about the Archaic settlement that had an organisation strictly integrated to the topographical context and a structure different from traditional Greek colonies. The settlement on the plateau did not have a regular plan but seems organised into quite well distinguished inhabited, productive and sacred areas, while other areas are free of structures. It was protected by the two fortified hills (Monte Ciappa and Pizzo Cocuzza) which controlled the natural entrances to the plateau from north and south; the necropolises were located to the north-east and south of these hills, along the principal ways to arrive to the settlement.


Archaeological survey; Longane; Monte Ciappa; Archaic period; Patrì river valley

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Copyright (c) 2016 Caterina Ingoglia, Giuseppe Scardozzi

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