Survey in the Inland Area of Lilybaeum

Annapaola Mosca

Abstract


This survey focuses on the situation of the landscape and the ancient settlement of Lilybaeum in the countryside behind the modern centre of Mazara del Vallo. Based on the survey, the knowledge of the archaeological sites was applied to create an overview of the settlement dynamics in the territory. Evidence points to a widespread settlement, developed approximately from the end of the fourth century BC but established in the second century BC. It was linked mainly to the available water and environmental resources, especially agriculture, pastoralism, the quarries, the Mazaro River and to the easy possibility of trade, especially with North Africa. What stands out the most is the organisation of the settlements: it was possible to identify both large settlements and sometimes veritable villages, extending over several hectares, in this case similar to what has been found in other Sicilian districts, and to identify minor sites, probably functional to the villae or villages. The surface of a site in the San Miceli area, located near the banks of the Mazaro River, behind the port on the estuary of Mazara is exceptional. It has a very wide extension compared to other sites. Some of these sites, with remarkable signs of growth in the Late Imperial Age, especially in the fourth-fifth centuries AD, do not seem to survive beyond the sixth-seventh centuries AD. In a few cases we witness a continuum in the settlement, albeit in different forms compared to the previous periods, almost until the eleventh century AD in sites tied to the presence of wells, mills and, presumably, a road network. It was possible to redact an archaeological map from the archaeological data collected in the territory.

Keywords


Sicily; Lilybaeum; Mazaro; Mazara; Survey.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/lac.2014.46

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LAC 2014 proceedings - ISBN 978-90-825296-0-9 - is an open access initiative supported by the University Library, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.