Cassibile revisited: Rock-cut monuments and the configuration of Late Bronze Age and Iron Age sites in southeast Sicily

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The prehistoric necropolis of Cassibile in southeast Sicily is one of the defining regional sites of the Italian Late Bronze and Iron Ages (circa 1300–700 BC). It is generally regarded as a major centre of population or chiefdom that dominated a substantial territory in the centuries prior to Greek colonisation in the 8th century BC. Known mainly from excavations undertaken in 1898 and 1927 by Paolo Orsi, it comprises well over 1000 rock-cut chamber tombs spread over an area of about 6 km2. The variety and location of archaeological remains at Cassibile, however, is little documented and poorly understood. The author provides new information about the site based on observations in the field and reconsiders its significance with reference to: a) the currently visible rock-cut monuments and Orsi’s “legacy data”; b) site size, development and demography; c) the location of the tombs and dwellings with respect to local topography and landscape context. This approach aims to illuminate the organisation and configuration of sites of this period as well as the relationship between the cultural and natural landscape. The article concludes with a discussion of settlement patterns and an evolving “landscape of power” in the surrounding region between the Late Bronze Age and the beginnings of Greek colonisation, in which rock-cut tombs featured prominently.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-148
Number of pages25
JournalPraehistorische Zeitschrift
Volume91
Issue number1
Early online date1 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Sicily
  • Cassibile
  • Pantalica
  • Finocchito
  • Late Bronze Age
  • chamber tombs
  • funerary architecture
  • Iron Age

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Cassibile revisited: Rock-cut monuments and the configuration of Late Bronze Age and Iron Age sites in southeast Sicily'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this