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Journal of archaeology and ancient architecture

Tag Archives: Sicilia

Dal monumento al segno grafico: il teatro di Taormina nei disegni dei Pensionnaires tra XVIII e XIX secolo

Author: S. Calò

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The study of ancient architecture by French architects was promoted through the funding of a scholarship to travel to Italy, guaranteed only to the winners of the Grand Prix de Rome. The pensionnaires who enjoyed this privilege went to Rome and some of them went beyond the Latium territory to reach Sicily. In particular, we analyze some drawings of the Taormina theater preserved in the archive of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and made between the 18th and 19th centuries by Houël, Renard, Blouet and Duc. Comparing the drawings, similarities and differences emerge in the way of representing ancient architecture and the landscape context: an interdisciplinary perspective is necessary which enhances the technical and expressive peculiarities of each pensionnaires, placing them in relation to the question of travel, to the travel journals of architects and to the restauration of ancient monuments.

La Valle dopo gli antichi. La campagna di scavi del 2019. Parte I

Authors: V. Caminneci, L. Piepoli, G. Scicolone

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We present some archaeological investigations carried out in Agrigento on Summer 2019, within the project entitled “The Valley after the ancients”. The aim is to reconstruct the post-antique phases of the Valley of the Temples, including the most recent history until the public opening of the cultural site. The digs have been carried out in some points selected in order to achieve the diachronic investigation. Following an interdisciplinary research, through the indirect sources as well as the archaeological ones, a careful review of the known data has been accompanied by the study of archive documents and especially of the old photographs, which portrayed the lost landscape of the Valley of the Temples.

Alla ricerca di ‘case sacre’ tra Sicilia e Magna Grecia. Per una nuova prospettiva sull’esperienza religiosa nell’Occidente greco, tra ipotesi di lavoro e riflessioni di carattere metodologico

Author: Marco Serino

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Some religious practices in Magna Graecia and Sicily are strictly related to civic associations and they seem to have very peculiar features. Within these phenomena that belong – like the official polyadic cults – to the complex and varied ‘mosaic’ of religious experiences of the Western Greek colonies, it is possible to include also the so-called ‘sacred house’. These ‘ierai oikiai’ were probably used to host meetings of some small communities belonging to phratriai or other similar local civic associations and family clans. Based on these premises, this paper offers a preliminary survey of all the archaeological contexts within the Western Greek colonies that potentially deserve to be reconsidered from a new hermeneutic perspective. A reappraisal of some buildings through spatial, context and functional analysis allows to appreciate the constant occurance of some common elements within the ‘sacred houses’. Renewed archaeological considerations, together with some socio-anthropological, epigraphic and historical data, contribute to support how it is necessary and urgent to rethink again the concept of “sacred space” in the ancient Greek community, which was often wrongly conceived within the canonized limits of the official sanctuaries. Furthermore, the case-study of the ‘sacred houses’ requires an in-depth rethinking on the category of the household ritual activities, usually limited to religious practices carried out on a personal and private level.

 

 

Segesta e il mondo greco coloniale attraverso lo studio delle anfore greco-occidentali da aree sacre: primi dati

Authors: M. de Cesare, B. Bechtold, P. Cipolla, M. Quartararo

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This research focuses on western Greek wine amphorae found in Segesta, in two Archaic-Classical sanctuaries which have provided still unpublished archaeological data: the sacred area of the Northern Akropolis documented by the so-called Grotta Vanella dump and the extra-urban sanctuary of Contrada Mango. The amphorae fragments have been studied according to the standardised methods implemented for the data base of FACEM and attributed to more or less-known typologies and provenances. The study of these finds has been accompanied by a systematical review of all published western Greek amphorae yielded by the stratigraphical excavations undertaken in the 1990ties in some urban areas of Segesta. This analysis has led to a better understanding of the commercial vectors and the mechanisms of purchase of these vessels in the Elymian town against the background of the circulation of this class in Sicily and southern-central Mediterranean. Furthermore, the contextualisation of the new data within the frame of the two sanctuaries has allowed for a more precise and diachronic definition of the containers’ role and their contents in the ritual practices. It has also clarified certain dynamics of contact between Segesta and the Greek milieu and the cultural interaction between the Greek and the ‘Indigenous’ population, ritualised within the two sacred areas.

Una testina fittile di Io dal santuario della Madonna dell’Alemanna a Gela

Autore: G. Spagnolo

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Oggetto del contributo è una singolare testina fittile femminile con corna ed orecchie bovine, rinvenuta nel 1951 sulla collinetta della Madonna dell’Alemanna, a Nord della città di Gela. Qui, a seguito della scoperta casuale di una fossa votiva di VII-VI sec. a.C., gli studiosi localizzarono un importante santuario extraurbano della polis greca e lo attribuirono a Demetra soprattutto in virtù della suddetta testina, recuperata al di fuori della fossa, perché ritennero che essa fosse allusiva al legame tra la dea, i bovini e l’agricoltura. In assenza di dati specifici sulla giacitura originaria del pezzo, il presente studio ne fissa la datazione intorno alla metà del V sec. a.C. su base tipologica e stilistica e lo assegna a fabbrica locale. Attraverso poi la disamina di numerose fonti letterarie e iconografiche, la ricerca perviene all’ipotesi che il frammento possa essere pertinente ad una statuetta di aspetto ibrido, insieme umano e animale, che rappresentava Io, la famosa sacerdotessa del santuario di Hera ad Argo, amata da Zeus, trasformata in candida vacca e poi assurta al rango di eroina capostipite della regale stirpe degli Achei. Alla luce di tale identificazione, lo studio affronta il complesso problema del rapporto tra la figura di Io e quella di Hera, divinità di riferimento della sacerdotessa nella sfera del mito, specificamente nell’ambito argivo; ed inoltre, prendendo in esame altri esempi di manufatti di varie provenienze raffiguranti l’eroina, indaga sulla possibilità di eventuali riflessi di tale rapporto nelle attività rituali connesse con il culto della dea. In conclusione, viene dunque avanzata l’ipotesi che sulla collinetta dell’Alemanna esistesse un edificio o uno spazio dedicato a Hera Argiva.

The topic of this paper is a singular female clay head with bovine horns and ears, found in 1951 on the hill of “Madonna dell’Alemanna”, northwards the city of Gela. After the accidental discovery of a votive pit dating back to the 7th-6th cent. BC, scholars located here an important extra-urban sanctuary of the Greek polis and attributed it to Demeter on the basis of the female clay head, found outside the pit, because they considered it allusive to the relationship between the goddess, cattle and agriculture. Without specific data on the stratigraphic context of the artefact, the present study fixes its dating around the middle of the 5th cent. B.C. on a typological and stylistic basis and attributes it to a local workshop. Then, through the examination of numerous literary and iconographic sources, the investigation comes to the hypothesis that the artefact may be pertinent to a hybrid figurine, both human and animal, which represented Io, the famous priestess of the sanctuary of Hera in Argos, loved by Zeus, transformed into a white cow and then arisen to the rank of heroine progenitor of the royal lineage of the Achaeans. Beginning with this identification, the research deals with the problem of the relationship between the character of Io and Hera, the reference deity of the priestess in the sphere of myth, specifically in the Argive context. Furthermore, considering other items from various provenances depicting the heroine, the study investigates the possibility of any influences of this relationship in the ritual activities connected with the worship of the goddess. As a final point, the search formulates the hypothesis that on the Alemanna hill there was a building or a space dedicated to Hera Argiva.