Authors: M. Trümper, T. Lappi, A. Fino, C. Blasetti Fantauzzi
Download article as .pdf: The Gymnasium of Agrigento: Report of the First Excavation Campaign in 2022

The gymnasium of Agrigento has been excavated between the 1950s and 2005. While parts of a race-track section and a pool were revealed between two stenopoi, the extension of the gymnasium and the existence of a palaestra as well as the construction date could not be securely determined. A project launched in 2019 in cooperation between the Parco Archeologico e Paesaggistico Valle dei Templi di Agrigento and the Freie Universität Berlin aims to solve these questions. Based on the results of a geophysical survey, four trenches were excavated in 2022 in a field to the north of the pool where the palaestra was most likely located. The aim of this paper is to discuss the results of the 2022 campaign. After a brief discussion of the chronology established in previous excavations, the trenches are presented from south (trench 1) to north (trench 4), followed by new insights regarding the architecture. In trenches 1 and 2, well-made ashlar walls were found that are consistent in orientation, building technique, and material with the previously exposed walls of the gymnasium and may have belonged to the searched palaestra. In trench 3, the continuation of the western stenopos appeared. Trench 4 was made at the supposed crossing of this stenopos with a plateia but did not yield any evidence of built structures or street pavements. The analysis of the architecture showed that previously proposed reconstructions are problematic, particularly regarding the architecture of the xystosstoa. Revisions regarding the reconstruction of the Doric order and its chronology are proposed here, suggesting a period between the end of the 3rd and the first half of the 2nd century B.C.